The aliens have landed

Kelham Island Museum

This marvellous contraption, which I think comes somewhere between R2-D2 and H.G Wells’s Martian machines, is part of the exhibition of steelmaking equipment at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield.

A note for any serious photographers amongst you: I captured this in very limited light at ISO 1600 on my Lumix GH2. I’m becoming increasingly fond of the micro-four-thirds system, but the sensor on this body, though generally very good, isn’t always at its best in low-light conditions when compared to recent DSLRs. I didn’t quite get what I wanted when processing this photo in Lightroom.

But after seeing a couple of references to it recently especially in the context of high-ISO images, I tried the free Rawker utility to do the initial RAW conversion, and was very pleased with the noticeable improvement. I saved it out as a TIFF and then imported that into Lightroom for final adjustment. I wouldn’t do this for all my photos – not least because the intermediate TIFF is 128 MB – but doing a side-by-side comparison with the one imported directly does show a noticeable improvement. This may be down to default settings more than the converter itself, but you might find Rawker worth investigating for important images.


The good old Bessemer Convertor, reminds me of my youth in the steelworks up there :-)

Ah – yes – Bessemer Converter – that’s it. That’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. School chemistry classes, I think…

Chemistry? Harry Hargreaves :)

You should get a Gorillapod and run a long exposure.

Oooh… :-)

Actually, I’ve got (and love) a Gorillapod. But I don’t often take it to Christmas parties – which is where I was when I popped outside and snapped this…

Perhaps I should get a Canon 6D instead :-)

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser