Friday, January 1, 2010

Blacksmith in Technicolor

ISAIAH, chapter 54, verse 16: "Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work;"

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: This marks the start of the fourth year of TODAY'S. The first photograph published to TODAY'S was a monochrome image of a farm in Cornwall. There have been relatively few monochromes since. I decided to publish this image Wednesday (way back in 2009) in monochrome to add a patina of age. Is that a cheap way of populating the image with ghostly presences? I immediately missed the rich colors of brick, wood, and rust. On the other hand, it simplifies the composition and, perhaps, encourages the viewer to zoom in and wander around the shop. Until one makes that journey, the color image seems to me to be too now - more about the current state of things than spirits still playing at the benches?

I also wondered, might this shop be better explored on video? Is still photography better suited to composing a single farrier's presence than leaving the viewer to wander and search among the general, smithy mayhem? I'm interested in what viewers think.

In the meantime, zoom in and explore the benches. To help you on your tour, here's a link to an early, illustrated textbook on farm blacksmithing that will tell you what some of the tools here were used for. How many can you locate? Can you spot the unfinished wagon wheel the smithy might have been working on when he stopped for dinner?

10 comments:

Bob Lejeune said...

After a few minutes of back and forth, I found myself preferring the color version over the monochrome. The sense of being able to look out the window into a "real" world and the color tone of the bricks won me over, as well as the cold "metal" bottom vs. the warmer brick and wood top of the photograph. But, mind you, I'm biased. For photography, not flicks, I generally lean toward color.

Ted Roth said...

I tend to agree in preferring color for my own photography. I'm still uncertain regarding this image. Perhaps its a sign that I need to shoot more images there. Well, there was never a question of that. Thanks for your thoughts.

GMG said...

Hi Ted! Happy New Year!
Also love the colour better than the monochrome; though the colour is strange... Not original... ;)

Blogtrotter has reached 500 posts on all blogs with some views of «La Petite France, Strasbourg»! Enjoy and have a first great week in 2010!!!

Dick said...

Hi Ted

I wish you a very Happy New Year.

Interesting place and wonderful picture. I like the color of the ceiling. I can't find the unfinished wheel.

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Hi Ted,
I've been away 4 ahwile and hoping w can enjoy each others photography the coming years!!:)A Happy new year wish, from Holland! wishing you all the best, greeting from JoAnn

Ted Roth said...

GMG - thanks for your comments on color vs. monochrome. Both were assembled from multiple shots in order to preserve shadow detail and bright areas through the window. However, if the strangeness of the color you refer to is the increasing color saturtion in the upper portion, that is in the original images. I think it may have to do with the unusual way the interior was being lit with blounce light from the ground outside the shop. Much of the wall on the left is missing.

Ted Roth said...

Dick - Thanks for visiting. The wooden frame of a wagon wheel is visible behind the anvil and directly below the chimney. There are a bunch more hanging from the ceiling above the window, but they're a bit harder to see.

Ted Roth said...

Hi JoAnn - I'm glad you're back, and happy New Year. I'm headed off now to see what you've been up to.

Trotter said...

Thanks for the info!!

Ted Roth said...

You're welcome. Wish I understood why it photographed that way.