Happy New Year and welcome to the 2013 edition of the TRFN top 50 deviations of the year. This will be the 5th edition of this feature.
As a new year begins, The-Railfan-Nation has grown rapidly in the past year by 81 members. This means that out of the 1,202 currently listed members each deviant has a 4.1% mathematical chance of making this feature. Thus if you have made this feature earning any spot from 1 to 50 is a very difficult accomplishment that you have accomplished. Just anything will not make it in this feature all images in this feature made it in because of impressive stats. These deviations all collected these stats for a reason. Many of them reached outside the railfan community and drew interest from non-railfans as well. My standards for this list as always will be listed below.
I began recording stats for this list on December 24th. This means that some data may be skewed or somewhat inaccurate. I did this project all by myself. Going through over 1,200 galleries is not easy for one person to do. Also for images that suddenly got popular, I posted a few warning journals notifying users to contact me if they through they recorded the stats but were worried that their image would not get it's rightful-place. In the past we have had problems with people not reading the blog, then getting mad because they missed out on something important. We can't make users read the blog and it is not a requirement. However, by opting not to read it there is a chance you will miss out on important info.
Other factors that may have skewed data is the fact that I am located on the east coast and go by the New York City timezone. Someone who posted on New Years Day or eve in a different timezone may not qualify for this year's top 50. I can assure you I can tell who posted and when. The chances of this happening are rare. But it really is humanly impossible to be perfect. Some stats may have changed while I was calculating as well.
I also implemented tied positions this year. However, in future years I hope we see less of them.
One thing that sticks out about this year's list is the fact that the number of faves needed to get in the top 50 seems to have dropped dramatically. This seems to be due in part to a lot of inactive users who have not posted a rail-related image since 2012. Another thing that sticks out will be mentioned in the list and it truly is a top 50 first. Might even be the only time we ever see this happen to.
I adhered to my promise from last year to create an unnoticed image section. which will be below the top 50. Those images did not make the top 50, but I saw them while calculating the stats and chose them as personal favorites I think could have made this list had they been noticed by more people.
Before we get to the guidelines, I would like to make my yearly monologue. In other words my thoughts on the past year.
I do have two quick points of advice.
The artist mentioned in this top 50 are all positive artist to look-up to. Does not mean that you have to be a copy-cat but they are good influences.
As I was looking through this year's submissions I noticed not only were a lot of really good pieces going unnoticed, but I also noticed that simple things were often messing up potentially good deviations. I want to bring this to the dA community's attention because I have noticed that the deviantART standard watermark has been a contributing factor. Yes, watermarks help protect artist and photographers, however the deviantART watermark is very distracting. If you take note of this top-50 and past top-50s, I don't recall any of the qualifiers using the deviantART watermark. Now am I against watermarking? No! I just believe that most artist and photographers are better served using a watermark created by them for their own purposes that is visible, but not so distracting it messes up the image. Unfortunately deviantART's watermark is just too distracting.
Another point I want to make that I have spoke about in blogs before is the Railpictures.net stigma. I know they are really tough as far as photography standards. However, there has been this slippery-slope going through the railfan community that any standards or criticism makes you as irrational as RPN. This stigma alone is also poisonous because it discourages improvement just as much as a beginner getting rejected on RP can do. Just because this group or any group declines something based on quality does not automatically place them on the same level as rail-pictures. RPN is strict but they have also undeniably become a scapegoat. RPN wants what they consider perfection. When you have an image declined you should first ask why then look at the situation. It is just all to common to see some people board the rage train and call the RPN card on the group because one specific deviation they submit does not get in even if they already got 30 prior images accepted. This is a viral attitude that does need to be reformed to influence high quality work and artist improvement. Most people who make the comparison to RPN, do not realize that if they submitted their dA galleries to RPN they would probably have less than 5% acceptance rate. It is a good idea to look at the math before comparing. I myself have a 15% acceptance rate on RPN which really is pretty low itself . I'm satisfied with my feedback on dA regardless of what RPN thinks. That does not mean the images are bad, it just means it does not adhere to their definition of perfect. As I've also said before the staff of TRFN is human and we will occasionally make mistakes, which makes it more important to comment on submission messages when you think a mistake has been made. I have said before that the biggest lie any group admin can tell you is saying they do not make mistakes. Because every admin does.
All deviations featured must conform to TRFN submission standards which are not very strict. All must have something railroad related in them.
All of the following are TRFN members.
Deviations are ranked based on faves.
All featured works were posted in 2013. This refers to date posted not technically date taken/made. (Example: a photo taken in 2010 but posted on deviantART in 2013 can qualify).
Policy violations are not counted in the ranks no matter how many faves they have. All deviations mentioned below passed TRFN inspection. Obviously a policy violation making the top 50 would understandably anger people. So final results are subjected to a point to point inspection, and if something is found to be in violation of dA policy it is rejected from the line-up immediately. (Example: Stolen material will be treated as though it never existed. So if someone posted a stolen pic that racked up enough faves to make the top 50 and I didn't notice it the first time it is automatically ejected in the final inspection process.)
T-48. SMT-Images mikopol softart03
T-45. rlkitterman hankypanky68 :thumb347053511: Kaltenbrunner
T-42. awjay orang111 DarkoPhoto
T-35. :thumb363007345: samreevesphoto DasGhul
T-32. the-railblazer steamby51
T-30. Beezqp EYELIGHTZONE
T-23. eyepilot13 oToupeira
15. :thumb379820252: GarrettheGarret
11. CJSutcliffe Only person featured in every top 50!
1. Pajunen First repeat #1 in Top 50 history!
Underrated images I saw
So two new records, CJSutcliffe extends his top 50 streak to 5, and Pajunen gets two #1s in back to back years also becoming the only deviant to make #1 twice.
If I am right everybody mentioned in this article should get a notification, thus meaning I do not have to comment every deviation and dodge the stupid spam buffer.
So guys please spread the word about this article if you have the time and have a productive 2013.
Co-founder Joseph W. Johns
Last Year's results 2012.
On behalf of the TRFN staff I'd like to wish everybody a safe and productive 2014.