Stephen Jude  

Glass Blower by Stephen Jude

November 2023 - Glass Blower

About the Image(s)

This is an image of a local artisan working on a fine art piece of glassware in his studio here on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. I was trying to capture the artist concentrating entirely on his work, and show the knowledge and skill involved in producing these items.
The image was shot hand held on manual settings at ISO 800, F5.6 and 1/30th second. I chose the slower speed to try to catch some movement in the image. It was a bit of a tricky shot as I was facing a bright background ( unavoidable from where I was allowed to stand in his workshop ) so I had to bring out the shadows quite a bit in post production ( Lightroom ) and drop the remaining light levels to try and get a balance.

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

Josh Lohff   Josh Lohff
Hi Stephen, thanks for providing the detail on the shutter speed - it was one of the first things I noticed, and the backstory makes sense. The effect of balancing out the image as a result of the bright background has given it kind of an industrial finish, which works well for the subject matter. All the black, grays and metal really gives it that rugged feel and the themes of orange throughout compliment the darkness nicely. Another detail I appreciate about this is that the overall image is about the glass (it feels like anyway) and that's one of the clearest parts of this image.

One consideration point for this would be to brighten the glass a bit. As presented, the top of the glassblower's head is one of the brightest parts of the image, and my eye gets pulled to it. Brightening the glass (or cutting highlights a bit on the glassblower) might help balance the emphasis of the subject.
  Posted: 11/13/2023 19:55:24
Stephen Jude   Stephen Jude
Alan / Josh,

Many thanks for your constructive comments, very much appreciated.
Josh, I was trying for that 'industrial' feel, so I am very happy that you saw that.
I have taken all your suggestions and reworked it a bit.
Glass has been brightened, the artist's head has been darkened and the background has been blurred and highlights reduced.
Cheers   Posted: 11/16/2023 21:48:50
Comment Image
Josh Lohff   Josh Lohff
Nicely done Stephen. I like the changes you made to the light in this image, it feels more natural. Alan was spot-on w/the lens blur too, it really "de-busied" the image and made it about this glass maker. Excellent!   Posted: 11/16/2023 21:59:08

Alan Kiecker   Alan Kiecker
I agree with Josh that the top of the head draws the eye away from the glass itself. His suggestion is a good one. I find the image to be rather busy. There is much detail in the background and it is sharp. With the recent lens blur feature added to Lightroom you might try blurring the background a bit. Often what I do is select the background and darken it a bit to deemphasize the background.   Posted: 11/14/2023 10:56:57
Stephen Jude   Stephen Jude
Please see my reply above.
Cheers   Posted: 11/16/2023 21:49:35
Alan Kiecker   Alan Kiecker
Wow! The changes you made really make the artist stand out. Well done!   Posted: 11/16/2023 22:39:07

David Kepley   David Kepley
Stephen, I like the concept here of getting a craftsman doing his thing! While I like the idea of a slower shutter speed to suggest motion, it looks like you made a mistake. You might have gone slower still to realy capture motion! The bakground is too bright and too much in focus. You could try cropping like Josh suggested, or blurring the background more and darkening it.   Posted: 11/18/2023 10:16:35
Stephen Jude   Stephen Jude
Hi David,
I did take the suggestions from Josh and Alan and reposted the image with those changes ( re the background ) which I thought had made a difference. I will have another play with this though as you suggest. Thanks.   Posted: 11/18/2023 21:32:04

Craig Callan   Craig Callan
Stephen I much prefer the second image you posted in respose to Josh's comment. Environmental portraits always create a problem in balancing the 'native habitat' so to speak and having the subject lost in all the distraction. Also, possibly because of all the work done in opening the shadows on the face, the face lloks very odd to me. I think a small flash unit at low power or an LED light panel placed to the right and facing the craftsman would have filled in the shadows nicely and created a nicer protrait. You canuse a flash at a low power to fill in natural light, and no one will be distracted by it.   Posted: 11/18/2023 19:08:36
Stephen Jude   Stephen Jude
Hi Craig, many thanks foryour thoughts. I take your suggestion regarding the fill-in flash,and agree it would have been desirable to do that, unnfortunately the circumstances at the time just did not allow for that sort of setup.
Cheers, Stephen   Posted: 11/18/2023 21:35:45