Journeymen and Apprentices

The Journeyman Ironworker and the Apprentice #1
The Journeyman Ironworker and the Apprentice #1

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One of the wonderful things about photographing construction work is seeing Journeyman of the many Skilled Trades that are teaching Apprentices the skills they need to be qualified trades people. The history of the Skilled Trades is filled with the accumulated knowledge that generations of earlier tradespeople have shared with their Apprentices. By sharing their experience with an Apprentice a Journeyman provides continuity and pride in the ability to master a trade.

The Journeyman Ironworker and the Apprentice #2
The Journeyman Ironworker and the Apprentice #2

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An Apprentice faces unknown tasks that, unless they have been properly trained, could result in an inferior result. The Journeyman doesn’t do the task but instead instructs and verifies that the Apprentice learns the proper tools and procedures to follow when they have earned their own Journeyman’s card. In time today’s Apprentice becomes experienced enough to qualify for a Journeyman’s Card and completes the cycle by taking an Apprentice of their own to mentor and share the skills of the trade with.

The Journeyman Ironworker and the Apprentice #3
The Journeyman Ironworker and the Apprentice #3

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Watching this young woman learn the proper way to complete the task of installing bridge decking is one of the great things being a construction photographer. Photographing them working together allowed me to see the way skilled Journeymen can make a difference in someone else’s life. As they joked and kidded one another they also were developing a bond that will last a lifetime for both of them. The Apprentice learned how to secure decking in a way that insured that it was properly installed and the Journeyman had to feel a sense of pride in sharing his skills with her.

The Journeyman Carpenter and the Apprentice
The Journeyman Carpenter and the Apprentice

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As with the Ironworker’s trade the Carpenter’s Union also trains new Carpenters through the Apprenticeship model. The process is the same though; a Journeyman Carpenter trains and instructs the Apprentice in the skills he or she will need to earn their own Journeyman’s card and join the ranks of Journeyman Carpenters going back generations in time.

All four of the images in this post are three frame bracket sets of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures that have been merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 software and finished with Aperture 3.All required strong anti-ghosting application due to the movement of the men and women as they went about their tasks. The anti-ghosting feature in NIK HDR EFex Pro 2 is by far the best I have used and remains the main reason I prefer it to any of the other HDR apps on the market today.

2 thoughts on “Journeymen and Apprentices

  1. Wow….nicely done Nick. I had to smile as I remembered my own experiences with the guys who taught me. Well written and photographed. I love your commentary….your photographs stand alone in their expression….but your thoughts give them even more depth…..excellent.

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