BOSIET MIST Offshore Photographer

Help-they are trying to drown me!

Industrial photography: noun The art of creating images in industrial environments.

Industrial photographers are a strange breed..we do something that is often creative and challenging then we make it more difficult by choosing to exercise our craft in some of the most difficult environments.

We often get to see really impressive engineering that most don't even think about in their daily lives, just switching on a kettle has a massive chain of infrastructure behind the creation of a cup of hot water.

To get access to many of the infrastructures need to make your morning 'wake-up' a reality requires us to have the same safety standards in place as those that are building, maintaining and producing the energy for your 'hot brown'

The offshore environment can be as hostile as space..but only closer. Tiny little engineered islands stand alone, often cut off from help if things go wrong, which is why safety and training is the No.1 priority when working offshore.

Getting to and from your worksite means helicopter transport over water, and safety dictates that anyone traveling this way should be trained to improve their chances of a positive outcome if things go wrong. Sea survival and procedures for exiting a ditching helicopter are a requisite of offshore life.

Having completed a week of offshore training you really get to understand how the safety culture is paramount to the industry, we all know about the disasters-mostly caused by systemic failures and the escalation of even small errors can be catastrophic really makes you think hard about your actions in the workplace.

I am now a holder of the following certifications:

Opito BOSIET   BOSIET with CA-EBS   MIST    Offshore Medical  Additional Norwegian Sector

P.S. Big thanks to AIS Offshore Training (http://training.aisgroup.co.uk/) for delivering a great course, and especially to Laura for making sure I didn't drown (although I was quite enjoying it at the end!) 

OFFSHORE BOSIET HELICOPTER TRANSPORT PHOTOGRAPHER

OFFSHORE BOSIET HELICOPTER TRANSPORT PHOTOGRAPHER

Cinegraphs.

Motion content for web sites.

The desire to have endless video's, drone footage, interviews etc.with the view to keep visitors at your web site longer means that you need to be creating new content to feed the your web site and social media feeds.

Content that attracts the eye and holds you at that page for just a little longer means creating a stream of videos to share, you could keep creating great content at a cost or produce poor content just because 'we need to have moving content' on our web site.

What about all the still images of your people and projects, are they just now for printed brochures and newsletters or will they doomed to be buried on a hard drive and archived never to be seen again. 

Suitable images can be 're-animated' as Cinegraphs, still images rendered to create the illusion of motion. It's more than just 'rostrum' zoom and pan, it takes selections from within the image and ands motion.

ISSUU Brochure.

Photographers in Print.

Industrial Photographers.

Delivering your portfolio..or at least getting your work in front of potential clients is always a challenge.

I have added to the footer on all my outgoing emails a link to my ISSUU industrial photography brochure, to try and 'engage' there's a pic of my ugly mug on page 2...well that can only go two ways!

Click on the image to go to the Issuu brochure, any comments welcome.

PDF Download here.

Construction Progress Photography

Construction Progress Photography

progress photography construction

Industrial Photographer.

It's cold and the days are short..it's all good news for photographers.

Cold often means clearing skies and short days gets us those 'night' shots of buildings and structures whilst everyone is still at work, so the lights are on inside buildings and there is still plenty of activity out on site.

Images shot at dusk can add an extra dimension to 'progress photography'-often as a contractual element included in the construction procurement process, progress photography is often seen as just a visual record of the construction phase. But think of it as a potential resource for marketing/reporting collateral the photography can really add visual captivation or message about your business. 

Construction and development sites can be pretty dynamic places for location photography anywhere in the world..warm or cold.

construction photography

 

  

Airline hold roulette

Photographers problems.

photography hard cases

Wheels are good..especially if you work mostly on your own and are 'experienced' 

Shooting overseas is a pain..I love the travel and the photography but hate taking lights,stands and tripods etc on aircraft. Lets call it 'hold roulette', will the kit get damaged? To mitigate the risk I have hard cases (with wheels!) they are good for protection but bad for weight, will the kit get lost or stolen..spin the wheel!!!

The camera's, lenses, macbook etc I carry on-too valuable to lose or replace quickly on location. I have toyed with 'renting' locally the lighting but it's costly, the locations are always very far away from the rental store and it can mean leaving it to someone local to sort the receiving/return logistics (I'm a control freak) and just for a couple of heads, stands and softbox light shapers.

