Bob Crocker  

Rusty Keys by Bob Crocker

January 2020 - Rusty Keys

About the Image(s)

How: I've had these rusty keys around for awhile; my wife 'collects' them whenever we go to a flea market, garage sale, etc. Intended to concentrate on the rust and texture of the keys but after shooting realized that the text and numbers seemed to stand out more as the primary subject. So I ended using Cropping as my final composition tool so that I could use the computers big screen to include as much metal texture, rust, and letters/numbers as possible. Shot with my Sony a6500, 90mm macro lens, f14, ISO 100, 1 sec exposure. Edited in ON1 2020 tweaking up shadows on the wood a little, using all three of the Dynamic Contrast sliders, and also using the HDR filter to bring out more detail.

16 comments posted

Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
This is a beautiful macro shot, looking perfectly exposed to my eye. The lettering as the focus works so well to tell a story and give my eye somewhere to settle. Your different metals all work well together, and I think the rust level is exactly where it needs to be. Very pleasing image; great job!   Posted: 01/07/2020 13:35:03
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
Thanks Carol, I was hoping the image had a good balance of rust and text.   Posted: 01/10/2020 09:32:01

Denise McKay   Denise McKay
I really like this image Bob. Your composition and the direction the keys are laid out, draws your eyes into the photo and gives you a lot to look at without it feeling too busy or chaotic. The different color metals against the wood looks very pleasing to my eye.

I'm glad you chose to include the numbers and letters because I think that really adds to this photo.

Very nice!   Posted: 01/07/2020 18:30:15
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
Thanks Denise.   Posted: 01/10/2020 09:32:32

Lou Karcher   Lou Karcher
Hi Bob,

Lots of nostalgia in this i.e., my grandfather's collection that I played with as a kid. Carol and Denise have expressed everything that came to my mind when looking at your picture.

Thanks for the memories. Good thoughts for 2020!
  Posted: 01/07/2020 19:46:42
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
For sure Lou, I have memories of my Grandpa's basement being full of rusty tools and lots of locks but never saw many keys, haha.   Posted: 01/10/2020 09:34:28

Lou Karcher   Lou Karcher
I see you're using On1 2020 - bought it last week and don't know how to get started on a new Windows 10 system. I have a very large Aperture library on an old Apple iMac. Any and all suggestions you can offer on how to get up and running will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  Posted: 01/07/2020 20:24:03
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
Hi Lou I too used Aperture for years until it was discontinue (that really irritated me). I new it was only a matter of time before I would not be able to open Aperture and view my photos; so I imported the entire catalog into Apple Photos. Have not imported en mass from Photos to ON1. I use Apple photos for old family photos, images from my wife camera, old photos/slides that I've scanned (and Aperture). As I've gone through old Aperture stuff in Photos, clean out dupes, did some reorganizing, etc. As I come across old photos that are "worthy"; I'll move them into ON1. ON1 doesn't move or put your photos into a proprietary catalog. You build your on file structure using your computer file system and point ON1 towards those files. I organize my photos by year, then subject categories within that year. I like the fact that I can see all my photo files without having to open other software. Not sure how import into a Windows machine without going through Lightroom or Capture One. We can continue this conversation outside this forum if you wish.   Posted: 01/10/2020 09:53:58
Lou Karcher   Lou Karcher
Thanks, Bob. Next month, after more "home work", I would like to continue our conversation. Send me an e-mail to so I can add your info to my contacts.
  Posted: 01/13/2020 11:10:52
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
OK, will do.   Posted: 01/15/2020 10:15:30

Doug Wolters
The keys are great. My only reservation is that the brightest part of the large key leads you out of the photo. If you tone it down, is there texture there?

I love found shots like this that work.   Posted: 01/12/2020 21:21:51
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
Thanks Doug, you are correct and I did worry about the bigger, brighter keys being a distraction. I took some shots were I eleminated all of those keys but then I lost that jumbled, piled up look. I will experiment a little more and see what I can come up with.   Posted: 01/15/2020 10:19:27

Bill Foy   Bill Foy
Really neat idea and very good execution. Your image is very sharp and the variety of colors/shapes holds my interest. Maybe I'll see if there are any photo ops in my junk drawer!   Posted: 01/13/2020 12:16:03
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
Thanks Bill. Had a lot of fun with one. Yeah, going through your junk drawer may open up a treasure trove.   Posted: 01/15/2020 10:20:51

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
I love shots like this--piles of small objects. This one is great, as folks have observed, especially showing the letters and numbers. I have been shooting such "Jumbles," as I call them, for over 20 years. Please come visit my Jumble this month in Group 32.   Posted: 01/13/2020 20:27:54
Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
Thanks Stephen, good of you drop by the group. I like to experiment like this and get away from the bugs and flower shots for awhile. I like your term: Jumbles, perfect description. I will visit you group for sure.   Posted: 01/15/2020 10:23:09


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