Manfred Mueller  

Diversity in Machine Shop 2020 by Manfred Mueller

September 2020 - Diversity in Machine Shop 2020

September 2020 - Manfred Mueller


About the Image(s)

I'm working on a project with a local machine shop on the diversity of
their workforce. When I finished my degree (I'm a mechanical engineer),
my first job was in heavy manufacturing. The entire workforce on the
shop floor was white and male, through the entire age range from the
young apprentices through to the men who were close to retirement age.
In the modern workforce, we have a multi-gender, multi-ethnic mix. This
young woman is a fully qualified machinist who has her national
journeyperson's papers.

This is a test shot I did in August was to figure out the lighting setup
I would need on the project. As with many industrial sites, the light
was good for work, but terrible for photography. I used a small soft box
as my key light and had a silver reflector behind the subject as a fill

6 comments posted

Cheryl Dubois   Cheryl Dubois
I really like both images. I like the grittiness and drama of the original. I think the dramatic lighting suits the environment. Regarding the submitted image, way you have managed to open the shadows and reveal the details of the shop is really terrific. Can you explain a little about your post processing?   Posted: 09/02/2020 11:44:51
Manfred Mueller   Manfred Mueller
I do some very minor tweaking in Adobe Camera Raw before opening my work in Photoshop. I generally adjust the black point, white point, use the shadows and highlights sliders there. I sometimes tweak the exposure as well. I correct my white balance and head over to Photoshop. I rarely spend even a minute in ACR / Lightroom.

In my second step I clean up large areas in the image, healing, cloning, spot healing brush. I dodge and burn large areas to get them where I want them. I will adjust the saturation of certain areas in the image using specific colour channels. I generally spend up to about 5 minutes doing this.

I will then spend a lot of time looking for small problem areas that I select and then dodge or burn. This is the longest and slowest operation in my retouch; I will spend many minutes and sometimes even hours working this way.

I pretty well work 100% using adjustment layers with curves to do my dodging and burning; often using the Luminosity blending mode. You can see all the adjustment layers I used in this image's screen shot. In a large and complex image 50 - 100 individual adjustment layers is common. 10 - 20 adjustment layers is pretty typical in a simple retouch like this one.

It can take me several days of looking at the image and tweaking it before I determine I am finished.

The workflow I use is a bit of an amalgamation of techniques I learned from two different master print makers I studied fine art print making under.   Posted: 09/02/2020 20:25:46
Comment Image
Donna Paul   Donna Paul
Manfred, You are so helpful and a true artist.Thank you for sharing.   Posted: 09/02/2020 21:09:32
Manfred Mueller   Manfred Mueller
I'm a photographer, not an artist...   Posted: 09/02/2020 23:36:58

Donna Paul   Donna Paul
I love the story behind this Image; are there any other ladies working there? The Photo is wonderful as also. I love how you capture the feel of what is going on here "work" how the US was build. Your change is good and easy to see however I do like the Org. also.   Posted: 09/02/2020 21:13:55
Manfred Mueller   Manfred Mueller
There are other women working there in non-traditional roles, there are men with different ethnic backgrounds and of course there are still quite a few Caucasian men of all ages.   Posted: 09/03/2020 00:05:04


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