October 26, 2010

Office Space


I went to visit an old friend yesterday morning.

About a year ago, I spent a few mornings photographing the Pacific Mill Machine Shop. It’s a small pipe threading shop in the mill that hasn’t been operational in about half a century. Not much has changed in the shop since operations ceased. Its been used as storage, but all the original equipment is still there, and still operational.

At that original shoot I shot a bunch of sets of brackets, processed them with enthusiasm and produced a bunch of images that I can’t, in good conscience, show.

New to HDR as I was, the brackets sucked and the resulting images sucked even more. Such is life. Such is learning.

So yesterday I spent an hour shooting the shop with a new mindset, a firmer grasp on HDR and a clearer vision of what I want to accomplish. It was the first of several expected re-shoot visits (they know me there now).

Today’s image is the first of the “new and improved” Pacific Mill Machine Shop images. A little corner of the shop carved out as “Office Space.”

I’ll post more new images from this location in the coming days / weeks. If you have the stomach for it, I might even trot out some of the old images along the way for comparison. Personally, I don’t know if I can handle it.

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  1. Growth is what many people don’t understand, which in turn makes them hate HDR. We all have bad brackets. Having the chance to go back and re-bracket a scene while knowing more about the technique is what makes HDR so much fun. Thanks for sharing and awesome photo my friend!

  2. You and Scott hit the nail on the head…the learning process in HDR processing is both fun and rewarding. Looking back at brackets I shot only a few months ago I can see how far I’ve come, it’s pretty cool. Oh, and awesome shot! I love the desaturated look and the light from the window is just perfect.

  3. Please definitely post the earlier shots. That would be so instructive to me, and would help me gauge my own progress through this amazingly deep world of photography. It may be painful to you, but no one of any good conscience would fault you for your earlier efforts.

  4. Interesting that you can’t salvage the old brackets with current skills. Were there just not enough exposures/tonal range? Weak composition? This is outstanding, in any event.

  5. Thanks guys. Mark, its a little of all of the above. I plan to post an image either tomorrow or Thursday that is a new comp of the original subject. I honestly can’t believe how bad the original is in both composition and execution. Bracket-wise, I think I tried to extend the range of a not so great set of frames. I’ll definitely post the original in the post.

  6. As someone new to digital photography, I’d love to see the old shots along with the new improved versions. It’s a great learning tool, especially if you talk a bit about what you did differently the second time. Your blog is one of my main inspirations.
    Only the top of this shot shows when I open it, then I scrolled down and got the nice surprise of the blue tarp or whatever it is.
    What a great workspace. I’d love to own that old star-vented stool.

  7. Great image, Bob. For someone such as myself who has spent roughly 4 months learning HDR, it’s invaluable to hear that you shot some brackets that sucked! I’ve trashed so many images, because they sucked. Thanks for the great images and insight.