Peter Elliston  


Red Hot by Peter Elliston

November 2020 - Red Hot

About the Image(s)

It’s back to a people image this month. This is very recent and only possible during lockdown as it was outside and before the latest measures come into force. This is Piran who is a landscape gardener and part-time maker of weapons for re-enactments. This was taken at his small forge at a clearing in local woods. It was pretty dark even though I lit him with one light. The aim was to try and get the moment when sparks flew and this is probably the best of countless shots whilst avoiding getting incinerated! Technical details: Fuji XT3 1/500 ISO 2000



This round’s discussion is now closed!
7 comments posted




Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Good job lighting this shot, and catching the motion of the sparks. I am learning that 1/500 still leaves just the right amount of motion in the sparks.
Did your blacksmith normally wear goggles and take them off for this shot, or did he always work without goggles--or gloves for that matter, or long sleeves?
Countless shots? About how many shots did you take to get this one?   Posted: 11/04/2020 17:00:08
Peter Elliston   Peter Elliston
Stephen, hello and thanks for your interest in this shot. As to your question of how many shots I took to get this - the answer is lots! The camera was set on continuous shooting mode and somewhere in the long list of shots I got this one. In some respects I should have used an even faster shutter speed as there is still some motion in his hand but maybe that's a good thing.
As for the health and safety aspects - all I can say is that Piran is a law unto himself!
  Posted: 11/05/2020 03:03:02



Joe Kennedy   Joe Kennedy
Those sparks make the shot! They are an extension of the action with the hammer. I like the concentration in his face. Shooting multiple shots of this activity will ensure getting some usable images. This one is quite good.   Posted: 11/12/2020 19:53:58



John Hackett   John Hackett
You aimed to get the sparks and you got them. They are the icing on the cake. I like the expression of concentration, the muscles tensed in the arm as the hammer strikes. Just enough detail in the background to set the scene.   Posted: 11/14/2020 06:54:07



Sheldon Wecker   Sheldon Wecker
I like the subject and how you captured the sparks. I think the green in the background - under the hammer handle - takes away from the sparks. I wonder how it would look with green selectively desaturated and brightness reduced. It might bring more attention to the sparks and Piran's face. There are two items on the right edge of the image that almost look like wadded up pieces of paper - that for me are a little distracting. I wonder if those could be cloned out and if that would help emphasize the sparks.   Posted: 11/16/2020 10:36:27



Joe Norcott   Joe Norcott
I like how you were able to capture the sparks. It makes the hammering really show the intensity of the bang on the metal. Since this is a moving shot it is very sharp and clear.   Posted: 11/19/2020 19:57:19



Glenn Rudd   Glenn Rudd
A great capture of an in interesting story. I agree with two points already mentioned: (1) A faster shutter speed would have sharpened the hammer (personal preference) (B) reducing the luminance and saturation of the greens would help with the distractions. I love the flying sparks. Did you consider a black/white version?   Posted: 11/22/2020 10:25:15