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I Forge Iron

Nice close up hammering picture.

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Many photos like this can be taken in real time, one shot at a time.  You just need to find the rhythm of the subject and use it to your advantage.  

When you photograph a football game (the one with the pointy ends football) you only get one chance to capture the receiver reaching out and catching the football, then running for the winning touchdown.  There are no "oops I missed, can you do that again please".  The same is true for most subjects operating in real time.


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The blacksmith using a power hammer that runs at 120 beats per minute. There is only a 1/2 second window of opportunity to get the metal in place before the hammer hits.  At 200 beats per minute, there is only a 1/3 second window of opportunity to get the metal in place before the hammer hits.  They learn and use the rhythm of the machine to move metal.

Using a hand hammer, the blacksmith does the same thing, only at a slower pace. When you add a striker to the equation, the master and the striker develop a rhythm with each other. The blacksmith using a striker has a relative short window of opportunity between hammer blows.  They communicate without using words, to get just the right amount of hammer force in just the right place. To make it more interesting, the target to hit is the size of the hammer face, and somehow they do it without banging their hammers together.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you shoot a video on your iPhone you can view the individual frames and do a screenshot. I’ve gotten some impressive photos that way of my cannon .  The fire cloud exists for like 1/1000 of a second and to your eye doesn’t look like this. Be a great way to catch the flux shooting out of a forge weld!


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