The south of Luxembourg was called after a ressource that made the country rich: 'Minett'. All over the south of my country, mostly in and around Esch-Alzette, workers brought stones rich in metal to the surface. They were heated up to get the iron they contain. The ARBED company is today one of the biggest (the second biggest I think) steel producer in the world. In Esch/Alzette, near the town hall, on a small grass surface, in the shadow of a house, rests this witness of ancient times. It is a huge gear wheel I presume to come from one of the Arbed factories. The gear is about 3 meters high, I guess (I couldn't fotograph it from the top) and 5 meters long.
A gear wheel is in my eyes the symbol for a mechanic apparatus. I also wanted to stand out a bit of the many watches I expect for this challenge. I made that mistake once before :)
No setup. Try setting up a gear wheel that weighs a few tons! I was a bit disappointed that it lay in the shadow of a house, that's why the grass background was blown out: I had to use a high exposure. I climbed around on the monument, took shots from every possible angle I could reach (I even hit my head on it, ouch!), then selected the most interesting of the 130 shots I had taken within half an hour. By that time, my hands were so cold I couldn't hold the camera any longer.
mirrored and rotated to give the guiding lines the best impact,
cropped to fit some rule of thirds and show only the most interesting part of the wheel,
brightness/contrast to emphasize the details (mostly in the dark areas),
hue/saturation to push the nice colours of the corrosion, selective bump on the yellow channel,
curves to brighten the left a bit,
selective brightening of the remaining grass in the background, it was distracting (thanks to GeneralE for telling me how to move within the advanced rules set!),
minor spot editing of some distracting white spots inside the wheel,
resize to 640x512,
heavy USM (radius: 20, strength:125, clipping:1)
Comments: I think the excessive usage of USM is what really added most to this shot in post processing. I'm glad I accidentally typed in 22 instead of 2 in the 'radius' field, this made me discover the effect. I hope I won't be dq'ed for having used it too much, but I'm confident.
Perhaps it's only because I'm tired and a bit out of my mind (it is half an hour past midnight and I'm still sitting in front of my PC), but I think this is one of the best pictures I've taken so far. I hope the voters are going to think the same ;)
Place: 44 out of 243 Avg (all users): 5.6794 Avg (commenters): 6.3571 Avg (participants): 5.6557 Avg (non-participants): 5.6970 Views since voting: 1313 Views during voting: 361 Votes: 287 Comments: 16 Favorites: 2 (view)
I like the picture a lot. It's very good and well thought. But the thing I like the moust is the description of the all photographic process. An inspiration to all the people that don't put any information about their photos. Congratulations.