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Beginnings of a bee

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I am documenting the progress of the makings a sculpture out of re-cycled materials. It is the first time I photograph people at work and the space is quite small with loads going on in the background. I am experimenting using black and white as means to try and declutter the picture. Any comments would be much appreciated.

Brand:Pentax
Camera:Pentax K-30 Check out PENTAXPORTAL!
Lens:Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5DCMacroAsp.IF HSM
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:10 May 2013 - 9:07 AM
Focal Length:34mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Shutter Speed:1/20sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:200
Exposure Mode:Manual
Metering Mode:Center-weighted average
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Beginnings of a bee
Username:Garay Garay
Uploaded:13 May 2013 - 1:37 PM
Tags:People at work, Photo journalism
VS Mode Rating 102 (100% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom849 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 1:49 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Get in a bit closer and reduce the exposure a bit to increase drama with a possible flash fill. That would reduce the detail in the surroundings and emphasise the welder. The background is a little distracting.

Now, important this. You are taking precautions against weld flash I hope. The UV from the arc can PERMANENTLY damage your eyesight. I'm not joking. You need to set the camera on a tripod, frame up, turn your back and ask the welder to start work, then release the shutter remotely. Welding is very dangerous in many ways and you should be extremely careful.

Do not use liveview either. The arc can burn your sensor if in the same position for extended time.



Paul

Last Modified By paulbroad at 13 May 2013 - 1:49 PM

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cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104014 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 2:32 PM

can't help with the technical stuff...but had a go at a mod...

Exp -1.10
Clarity +30
and used the tone curve to darken the bg Smile

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7407 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom998 Constructive Critique Points
14 May 2013 - 1:04 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Important advice from Paul above. I've photographed welding - you need to be careful to protect both your camera and your eyesight. It's good to get the sense of being right in the middle of the action, but moving back a bit and using 70mm would be safer!
Secondly, full marks for choice of shutter speed. 1/20 second has given you nice clean, long light trails without them looking cluttered as a slower shutter speed would tend to do.
I also like the way you have captured the hands at work, and placed him off-centre in the frame - that gives a dynamic feel.
I like Jeff's Mod, it focuses attention on the action by putting the background into deeper shadow. This does need just that bit more contrast. I might also suggest a tighter crop - that would lose the angle work bench on the left, which I like, but would make the figure more important relatively in the composition. Will try a Mod.
Welcome to the Critique Gallery by the way, I see that it's your first upload here.

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 14 May 2013 - 1:08 PM

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7407 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom998 Constructive Critique Points
14 May 2013 - 1:10 PM

Mod uploaded. I cropped to square, which allows the fan of sparks to spread right across the composition, then made a simple Levels adjustment to give more contrast, and used the burn tool a tiny bit on the shadows top left.
I do agree that b&w is the best way of avoiding distractions by the way. Good move here.
Moira

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 14 May 2013 - 1:11 PM

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom849 Constructive Critique Points
14 May 2013 - 5:55 PM

Moira backs up my comments, but you must not look at the welding arc with naked eyes from even 20 to 30 metres. Be careful. The steel industry and Metallurgy is what I did for a living. Welding arcs are very very dangerous. Do not look directly at them at all if you can help it.

Health and safety insists that all welding activities have erected guards shielding the general public. You are actually contravening health and safety directives here as is the workshop. Be careful.

Paul

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Garay
Garay  1 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 - 9:19 PM

Thank you very much for all your comments and help, they have been very useful indeed!
Had definitely taken already precautions for myself relating to the welding arc, as my husband (who is the sculptor) keeps telling me, but now I see that I had not been careful enough with my camera.
Thanks again,
Eva

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