So we continue to play 'airline hold roulette'..maybe I need to hire some 'younger' legs to carry stuff from now on.

There are many case manufacturers but I use the ones from Trifibre  as they are great value.

 

Corporate Industrial Photographers

Industrial Photographers

Corporate Industrial Photographers - Offshore component fabrication.

'is this my best side'

Photography in industrial locations is as much about taking a great photograph as it is about managing the environment the photography is being created in.

The only thing (hopefully) that will be remembered is the picture and for the right reasons the photographer, so working in an environment where the photographers needs can be at odds with the clients production schedule. Just stopping the job even for a short time has 'knock-on', -delays to welding, fabrication, QA testing and certification, finishing and painting, booked transport final signoff  and delivery to the client..in markets where materiel costs rise and time deadlines require ever demanding efficiencies there is not much 'slack' in the system.

In the grand scheme of things 'photographers' are a nuisance..in fact I once heard of an art director say 'photographers..just an unfortunate necessity' yet we create the eye candy for many annual reports, brochures, website, social media etc words are good-pictures are better!

Getting the 'set' looking good does take time, just clearing up the used grinding discs, random cables, unused power tools, boxes and 'George's' favourite sitting down chair makes for a better looking image.

Do everything that can be done before stopping someone else working, setting and testing the lights-getting the camera all set-knowing the frames and exposures you will need for the final image output. Those welders are not working on the fabrication..they are arcing off a couple of pieces of scrap, it allows me to place the welders in good places for the image but not require any 'cleaning up' after.

Even the photography lighting used is selected for the environment, using Elinchrom Quadra battery powered flash removed the need for excessive mains power cable runs (good for tidiness and H&S slips trip hazards) if 'more' is needed we have some special 'jumper' cables to power 110v/240v mains strobe equipment.

Total 'stoppage' time needed to get the shot -10 minutes including showing the 'models' the frames..the setting up however took longer but saved the client valuable production time.

   

Where do we go from here?

Industrial Photographers UK.

True efficiency comes from understanding,delivering value through planning and knowledge on the road to economic strength.

It happens now and again..I get a call from a potential new client and if the opening gambit is 'can you come and take a couple of snaps..it'll only take 10 minutes' call me a cynical old photographer but by the time the last syllable has been spoken I have already emotionally distanced myself from the job.

There's nothing wrong with a '10 minute opportunity' to create great photography, however the 30+ years of knowledge it's taken to be able to bring those skills to the party and create a piece of work in the timeframe available should be enough for the artist to decide if a shoot can take 10 minutes.

One of my other favourite openers is 'we have a limited budget this time-can you do this first job cheap and we'll give you more work in the future' It's amazing how many times they never call back when I offer to shoot the first job at my normal rate and then offer a preferential rate on the second and third shoot. 

A client relationship has to start somewhere, I prefer it to start 'we think your work is a good fit for us' or 'we have seen the work you shot for xyz' This tells me that there is a real interest and investment in the process..a willingness to create..and mutual respect.

Perhaps it's just me or a place my career is in, but the things that interest me are projects that there is the opportunity to potentially create a defining image of a place, person or process. 

Maybe it's time to do a personal project and by my own client..talk about client from hell!       

Bringing the Power Ashore.

UK Photographers

Planetary Stranding Machine, UK.

Building high capacity power cables to bring ashore green electricity produced by vast offshore wind farms requires some pretty amazing machines to construct a cable that is both long lasting, efficient and durable to be buried under the ocean for up to 50 years.


These cables are constructed in a continuous process, any joint or termination in a cable is seen as a potential failure point, and the expense and resources involved in making repairs is vast.


A planetary stranding machine starts with the middle first and builds up the layers of transmission cable, insulation, protection and reinforcement strands by slowly turning every 'strand and wire' around the central core like a big spinning wheel making thread..only this thread can carry 66Kva!


The shot above is illuminated using Elinchrom Hybrid Quadra's, lighting the entire machine along its length and underneath, with a shorter exposure for the ambient light.

 

 

Photography Magazine Feature.

Magazine Photographer.

Click on image to read magazine.

Click on image to read magazine.

Interesting to see my work featured in a photography magazine, F2 Cameracraft magazine approached me (and 3 other leading photographers) about featuring my industrial photography work.

