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Mind Your Eyes

By Hop-A-Long  
Saturday again, where are the weeks going. Someone said there were only 6 weeks left until Christmas, what were they thinking, fancy moving that close to today.
Never mind, all that money to be spent, all that food to eaten, all that sleep to be slept, all those films to be watched and of course all those presents to be opened.
Talking of films, I actually bought "The Sound of Music" on DVD, now we can have Christmas whenever we want, it's always on, every year, in fact it wouldn't be Christmas without it. So if they ever stop showing it on the normal channels I can put it on for all my family to endure, err I mean enjoy.
What on earth happened yesterday, I was sitting in my darkroom with my dogs, a hot cuppa and a warm radiator working away. I finally finished what I was doing and opened the door to be confronted with 8 feet of snow, ok about an inch, but my son had been outside and there were 8 footprints. It was sunny but cold when I went into the darkroom, it was like I had been transported to another time or planet when I came out. Could you imagine if it had been 8 feet deep, I'd have been stuck in there with my dogs, kettle, radiator, negatives, enlarger and paper until someone could have dug me out. I don't know what I would have done to pass the time, I really don't.
I was then rudely awakened this morning by a rather large rumbling, the dogs went mad as it woke them up as well. I first thought it was thunder, but when it happened again I realized it was the snow sliding down the roof. It really is an antisocial thing isn't it. It's cold, wet, slippery and noisy, I wouldn't like to live somewhere that is snowed in for long periods of time. BRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! Feeling cold just thinking about it.

Onto today's uploads. I did a project for my degree, yes another one. I followed a crane being built starting with a flat piece of steel and finishing as a fully built and working crane. I had to make a book which turned out great and gave me a first.
These are a few of my shots whilst photographing in the fabrication shed. The one difficulty was to get set up and focused in before they weld as looking through the viewfinder is a huge no no. Anyone who has welded will be aware of the damage it can cause to your eyes.
In fact about 14 years ago whilst on nightshift as a mechanic/welder I walked into a container that a colleague was welding, he hadn't put the warning sign up outside and just as I walked in he arced up the welder, I caught the flash full on. Now, arc eye takes a while to get to its worst, rather like sunburn only it's 10 times worse.
I arrived home in the morning and my eyes began to feel like they had gravel in them, I knew then I was in trouble. Gill took me straight to hospital where it was found I had blisters forming on my retinas and third degree burns to my face. My fringe, eyebrows and eyelashes were all missing. They put anaesthetic cream into my eyes which immediately soothed them and then they added some anti-biotic cream shortly after, it was at this point that everything went black, I was blind, probably one of the most frightening times in my life to be plunged into complete darkness and simply turning a light on wouldn't solve the problem.
They put patches over my eyes and gave me a load of cream to apply. It was two days before the patches came off and I had no idea if my sight had returned. Gill lifted the patches and the light was blinding, after 5 minutes I could open my eyes fully to find my vision had returned. It took another week before I was fully recovered and healed.
All the damage was caused by one flash that lasted no more than a couple of seconds, my eyes had been burnt even though I had closed them the instant the flash began. That is the danger of welding and why when welding it is important to wear the correct mask for the job.
If you see someone welding in the street, please don't be tempted to look, it is possible to damage your eyes, even from across the road.

Version 6 was the completed crane under test at night and at the end of a very long day of photography. The crane and operators still had a further 14 hours of testing to complete before they could head home and the crane deemed safe.
It was taken using multiple shots in camera to capture it slewing, there were 10 shots in total.

Thanks for looking and for any comments.

Tags: Light Photo journalism Steel Metal Welding Mig Arc Fabrication

Voters: CarolG, Badgerfred, gwynn56 and 19 more

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CarolG 15 199 20 Greece
27 Oct 2012 2:55PM
An excellent set of images, Andy, and very good advice for the welders and anyone coming into contact with welding. Carol
27 Oct 2012 3:02PM
Super set of images Andy,
AnnChown 12 207 1 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2012 3:53PM
What a fascinating set of images Andy - and your story of your blindness is quite terrifying. Thank goodness you recovered!
morpheus1955 15 3 2 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2012 4:15PM
Superb set of images, beautifully captured and presented.

fentiger 21 920 24 England
27 Oct 2012 4:16PM
This is a really excellent of documentary images.

barbarahirst 14 27 12 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2012 4:22PM
What a wonderful set ...
27 Oct 2012 5:00PM
A superb set of images Andy, beautifully captured,well done..Lin
franken Plus
20 5.5k 4 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2012 5:28PM
A really impressive set here.

taggart Plus
18 47 15 United States
27 Oct 2012 6:24PM
Excellence with hands at work!
SlowSong Plus
14 10.4k 30 England
27 Oct 2012 6:27PM
Very well captured light. The whole set is unusual and superb.
pluckyfilly 16 351 33 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2012 9:00PM
Just looking at the pictures I found them really bright, good job you recovered from your experience, I can't think of anything worse than being unable to see, we are so lucky.
Great set of piccies
Rende 15 38 4 Netherlands
28 Oct 2012 11:04AM
Great set Andy, and very brave of you to tackle it after your earlier experience!
jaktis 18 84 Sweden
28 Oct 2012 1:36PM
Great hadlked light in theses images. -6.5 C this morning

woolybill1 Plus
16 38 79 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 3:25PM
Fabulous reportage, Andy, and a high-quality cautionary tale to accompany it.
Glostopcat 16 255 2 England
29 Oct 2012 6:56PM
A terrific set of images Andy and some valuable advice for us all to heed

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