My intent is to explore what makes some rail photographs excellent or notable, by discussing individual shots and by comparing sets of shots. At times I will feature shots by one particular photographer of interest, at times I will feature shots of a particular type of subject or in a particular style, and at times I will focus on the results of a particular technique. The view will always be that of the "consumer" of images; I will not be offering advice on technique. I intend to be a hobbyist commentator on photographs and I am starting this blog to find my "voice."
My formal qualifications are minimal. I am a competent photographer who has moved beyond the wedgie to somewhat more creative compositions but who has no particular notable successes, although I have several shots I am particularly pleased with. This leads to one particular complaint that some make of critics, both professional and amateur; that they don't know enough to express a relevant opinion. However, much as a restaurant critic need not and almost always is not a professional chef, and a political commentator is often not a politician, so I am not an expert photographer. I believe that my views stand by themselves; either they make sense, they are effective commentaries on the images, or they are not. Take a read and decide for yourself.
In discussing the images I will rely on basic concepts of composition: line, form, texture, color, and of course light. As I am not trained in art, I may occasionally deviate from how artists use these terms, but I believe what I write will be self-explanatory. If not, I will edit and fix it!
Toward that end, critical yet informative comments are most welcome. I will be thrilled to get a pointed criticism. As I intend that each blog entry be a permanent expression of views on an image, I will be revising them or supplementing them in response to any comments received. Thus, this blog will be more like a set of entries than a continuous conversation, at least in format.
By the way, all images used with permission of the individual photographer. A number of images will be taken from railpictures.net; in those cases for convenience I will leave the RP copyright strip at the bottom, as that indicates ownership of the image lies with the photographer.
Click here to see my shots on RP.