The Blacksmith’s Day, 6th November 2021

While browsing Instagram I stumbled across an advertisement informing me about an upcoming event in the historic ironworks Wira bruk called The Blacksmith’s Day. A celebration of the place’s heritage, the event would be held at the 6th of November and the local blacksmiths would fire up the ironworks old hearths to show how smithing was done in the olden days. It sounded interesting so I decided to attend.

I arrived at Wira bruk at 11:05. The sun was shining, with some white clouds dotting the blue sky. The air was crisp and the temperature was close to freezing. Surveying the light conditions of the area I decided to load my rangefinder with some self rolled Ilford HP5 Plus, rating it at EI 400. Even though it was close to noon the light during this time of year is weaker so going for a higher ISO film was the natural choice.

After exploring the old ironworks for almost two and a half hour I decided to call it a day, but I still felt that something was missing. I needed something to end the photo story with and decided to visit the smithing store housed in the old Inspector’s residence where the blacksmith’s finished crafts were up for sale. Some photos later I finally felt satisfied and went home.

I did good during this event. I had a rough plan of what I wanted to photograph and followed it, with no strange behavioural quirks like last time. The camera and lenses that I used for the day was my rangefinder with a 50mm and 35mm lens. With a maximum aperture of f/1.5, the 50mm was really helpful when photographing the blacksmiths in the dark, old smithy. I had brought my 90mm lens to take some close ups of the blacksmiths working but with an aperture of f/4 that would not have worked. To use the lens I would have had to push the film three stops, which I didn’t want to do.

All in all, it was nice attending this event. I have been to Wira bruk before been never seen the blacksmiths in action so it was nice to finally witness them.

By Skoge Farman

I am a street photographer based north of Stockholm.

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