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The Welder

By paulbroad
Scanned this recently from a set shot a long time ago. Middle of a night shift actually in the fitting shop. Trying out a filter called 'Cosmos'. Might be a bit too much. (Electric arc welding can permanently damage eyes, so camera on tripod and my back to the welder. Shutter released remotely for each frame.. NEVER look directly at a weld arc.)

Mamiya 645 1000S with 80mm. 1/125 @ f8 and Fujichrome 100. Flash fill on manual with flash on extension lead and placed on his work bench, pointing at his head..

Scanned at 2400dpi with Epson 4990 flat bed and cleaned up. Some cloning and tone adjustment. Smart sharpen.


Tags: Dangerous Electric Welder Weld Arc Portraits and people

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


ErictheViking 3 124 102 Scotland
10 Jun 2013 8:03AM
Hi Paul
I think the use of the filter is just right it adds an element of drama to what could have been an image of a bright white splodge. Normally I'd suggest people don't chop off bits of limbs, but here I feel its not important. Its all about the flare and the star burst.

I have loaded a mod as I feel the background needs to be as dark as possible to compliment the brightness of the flare and preferably black. I did this by adjusting the levels to make contact with the edge of the histogram which has increased the contrast and darkened the background.

Let me know what you think


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Nigeve1 Plus
3 1.4k 101 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2013 8:04AM
Amazing effect, great image.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2013 8:08AM
Hello Eric, Not sure about being darker. It does add some strength but looses a bit of detail in the mask and bench. I had considered cropping even tighter but that would remove the full shape of the flared cosmos pattern?

ErictheViking 3 124 102 Scotland
10 Jun 2013 8:18AM
Hi Paul
I think it all depends on what is the focus of your image, if its the welder then I'd be looking at isolating the background from the welder and making fine adjustments to each independently. If the focus is the flare and the filter effect IMO the welder is part of the background.

Ultimately the mod was a general adjustment to demonstrate an effect which as you say adds strength to the image.

richmowil Plus
7 310 1 England
10 Jun 2013 8:49AM
Amazing effect!! Nice image!! I like it a lot!!
cats_123 Plus
12 4.6k 26 Northern Ireland
10 Jun 2013 11:35AM
great effect...prefer the original SmileSmile
iancrowson Plus
6 211 142 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2013 11:38AM
I like this image, a really good capture. I don't know about looking at an arc, just looking at this picture almost hurts my eyes!
Seems to me pretty good as is. Take me well outside any experience I've had. Near brilliant.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2013 6:53PM
Not criticising your mod at all, Eric. It is well done and produces a different effect. This is the personal opinion bit. I prefer to retain the detail, you have gone for more impact. In some cases, many in fact, I favour the impact route too. Like to see other peoples interpretation of what I have done.

What does disappoint, and has done for a long time, is that some images get a lot of comment, some hardly any. Not just mine, in general.

Often, when something really needs to be said, it is side stepped. A pity, but that is quite common in judging and critique circles.

xwang 7 55 8
13 Jun 2013 10:56AM
I like the sparkling light....I've never seen different coloured sparking lights like this before.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2013 3:58PM
It was a square Cokin system filter called COSMOS, jas. I think I still have it somewhere. They were quite impressive the first few times you used them, but then got rather boring and overdone. Does work here, I think.


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