Chan Garrett  

The Mechanic by Chan Garrett

October 2020 - The Mechanic

October 2020 - Chan Garrett


About the Image(s)

This is not a posed image. Although the mechanic knew that I was there and would be photographing him, I did not want to interfere with his work. Therefore, I could not stop him and ask him to move to better lighting.

I found him sitting under a canopy on a bright, sunny Florida day. A shaft of sunshine fell across the left side of his back. His face was of greater interest for me.

In processing the image in Lightroom, I decided the stronger image would be a close crop and Black and White while accepting the lack of texture in the over exposed area of the back.

10 comments posted

Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Chan - I really like the closer crop and B&W. It's a "gritty" scene . . . so the B&W works well. Agree the areas of interest are the head/arms/hands. Is there some artifact around his left elbow - not sure if from the original image or post-processing? Also I observe that the original posted is likely a different image (hand positions are different) from the same session. I think you processed the better image; there is more activity/focus on his hands. Well done!   Posted: 10/09/2020 18:17:58
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Steve: Good catch on the photo posted as the origenal. This is one of a series of three that I took in just a few moments. I did not catch the error. As for the left elbow, the area you refer to is one where the bright shaft of sunlight over-exposed the image.
Thanks for you comments.   Posted: 10/09/2020 20:41:45

Jennifer Marano   Jennifer Marano
Hi Chan,

This is an interesting image and I like the choice of B&W, as it keeps the attention on the textures and tones. I especially like the reflections in the side of the vehicle, and I think the close crop was a good decision - I might have made it even closer to the man's back to exclude whatever that is behind him.   Posted: 10/12/2020 17:37:59
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
I like your idea of cropping even closer from the right side. I held a piece of paper up to crop that side, and by going close to square I could crop all of the over exposure on his back and elbow.   Posted: 10/12/2020 17:56:43
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi Chan!

Your Main photograph is a well detailed photograph that reveals a lot of natural "grit" - and I like that. Also, I love the reflection of Dennis in the Jeep door - it adds incredible amount of interest, indeed. The background is limited, but I like the out of focus light & shadow. The piece is well conceived and executed!

Technical: So, an alternative version that Shows Off more of what Dennis is engaged in, is to back off and include the very interesting artifacts that "define" the space he is working.

The closer cropped versions are taking out both minute and also significant details that in fact are hiding Dennis's personality. In stead, Open Up the view in these types of shots to include the subjects surroundings.

Of course, a close-up version also works, but for entirely different narrative; a portrait, instead of a shot that focuses both on the sitter and his craft...or whatever.

  Posted: 10/13/2020 10:35:51
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Here, we see all the interesting shadows, ground dirt, oil pan, and Dennis's boots. The shadows within his jeans adds texture. I Dodged & Burned several areas.

Again, just an alternative narrative I wanted to share.   Posted: 10/13/2020 10:39:11
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Lance: Thank you. I like the image but struggled with what to do with the great contrast in lighting. I could never feel quite right about the results. Jennifer's suggestion has merit, as you noted, but your insight has given me confidance in my initial vision. This is a great group to brainstorm with. I sense constant improvement in my work. (Some ups and downs, but up overall.)   Posted: 10/13/2020 14:20:02
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Love hearing this, Chan!   Posted: 10/17/2020 04:30:14

Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Great image! I like the detail and the natural pose of the mechanic doing something. You can tell that he is concentrating on his work, which adds to the interest. The black & white conversion is perfect for this photo. As far as the crop, in my opinion you could either crop the photo at the elbow line, then try to reduce the remaining glare as best possible, or widen the crop to include more details around the mechanic, similar to Lance's suggestion. Nice work!   Posted: 10/19/2020 16:02:45
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Thank you. Dennis makes a great subject for a character study. I would love to get him aside for a B&W head and shoulder portrait. Perhaps in infrared.   Posted: 10/19/2020 17:02:57


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