It was Grey, cold and wet on the day arranged to shoot the Morecambe Bay Shrimpers. I was asked to provide images for POS, Display Boards, Banners and Internet page headers in a variety of shapes and formats, but despite the weather I knew there would be some great images ready for the making. [caption id="attachment_342" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Morecambe Bay Shrimp Fishing, with reporters and magazine editors around, it wasn't going to be as easy as I thought"][/caption] On meeting the client in a car park after asking him whether he knew if there was a Shrimp Farm nearby (as we'd never met ...
'We're shooting the picking and delivery of new potatoes.. it happens at 3.00 a.m. but we're going to shoot it at 9.00p.m. the day before'. OK, that should give the same effect, what do you want? 'We need the images for POS, Banners, Header Boards, Internet.. something like this...' [caption id="attachment_324" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Artwork visual"][/caption] 'We have a few comments too.. Client comment: Looks good, I think we will need the sky to be pitch black, lots of space for the bright lights of the tractor and then at the forefront of the image Sean and the potatoes... giving the potatoes extra prominence. Our comment: Need to see ...
Well, it wasn't as curt as that, and there were quite a few provisors as well, like.. if you get there and the weathers not right it won't be happening.. we've got a time frame of a week.. it's been raining and we've lost 4 days out of the last 5.. and... when can we get the photographs? BTW.. It's a bit dark there. Pretty standard stuff really, except Kirkwall is in the Orkneys, which would mean that at least a flight into the island was required, (yet when?) or a ferry might be more appropriate. From the sounds of things ...
'I could hear the sound of some sort of activity but it was so dark down there I could see nothing..' The installation of a 55km water pipe was an interesting project to photograph. After a late afternoon phone call on a Friday followed by an early Monday morning site induction I was ready to go. Despite the amount of works going on along the 55km excavations on the West-East Link Trunk Main, only certain areas were in a suitable condition to be photographed. The first location was a 30m vertical shaft. I could hear the sound of some sort of activity going on down ...
With the sweet hot smell of rotting vegetation and humid conditions making camera equipment and lenses drip like something resembling the glass of an ice cold drink on on hot summers day, the challenge was going to be more than the usual logistical problem of lighting, schedule and brief.. this was going to be much more fun! After initially uploading only one of the images from this shoot, I've finally got around to providing a little more on the subject. The smell was sweet and sickly, this was the place that all the garden waste around the North-West tourist region around near Blackpool gets recycled and was a far cry from the ...
I had the opportunity to photograph Andrew Tinkler a couple of days back for 'A' magazine - the publication by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). This was during an interview for the magazine and on a tight time frame as students from his old school were visiting the company as part of their business studies course and their arrival was immanent. Andrew is involved with improving local school resources and has invested a large sum of money in the design and build of two new school buildings in the area which he hopes will encourage students to stay in the ...
It's not often we get such a clear concise brief.. [caption id="attachment_92" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="DHL Exchange brief"][/caption] Something like that!! It wasn't quite the brief we were working to but it's surprising just how young art directors are starting these days - especially under the watchful eye of their mothers.. Photographs were required for a marketing leaflet for a revamped service and this photography was located in Hounslow, both in offices and at home. The objective was to document the exchange of faulty goods or goods requiring upgrades in both offices and homes for a marketing leaflet. [caption id="attachment_93" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="DHL Exchange delivery, Hounslow"][/caption] [caption ...
Working on our motorways as our traffic officers do, leaves little opportunity for any sort of photography amidst speeding traffic and the dangers of the highway. The most was made of a training day for these traffic officers from the Milnrow Outstation on the busy M62 motorway between Manchester and Leeds, by photographing the training for inclusion in future publications. [caption id="attachment_60" align="aligncenter" width="316" caption="Traffic officer radios details of an incident to the control depot requesting recovery and emergency services"][/caption] Taking advantage of any available opportunity pays dividends. It is always the case that when deadlines loom suitable images are never available, particularly ...
'We're doing an exhibition for the Oil Industry - We need an update on some of our machining capabilities'. Nothing was visualised until we arrived. Just a brief outline of a requirement for a couple of photographs and permission to photograph some large pieces of engineered product. A couple of photographs extends to a few other projects and updates as it does, and the photographs prove really worthwhile for other marketing purposes besides. [caption id="attachment_81" align="aligncenter" width="314" caption="Industrial photography of Mecof engineering machinery"][/caption] 6 light were used on this sample, one can obviously be seen, although variations without were obviously taken. As a ...
