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Steel Mill Portraits

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by entropic remnants, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I'm beginning this new set of pictures of the people of the steel mill. As each operating unit closes, I'll trickle out the pictures of the people. Not all want their faces shown, so some are a bit more anonymous but they are still portraits in a larger sense.

    This first batch is old photos from the days of CCD imagers, poor high ISO performance, and lower resolution. Mainly if not entirely from my old Nikon D200.

    Click through to read a bit of a description of what their job was. For the most part, I'm avoiding naming folks just now.

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810192554_2bc384e133_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Contractors by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810058665_1f88b6d4fa_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810191884_b40d405131_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810062516_d67362be53_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810190564_b4a67d48e2_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Contractors by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810312243_c2aee80584_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Contractors by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810060256_09e6f7feee_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810059486_6300416ec7_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10810309893_10f653ed05_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 17
  2. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    wonderful work. i'm just thankful this country still has steel mills!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Thanks and amen!!!
     
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Great stuff John. I like your shots of stuff, but I'll take shots of people any time. Really fine work...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Thanks, Ray! I hope the best is yet to come. Some of the ones I took of folks during the last days say a lot -- you can see a lot of different things on peoples faces: anguish, resignation, and some folks just take it all in stride.
     
  6. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Excellent series! Looking at the pictures makes one feel to be there, I can almost hear the noise and feel the vibration of the place.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. A continuing great series.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Very poignant series, and a great historical record of the place and it's people.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    if these are the worst.....what will your best look like? Matey.....you ARE a photographer. You just have to carve out a niche for yourself in this field.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    What petach said.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Nice set! And nice view into a unique world.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Great portraits, but I really like number three :) Looking forward to the rest!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    A few more from the archives

    Looking back over older shots -- difficult because when I imported old work I didn't keyword it all and I have to go through the shots to find any worth posting but I found a few more. These are from my old Nikon D200 or D80 cams also.

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Contractors by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Contractors by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10825227603_f97b857a3f_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Contractors by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10826137826_b4127a06f8_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10826257074_8b1ceb5668_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 5
  14. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    343
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    Yet another inspiring set of photos! At risk of sounding a little "over the top", your series of pictures have almost managed to make me feel as though I worked at your steel mill!

    By chance, I recently had the opportunity to take some photographs in a heavy engineering workshop, and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have your "style" of photography in mind as I made the shots. Sadly, my shots were not even close to the quality of your steel mill shots during your recent posts - even before the news of the closure. Ok, self-evidently there wasn't the sad back-story attached to my shots, but I have to say that you have an unusual talent for capturing the "flavour" of the setting... irrespective of the impending closure aspect.
    Thanks for some great photos... I for one, would be happy to see as many shots as you care to post.:th_salute:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Thanks! That was really some high praise. I've spent years -- literally -- refining my technique in the mill across different lines of cameras -- which is interesting as it tends to show you what's needed independent of the platform. I did get some decent shots even with my old gear but newer gear helps.

    What I do generally is shoot a little to a lot dark to preserve highlights as much as I can. Then deal with the shadow noise as I need to when I lighten the shot. I usually end up using a lot of highlight and shadow recovery and boosting the overall exposure and contrast to get the look. Don't know if that gives you a direction to go or not as far as technically. It's not magic, lol. The Fuji's are a cut above anything else I've shot with and make that process more do-able.

    As far as what I do shoot: I've had the luxury of long exposure to the subject matter. This gives me an ability to shoot more unconsciously. I would think in the situation you were in, you were having to think a lot about the shots and though that is part of the game it can put you kind of on a creative "defensive" where too much of your attention is on the conscious process rather than the all important unconscious "eye" we all develop.

    I sure am flattered that you were thinking about my "style" as you approached your subject! Nice thing to say and thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. You really should consider putting a book togeather. Your photos are top notch.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Stan

    Stan SC Regular

    164
    Apr 19, 2013
    California
    Stan
    My reply I tried to post earlier must have been eaten by the interwebs… Great work! I enjoy seeing these portraits where the subjects are placed within the context of their environment. On a technical level the tonality, clarity and sharpness are superb. Well done!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. TheRubySusan

    TheRubySusan SC Top Veteran

    646
    Sep 2, 2013
    Henry, IL
    Ruby
    Wonderful portraits. Thanks for sharing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Thanks everyone for the feedback. Hope you're prepared as over the next weeks probably north of 80 shots may be posted over time.

    As always, if you want a bit more information about exposure or about the folks there is some on most of them -- click through to flickr to see all that stuff.

    Here's some more and now we're into the Fujifilm shots (X100S, X-M1 or X-E1) -- this batch is all X-E1 and the 35mm f/1.4 lens.

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

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    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    10844126173_6836bf2bee_b.
    Steel Mill Portraits: Melt Shop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 4
  20. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    343
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    I'd more-or-less guessed at the technical aspects that you've described (shooting dark etc.) and indeed, I have long favoured this approach myself. The essential quality of your images emanates, I believe, from your photographic "eye", and this is the element which wasn't showing in my shots of the workshop, to which I referred. It's a pity that this characteristic can't be explained as readily as the technicalities!:wink: I take your point about the "luxury of long exposure to the subject matter", and I agree that this must play some part in the process... but not - as I see it - a major part.
    Anyway, all that is something of a distraction from the photos themselves... how about a few more? :popcorm2: :smile:

    Edit: Oops... I've just noticed that you already have posted a few more...:rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 1