"Fists Full Of Steel"

Fine art photography by photographer Craig Boehman.


What they say about a piece never really being finished is true. And sometimes, there's good reason for it. What inevitably happens with me is that after ongoing learning in Photoshop techniques over time, I continue to improve my abilities in rendering fine art photography. At least, to my own eyes.

I took this portrait of a laborer at the Darukhana ship-breaking yard in Mumbai back in 2019. I began this piece after cutting it out and layering on additional textures and effects. I had two main criteria for this piece: the background had to remain simple and uncluttered, and I would only use my own images for any added elements not handled by Photoshop (which is now my goal for every piece I do).


I guess a third minor caveat was that I didn't want to add anything which didn't make sense, given the subject and the environment in which I photographed this man. That meant no textured backgrounds or extreme lighting tricks. The problem with this little requirement was that I ended up in a time-sink trying to figure out what to do with the black background staring back at me, much like the famous [extended] quote from Nietzche: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."


And I did fight some monsters...for three days. After cracking the main overall look for my subject, I spent more than half of my time in trial and error dealing with that all-black abyss. Eventually, I was happy to end up with multiple gradients in various guises, to bring everything together. Now, it's time to move that 4+ gig file off my computer!

Below are the original image and the one I began working on which ultimately resulted in the title piece.


Original edit, 2019.

A later version I shared on my Instagram page - and from which I began building the finished piece below.


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© 2019-2020 By Craig Boehman