I had written a piece for Linked In, it was more of a review of where my career has gone and where it started, the editorial was written by way of a little soul searching-looking at how thirty years+ as a professional industrial photographer has panned out from what I thought it would be. 

The piece was read by the editor and I was invited to contribute, industrial photography is an area that many hobbyist photographers would have difficulty accessing due the locations and risks involved in working in sometimes difficult, crowded and dangerous environments without a good reason to be there.

I hope if nothing else the readership like the pictures and the small insight into my career path, at least they spelt my name correctly on the front cover. 

Click on the images to read.  

Photography v Corporate Reporting.

Corporate storytelling.

The landscape for corporate websites and annual reports has changed over recent years. There has been a fundamental shift in how reports show their message and photography images.

 OLD:  ''Investors-$$ incomes-Profits''                                                                                      

NEW: ''Social engagement-$$ wealth creation-Sustainable ethical growth''

The 'language' of visual content has changed also, the size, type and even the amount of photography in annual, corporate and CSR reports changes not only with current design trends but also with the economic climate.

Investor publications used to show the aspirational end users, if you 'dug dirt' it was not uncommon to see 'our beautiful alloys' photographed wrapped around an executive jet with 'beautiful people' exiting into an expensive car en-route to the marina for drinks on the yacht. The trend shifted then to technologies and once we all had the computing power of an Apollo in our pocket..what next. 

It wasn't long before everyone realised that the consumers were also employees-then 'stakeholders' in our companies, they had families, children, utility bills, vet fees etc worried about clean safe water, airborne particulates, plastic waste in the sea's and what type of grass the chickens laid their eggs on this morning. 

Photography image content changed as our world and values changed, more pictures of our empowered people less of the billion $$ machines, more schools and less highways.

During times of financial distress and challenging trading conditions -read:things cost more and your pension is worth nothing now- annual reports-presentations etc change the visual language. We see design moving to, more visual graphics-less photography-even no photography, almost as if they were trying to hide that business is a struggle at the moment, things are 'bit tight' so we need to reduce our expenditure..by the way that's you..we wish you good luck in your next job.

I think what I am eventually coming to is that some of the more successful communications at least in my mind visually just say:

'this is us-this is what we do-these are our people doing it'

It's honest, true, believable. The photography should reflect that message, even when the market reports say 'sell' and confidence to divest assets is low, good annual, csr, presentation communications use great imagery to engage with their audience, it's a face to face warm welcoming handshake..afterall you don't dump your best mate because he's lost his job. 

Written in relation to industrials, minerals, construction, infrastructure business.     

Photographers Portfolios

Are we still in love with print?

portfolios photographers industrial

Here in the UK a new daily newspaper has just been launched, with strong photography and editorial that is not weighted to one political point of view, is print still important with everyone digesting news and images from digital smart devices.

Judging by the copies of the Metro stuffed down the side of seats and blowing down the aisles of railway and tube trains it seems that we still have a desire to absorb a wide gamut of information,opinion,photographs and who did what to whom outside the Queen's Return...oh and footballers..they need a who supplement to themselves, all in ink on paper.

Spend a little time with a print specifier in an agency, just the mention of a vegetable based pigment ink will have you locked into the merits of 350gsm bleached rag with satin spot laminate with every third separator page having a different die cut corner.

We spend a lot of our time looking at photography on a screen, my own industrial photographers web site is the 'go too' if I'm talking about my images, I have tried the 'ipad' presentation and found that although you can keep location photography and architectural photograph ever shot it is treated as just another screen that gets me home late.

So are we still in love with print or is it something more, I have rebuilt my old print portfolio-filling it with only 20 or so delicious luxurious thick prints that shows the best industrial photographers work I have done, and the big change when presenting this to advertising agencies,designers and corporate clients is the conversation. 

Just the sensory pleasure of touching and seeing a rich colour photograph changes the whole mood of the meeting, it's almost as if they value that you have taken the time to make these colour and black and white photographs, present them in a quality portfolio that has been edited just for them. It says a lot about how you work as an industrial photographer.

So are we still in love with print, I like my 'i' toys but I cherish my print portfolio. 

Chris Henderson is an Industrial Photographer based in the UK shooting creative imagery for commercial,design,editorial and corporate clients.