Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


My line of work, for the last twenty five years, has been steelwork design. Essentially, I am drawing steel structures and architectural metalwork. I use computer aided design to create fabrication drawings, which are used to create anything from the structural steel frames of new buildings, metal staircases and balustrades, balconies, railings and gates and a whole load of other stuff in between.  I work on the clean side of the business...   sitting in an office, sliding a mouse around, creating ideas and producing drawings on a computer screen.  But just on the other side of a door in my office there exists the dirty, noisy and mechanized side of my industry....  The Factory.

This is the place where my drawings and designs are turned into finished products. Steel is delivered by truck daily, cut into hundreds of different sizes, then fabricated into steel beams, stairs, balconies or whatever.  The process involving the most skill in fabrication is welding.   I have tried it a few times and found it quite difficult.  Concentration, a steady hand and patience are required to create neat and sound welds.

Anyway, back to photography....

Recently I wanted to create an image of welding in action, for a company website.  This turned out to be quite difficult for various reasons. It is not easy to take photographs of something without directly watching.  It is very dangerous to stare at an arc weld directly.  I had to stand at a distance and use a little zoom, look away and wait for the 'sound' of the welding before pressing shutter button.  Also, it proved best to shoot in full manual, as the camera had no chance of metering and focusing correctly.

I admit that the following series of shots are all quite similar.  They do on the other hand all differ slightly in composition, as I was experimenting from different positions.  Some are sharper focused than others.  They all share a lovely duo of red and blue, on a black background.


Gerry's Blog said...

Hey Bill,

Love this set of images, My favorite ones are the fourth and fifth and last shot. The love the motion of the fifth shot.... plus the colors are amazing.... Great job, I know the company you shot these for must be super happy with the images.

Bill Wellham said...

Thanks Gerry. It was fun and interesting to try something completely different.

Michael Gatton said...

These are striking images, beautiful colors too. I would have feared the light might damage the camera's sensor!

Bill Wellham said...

Cheers Mike... I never even thought about the sensor! Seems okay since though.