[caption id="attachment_225" align="alignnone" width="492" caption="Oil separator tanks on Flota Oil Terminal"][/caption] Details to follow
Images to inspire from the mundane and ordinary. This is what I see. You take me on a walk around your site and I will find them, explain them and produce them. Then you use them to impress. Before: [caption id="attachment_288" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Before shot of the location"][/caption] And after... [caption id="attachment_289" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Industrial photograph of pipe lathe and engineering machine shop"][/caption] Sometimes words seem pointless. Just see what I do. Before: [caption id="attachment_290" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Storage industrial building, the everyday scene. BTS."][/caption] Making the most of very limited resources.... before even the resources arrive. It's still possible to create the image to portray your point. After: [caption id="attachment_291" align="aligncenter" ...
Email from client..
Just a quickie to say thanks so much for todays shoot, it’s always a bit nerve wracking using a new photographer on a client shoot so it was a huge relief that you were so flexible, personable, professional and generally on the case. I’m really looking forward to getting the shots back and look forward to working again in the future.
‘We’re doing an exhibition for the Oil Industry – We need an update on some of our machining capabilities’.
Nothing was visualised until we arrived. Just a brief outline of a requirement for a couple of photographs and permission to photograph some large pieces of engineered product. A couple of photographs extends to a few other projects and updates as it does, and the photographs prove really worthwhile for other marketing purposes besides.
6 light were used on this sample, one can obviously be seen, although variations without were obviously taken. As a change, I quite liked this version and it kept all the relevant components together rather than just reproducing a ‘large’ machine image. 6 lights is not untypical for this kind of shot, the intention is to keep the quantity down, but the environment demands otherwise. The faster we can get the images shot the less time production is held up – which is why we use high powered battery portable units so that lights can be placed anywhere without needing to run a power cable. The regular kit includes 12 high powered units and if required there’s a whole lot of mains powered units available in addition. Normally, for extra pops here or there we have smaller flash units available which normally suffice.
Getting the steel to look like steel is the often the problem with these types of photographs. Often the steel can end up looking just black, or just white with no detail or interest. Having the appropriate lighting, and knowing what to do with it is key.
Industry and Engineering don’t exist in a ‘perfect picture’ type of world. The subject matter, viewpoint and lighting all combine to provide the requested result from the client. When you’re marketing your company against other competitors, it’s the photograph which grabs attention first and it will be this which gets you that all important conversation started.
I had the opportunity to photograph Andrew Tinkler a couple of days back for ‘A’ magazine – the publication by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). This was during an interview for the magazine and on a tight time frame as students from his old school were visiting the company as part of their business studies course and their arrival was immanent.
Andrew is involved with improving local school resources and has invested a large sum of money in the design and build of two new school buildings in the area which he hopes will encourage students to stay in the area and graduate to become employees of his own company. Too much good talent leaves the area and doesn’t come back.
Being interviewed by a reporter, photographed at the same time and expecting the soon arrival of a party of students who wanted to quiz the Director of the Stobart Group must have been quite a stressful time. It wasn’t the most ideal of circumstances I would have to admit, but after the interview and visit was over, it was good to receive comments from the reporter that ‘…I like the photos – he looks a lot more relaxed in them than he actually was!’ Which can only be a good thing.
After visualising the new packaging destined for the supermarket shelves all that was left was to shoot it.. Oh, if was ever as simple as that.
Nuances of slight misrepresentation of product needed greatly to be avoided (because ALL cheese is not equal) – and a pragmatic attack of the core elements needed to sell the product need strictly to be adhered to. ‘It takes time to make good cheese’ says a poster on the wall and much the same can be said about a good photograph.
Adapting the artistic license of the Advertising Agency into approved imagery accepted by client, supplier and said Agency can make you smile without the utterance of the word ‘cheese’ It did make me smile though when the agency commented ‘You’ve made great use of the natural light.. Was that there when you shot it?’ In fact, not.
Making a hard cold production environment into a warm cosy happy feely sort of place – like the poster says, ‘..takes time.’ Not ‘just’ the time of being there and setting it up, but the time invested in previously creating similar sorts of images and calling on that experience to make this one work.
Choosing the location on the reccie as a suitable place to portray and having the finished result already composed in my head calls on those times. Having willing helpers on site sharing the vision and willing to make things happen is a added bonus.
What not to do is as important as what it is neccesary to do. In this instance I arrived in a Transit Van complete with 8′ church pew seats to be used as shelves and a circular saw and tool kit to fit them on site if required – (for another shot, but I’ll come back to that later). Oh, and some Industrial Ladders and a 9′ tripod.
On the reccie the storeroom was a spacious cavern of available space, on the day of the shoot production had been busy and filled it with cheese. That’s what it’s there for after all, however the space was gone and some severe remodeling of the layout was required to give us the basis of our requirements and provide access to some electrical power ‘just over there behind those 5 deep cheese trolly’s’.
I had set up the tripod and camera connected to a computer to provide on site approval and commenced building the shot. During the set up shots were taken to check on the progress and I’ve edited them together here out of interest.
The final shot has yet to be decided. Perhaps later when the packaging is produced I’ll add an image here, in the meantime here’s one I prepared earlier.