Posted on Jun.26, 2010, under Mechanical, Michigan

This past weekend I visited Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan to see the annual ‘Motor Muster’ car show. I got some nice pictures of cars and other items (which I will be posting over time) but I also spent some time in some of the historical buildings which comprise the Village. One of the buildings houses the ‘Armington and Sims’ Machine Shop and Foundry. This building contains a working machine shop with lots of interesting machining tools. When items are needed around the village, they still use this shop to fabricate them. The picture above shows one of the various machining tools found in the building. All of the tools are driven by belts which are hooked up to one driving machine.

The shop is fairly dark and I was using a telephoto lens to get some visual compression. I bumped the ISO of my D700 to 1600 but still ended up shooting at 1/30th of a second. I experimented with adding a bit of flash to the shot, so I set the camera on manual to capture some ambient light and then use the on-camera flash to add a bit of fill. Processing the image included several changes in Lightroom, including warming the image a bit and enhancing the contrast. As I worked with the image I thought that it might look good using a ‘Simplify’ treatment using my Topaz Simplify plug-in. I like the effect it has on metal.

The image below shows the raw, out of camera image for comparison.

Machine Shop - Raw Image

Please feel free to leave comments below. I appreciate any feedback you might have.

Copyright © 2010 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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  • Bob Towery says:
    A very nice image. I think your post processing with LR and Topaz are fabulous. The craftsmanship is well displayed in your pic! The only think I could wish for is a bit more room at the bottom from the handle to the edge of the frame. But sometimes that can’t be done. Great work.
  • John Barclay says:
    Topaz Simplify is such a great tool for situation just like this one. I’m a fan of gears and belts and such so this image resonates with me. Again, love your stuff.
  • kissmo says:
    Amazing photography. usually in dark a lot of processing will be needed after shot.
    • James Howe says:
      I did a couple of things with this shot. First, my ISO was at 1600 and my D700 does quite well at that level, coupled with the noise reduction ability of Lightroom. I also used a flash to add a bit of light to the image as well. Finally, I added a bit of film grain in Lightroom which works well for this subject, I think. Thanks for your comment!

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