Martin Newland, QPSA  

Steampunk by Martin Newland, QPSA

October 2021 - Steampunk

October 2021 - Martin Newland, QPSA


October 2021 - Martin Newland, QPSA

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I will let you Google the definition of a "Steampunk."

A few weeks ago, my wife and I ventured off to the annual Steampunk Festival held at the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide.
We came across this fellow, who explained that he had made his "weapon" out of an old vacuum cleaner and a round cake tin. I am not sure what he was supposed to be selling or guarding but he was happy for me to take his photo.

The original image was very "busy," so I cloned out a lot of the distractions. To emphasize and create my "story," I darkened anything that didn't contribute to it. To do this, using Photoshop, I made a selection of those bright, colourful areas and then I applied the Hue/Saturation tool set to "Saturation -100, Lightness -60."

I am not sure if I am happy with the final result or if I needed to stop somewhere in between the original and the final image, I am happy to hear your comments.

I used a Yongnuo 600EX - RTII speedlite (set at 1/16 power, 32mm zoom) which was hand held by my Wife about 3-4 metres from the subject.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 1/100, f/4.0, ISO 200
Lens: EF 24 - 105mm, f/4L IS USM @ 35mm

8 comments posted

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Nice portrait Martin and congrats on the teamwork. You have definitely brought out the Steampunk's character. However, I think because of the overall sharpness and aspect or angle of view, there is an overemphasis on the boots and gun-butt. Had you considered getting down lower for the shot? Also the hands and left shoulder are a bit tense, but could go with his defiant character.   Posted: 10/04/2021 11:30:30
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Piers. I didn't realise how awkward his left hand/arm were until I got home and had a close look at the image. As you said it might have been his "defiant character."
When shooting I usually go for the eye level or slightly above. Being lower and shooting slightly upwards may have over emphasized his knee and boot (closer to the camera) rather than his torso and head. It would have included some unwanted background.
I was happy to get a reasonable shot of him as he was keen to get away.   Posted: 10/04/2021 20:11:25

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Well, Martin, I learned a new word today. Curious genre. I can only imagine that you took quite a few images that day.
It's an amazing transformation from your "original 2" starting point to the final. Very well done. Great character study!
My only critique relates to the shadows caused by the flash. They are strong enough to be a distraction. Perhaps toning them down will help to put the viewers eyes back where they belong, on your subject.   Posted: 10/04/2021 20:17:14
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Jim. I was concentrating on the rest of the image and hadn't noticed the shadows. I will rectify it.
It is always good to have a second or third pair of eyes critically looking at an image for things like that.

I have softened the edges of the shadows to make them less obvious.   Posted: 10/05/2021 01:38:41
Comment Image

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
We'll done!   Posted: 10/06/2021 12:00:11
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thankyou Jim   Posted: 10/06/2021 16:19:05

Jaqueline Whalen   Jaqueline Whalen
This is truly a wonderful character! I love his demeanor and defiant attitude that comes through. Did you tell him how to sit or was this the character just coming out? Very good to remove all the distractions of the original plus darkening everything but the person and his weapon was an excellent choice. I love to photograph people but am always a bit shy about doing so. I envy you ability to get in there and just make it all happen!   Posted: 10/09/2021 14:49:52
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Hi Jaqueline. The only adjustment I made was to move the "rifle" slightly. Apart from that, he adopted the pose himself and completely ignored any further instructions from me.
I find these Festivals are the ideal places to photograph people. The participants put a lot of time and effort into their costumes and props and are quite happy to have photographers approach them.
Some people are more approachable than others. You just have to be bold, make your move and wait and see what happens.
I compare it to "speed dating" (not that I have ever done it) where you have 2-3 minutes in which to engage and build up a rapport with the other person.
It just takes practice!   Posted: 10/09/2021 19:16:57


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