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The Great Gear
The Great Gear

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Mechanical (Advanced Editing III*)
Camera: Canon Digital IXUS 400
Location: Esch Alzette, G-D of Luxembourg
Date: Dec 27, 2004
Aperture: F/2,8
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/60 sec
Galleries: Abstract, Science and Technology
Date Uploaded: Dec 28, 2004

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.

Post Processing:
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)

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06/12/2005 02:49:44 PM
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.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/04/2005 04:35:44 AM
Gets the imagination going, wondering how many years of usefulness this item has gone through.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2005 01:15:36 AM
Nice tones and textures and good leading lines for the eyes to follow. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2005 09:29:14 PM
Good shoot. I love the detail on the interior part of the gear really shows the wear and tear on it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2005 02:34:10 PM
the closeness of the image really helps the image, good job with lighting and depth of field.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2005 11:39:19 PM
Nice, I like the colors in the gear!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2005 12:22:30 PM
Excellent composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2004 04:46:27 AM
Good depth of field. Nice composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2004 12:24:53 AM
nice detail.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2004 02:09:56 PM
Good concept. Very nice lighting. I think in this case, showing more of the actual gear teeth might be an improvement.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2004 02:11:42 AM
Nice shot.
12/29/2004 07:31:58 PM
I don't know how large the gear really is, but I'll bet it's not as large as it appears.
The thing looks huge, like maybe a river could run through it. Cool photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 03:50:25 PM
Sould of called this the solar system.. Would of made it more interesting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 12:56:26 PM
Very nice composition and colours. I find this image very interesting, but also feel that the washed out part at the top left takes away something from the image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 12:08:38 AM
The great gear is a great shot

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