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bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
27 May 2019 8:09AM
very sparky Wink...super capture Wink
AlfieK Plus
4 1 1 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 8:09AM
Superb shot John - I think you are being too modest. Would have certainly been pure luck if Id have taken it.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
27 May 2019 8:24AM
As my previous best shot was taken on a very early visit, if I recall aright, it is just luck. I don't have fast reactions (as I find every time I try any sort of action photography) and not too good a sense of rythm. If it was skill, I'd be able to do it again...
woolybill1 Plus
14 37 77 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 8:36AM
I remember your excitement after taking this photograph. My own efforts were certainly nothing to write home about: focal length, shutter speed (and thus aperture and ISO) guesswork, so an example or two of motion blur were all the bonus I can claim. So familiarity with the subject and prior experience do count for something, I reckon.
A result well worth the wait!
viscostatic 14 49 10 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 8:37AM
This is very good.

Jasper87 Plus
11 2.7k 158 England
27 May 2019 8:38AM
Not a flash in the pan then......
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2396 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 8:51AM
Spectacular, as the moment was. I've just looked at mine and it has nothing on this - as I knew at the time. One opportunity, a split second, and that's all you get. You did have the advantage of having seen him at work before!
Saastad Plus
1 16 15 Norway
27 May 2019 9:16AM
Lovely working action!!!

Arne Smile
27 May 2019 9:22AM
the only opportunity for me to see sparks in such abundance is when i stub a toe on a hard furniture leg... and it hurts so damn much that i am unable to grab my camera for a a quick shot...
seriously, a great lucky shot here - or, "lucky punch", using boxers' lingo... for a spectacular result
Maiwand 14 3 73 England
27 May 2019 9:42AM
Congratulations John. A beauty.
SlowSong Plus
12 9.6k 30 England
27 May 2019 9:42AM
The sparks are brilliant. Smile
27 May 2019 9:44AM
Lovely capture John, a very challenging shot.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday

NevJB 6 2 1 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 10:06AM
Luck or not - it's a brilliant capture - even the sparks are being cooperative by spreading in a pleasing pattern. Full marks for persistence and a great image.
saltireblue Plus
10 11.8k 75 Norway
27 May 2019 10:15AM
Well that's all my efforts confined to the bin!Blush As Bill said, a bit of motion blur on his hammer arm, but nowt to get excited about.
Well done on the perfect timing, lucky or skill!
kaybee Plus
16 7.6k 26 Scotland
27 May 2019 10:24AM
Flaming wonderful.
I doesn't matter if it was skill or luck - it is the final shot that matters.
But what I want to know is . why wasn't your collaboration mentioned on Bogwoppett's upload today?
mac Plus
19 12 Scotland
27 May 2019 10:47AM
A superb shot of the blacksmith at his trade. Well timed and framed, be it lucky or more likely good judgement.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
27 May 2019 11:07AM
Back to play today. And the big steam hammer is working...
mistere Plus
7 6 4 England
27 May 2019 11:11AM
The image, without the sparks, is an excellent one. The sparks
are a fabulous addition and beautifully captured. Your patience and
perseverance have paid off.
The photography gods may well have been smiling on you. (or just keeping an eye on the 'party')
'Sod's law' could have played its part as well.
All modesty aside John, you probably made your own luck.
After 30 years, you deserved it. SmileSmileSmile

clicknimagine Plus
11 798 104 India
27 May 2019 12:26PM
Superbly captured that spark...
27 May 2019 2:14PM
So after thirty years there is still that spark there! I think he's been waiting for you.
27 May 2019 2:24PM
When at first you don't succeed....
Great shot !
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
27 May 2019 2:44PM
Five days on, I revisited today, to see if i oculd repeat this shot. Absolutely not: there's an element of luck, even if yoru timing is superb: sometimes, there are simply more sparks to record.

However, some hints.

The msot sparks come when the welding part is happening - the bit where the link goes back in the forge for a bit longer than usual.

Get your shot on the first hammer blow after that: later blows create fewer sparks.

Use manual exposure, and for the overall view, drift towards underexposure - the sparks will be very bright compared with the background, and will move fast. 1/160 records treails.

Also set focus on the anvil, and lock it. Back button if that's your thing, or switch to manual to avoid the delay that AF always causes.

You'll need a long lens - this shot is cropped from the full frame, and used an 85mm on full frame. 135mm is about right, I'd say.

You will need to up the ISO... 100 simply won't hack it.

A monopod might be useful, too, especially if you don't have effective IS.
JuBarney Plus
9 33 5 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 5:06PM
A splendid shot which reminds me of visits to the farrier/ blacksmith with ponies and horses.
Irishkate Plus
10 45 121 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 5:37PM
Very well handled indeed - not easy to expose for fire.
As Bill says -experience really does count.
philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
27 May 2019 6:06PM
Shouldn't there be a traction engine against a sunset in the background? I presume the noise scared thebird off the nearby twig? Grin
philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
27 May 2019 6:08PM
Things on fire are never easy. Expose for the fire, then work out how much illumination everything else needs. I spent 10 years photographing woks on fire, let me tell you, there's not much latitude, about half a stop. Timing, just give it the fastest the motor will take.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
27 May 2019 6:19PM
And I suspect there may be one or two things that the chainmaker can do to ensure that there are more sparks in the first place...

A traction engine and - ideally - an attractive lady going down the helter skelter in a low-cut blouse, Phil.
philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
27 May 2019 6:26PM
There must be. Longer shutter speed = more spark travel.

With woks on fire, wet onions worked a treat, you learned to watch how the smoke/steam curled just before flashpoint.
RLF Plus
11 18 4 United Kingdom
27 May 2019 7:34PM
I was on a one day experience on Wednesday last week.
Noisy, smelly, hot as Hell but very enjoyable
Managed to make 4 reasonable Bodkin Points for my war bowSmile
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 762 England
27 May 2019 9:23PM
A cracking shot John, and a User Award beckoned even when I saw it on your camear screen.
I've managed to get a good shower of sparks (well, one I was reasonably happy with) before but not this spectacular!
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 405
28 May 2019 12:23AM
Very good.
I am with you about the first hammering. What you see as sparks are impurities. The more you hit the the metal the lesser they become hence the sparks lessen.
Grinding is a process that creates more sparks. Ask them when or if are making axes....
Savvas511 4 158 Cyprus
28 May 2019 7:59AM
Hello again

Great sparky shot , been away for some time
now I am back

good work
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
28 May 2019 12:17PM
Pablo - you're quite right about the impurities: I paid a return visit yesterday, and someone at the steam hammer pointed this out.

Sadly, they don't do any grinding - but maybe I can find a fire performer who does that...

Welcome back, Savvas!
28 May 2019 2:00PM
Superb capture, John.
Thanks for sharing your insight about the technique used.
ruurd 10 241 Netherlands
4 Jun 2019 12:22PM
great action photo, i like it greetings ruurd
19 Jun 2019 11:41AM
great shot!!

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