Back Modifications (2)
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Beginnings of a bee

By Garay  
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.

Tags: Photo journalism People at work

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


paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
13 May 2013 1:49PM
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.


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cats_123 Plus
12 4.6k 26 Northern Ireland
13 May 2013 2:32PM
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
mrswoolybill Plus
9 986 1501 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 1:04PM
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.
mrswoolybill Plus
9 986 1501 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 1:10PM
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.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 5:55PM
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.

Garay 3 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 9:19PM
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,

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