Adrian Binney, LRPS  

Dirty Trainee Engineer by Adrian Binney, LRPS

August 2019 - Dirty Trainee Engineer

August 2019 - Adrian Binney, LRPS


About the Image(s)

I went to a Steam Fair in May with some colleagues from our Camera Club [Winchester]: was a nice day, mostly overcast [ideal] but sometimes sunny. I was looking for characters or situations with steam about. I had my 40-150 f2.8 Olympus lens on, plus a 1.4 converter (Micro 4/3, so you double this for Full Frame equivalent).

As soon as a saw this young lady, I knew there was potential and grabbed two shots, in case she turned round. She did! I timed this shot when she was in a contemplating mood (I was too far away for her to spot me). Settlingsā€¦.Focal Length 175: ISO 200: 1/400 f4.5. I have the Olympus E-M1X which has a 6.5 stop IS capability with this lens - very helpful!

I only use Lightroom: I developed it as a colour image first, then converted to B/W after which I used the new texture slider (much more useful than Clarity), contrast and shadow sliders to add weight to the dirt - plus darkened the backlighting on her hair. Be gentle with me! I’m very new to B&W world!

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

Albert Zabin   Albert Zabin
First welcome. I looked at your zebra photo and your weaver bird. The zebra photo is really striking. When I first saw the original my immediate thought was your composition was really creative and gives the viewer a lion's eye view of the zebra that illustrates the confusion the zebras on the run create with their stripes fling by.

You handled the young engineer beautifully. The detail that you enhanced gives the portrait almost a tactile immediacy and enhances the expressiveness. The elimination of the colors in the background helps the photograph. You captured a full range of zones. Nicely done

  Posted: 08/06/2019 14:41:26
Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
Many thanks Albert, I appreciate your comments.   Posted: 08/06/2019 16:04:34

Ed Ford   Ed Ford
To my eye a really great catch Adrian. I agree with all Albert had to say and I really wish I could come up with some nit-picking suggestion to improve the image. I cannot.

As I look at it, I find it to be a really refreshing portrait shot since I have seen so many posed and/or studio portraits that along eagles and rodeos I could live quite happily without seeing another one :-) of any of those three categories.

This image gives me a sense of time, place and context - it tells a story. In a sense I find it reminiscent of the famous image of the girl in Afghanistan on a Nat Geo Magazine cover, that won so many awards. I especially like your subjects eyes. I would be very interested if you could post a version with a very tight crop of just her head from the original - how would that appear?

Again, welcome to the group and thanks for a great portrait image.   Posted: 08/06/2019 18:14:09
Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
Wow Ed, many thanks for your kind comments! Here is a tight square crop in colour, which is what I hope is what you asked for. I took the B&W file and after returning it to colour, I desaturated the bright areas to her left and right. Kind regards   Posted: 08/07/2019 06:26:16
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Ed Ford   Ed Ford
This wonderful,I love it. To my eye both are good, one placing her in an overall context and this one because her expression, her eyes are the main focus of the entire image and to me tell a wonderful story. Good work and thanks for the effort.   Posted: 08/07/2019 06:29:22

Jen Carrick   Jen Carrick
Welcome Adrian! You live in a lovely town. I have visited it often! You have caught the contemplative gaze of the young engineer beautifully. Her smudged face and hands really add to this environmental portrait. I have recently discovered the new texture slider and really like it as well. Congratulations on a striking image.   Posted: 08/07/2019 13:55:58

Don Crow   Don Crow
If you're new to b&w you are doing a great job. I really like your shot. It tells a great story and is very well developed. I also like the cropped version but it removes her from her background completely. I find the background in the upper half of the image to be a little distracting. Perhaps it could be darkened down a little.
Great shot!   Posted: 08/12/2019 15:04:14

John Erve   John Erve
You caught an interesting moment of contemplation as I can see the trainee is wondering if this is the right career choice. I think her pose works well as her lower hand forms a base and allows my eyes to move around her in a circular fashion along her arms to her hands and back to her face. To me, some more contrast would help her stand out more and cropping on the left to remove as much distractions from the background. I would also consider removing the object by her knee. Thanks for sharing this image. And Welcome to the group!
  Posted: 08/12/2019 16:14:35
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Jack Florence Jr   Jack Florence Jr
Great portrait, Adrian. As an environmental portrait, it already has great potential, but perhaps a little more context to tell the story, ie, something more to tell me she's an engineer trainee, beyond the hints we already have. As a straight portrait, this is also very good, and there could be a take on it cropped in a bit closer, as you have the beautiful backlit hair, the smudginess of her face, and the cap, all excellent.   Posted: 08/13/2019 20:59:29