editorial

The thing-ummy-bob.

"She's the girl that makes the thing that drills the hole that holds the spring that drives the rod that turns the knob that works the thing-ummy-bob"

the thing-ummy-bob.

The Gracie Fields 1942 song and used recently by merchant services provider Square. pretty much describes how complicated modern plant control can be, "the-thing-ummy-bob" could easily be used to describe all the wheels, valves, switches..even the graphical representations displayed on large screen displays in control rooms across the world. 

I have photographed epically large industrial complexes with state of the art automation..the kind of installations that everyone uses bicycles to get around..and there only being 2 people on shift to control it all. There's no arguing that the investment in making a safe, efficient, cleaner and a more productive plant is good news all around, but often there's no substitute for 'hands on' intervention.

It might just be one wheel attached to a valve amongst hundreds or even thousands that routes steam or product flow to a process or tank, but knowing just where to find that one valve when the screen graphic shows an adjustment or isolation is required come down to the mk.1 opertive.

The skill required just to turn a valve takes training, experience and knowledge, being able to recognise from a graphic on screen to the physical control "somewhere out there" only comes with 'hands on' experience..it's part of the whole package.

Industrial photographers do get to see a lot of thing-ummy-bob's, clients ask "we want to see people" ..not as easy as it sound's when there's so few around and they are all busy being productive, often this means seeing a potential image and having to return to the same spot with the 'model' and even then only getting 2-3 minutes before they are needed somewhere else. 

It's too easy to forget that industrial photography is not the most important thing -as an industrial photographer frustratingly it is to me (not that I take my work personaly…much!!)…that's where understanding your part in the grand scheme is important..my 'thing-ummy-bob' is just a small part of the process, it just needs planning and organisation to fit into the final product.

Battery Storage Capacity.

EDF to invest $8 billion in battery storage capacity.

Battery storage capacity.

Battery storage capacity.

Industrial photographers in Renewable Energy battery storage.

Photography of people in industrial location. Commercial, Advertising Photography.

Next time you complain about no charge on your mobile phone just think what happens if there was no electicity left to switch on the TV, lights or your computer. 

Think of the electricty demand peak events such as commercial breaks in the X factor finals or the forthcoming royal wedding, those peak demands on generation planning require many assets to be brought on line just at the right moment, those assets needing to be running at full power before switching in the generators to produce the electricity.

To be able to draw down at a milliseconds notice enough electricity to bridge the gap between demand and generation means generation resources can be used more efficiently, and store power produced by renewable sources.

EDF have announced an $8 billion (£7 billion) investment over the next 2 decades in battery storage capacity, having already commissioned and brought online a 49MW facility they are continuing to move towards reduced carbon eneregy production.  

Photoshop light leaks, cool tones and atmospheres.

Using photography blurs, light leaks, colour tone in Photoshop retouching to create atmosphere in location photography. 

Working to a brand's visual language.

Working to a brand's visual language.

Creating the image can just be the start of getting the photography to the client or designer, many international companies have over time developed their brand standards or visual language on how they want to show their business.

Although much can be done in post production, shooting the original content with the purpose of using post production photoshop adjustments will formulate the approach and compositions the photographer is aiming for.

The creative photoshop work is about creating a mood or feeling, working within a tonal or colour palette and engaging the viewer into the conversation. Using tone, colour and areas of light leaks and selective focus the photographer can draw the viewer into the parts of the image is the message.

Using creative post production techniques and photoshop to create the final image or library of images helps to identify your image style - making your media more quickly recognisable..giving your images a personality that reflects your business' values and culture. 

It's the whole package - the creation of the original photography on location working with post production Photoshop and Lightroom production techniques.  

The human context of industrial photography.

The human context of industrial photography.

Creative photoshop retouching for creative atmosphere in the workplace. Annual Report Photography.

Creative photoshop retouching for creative atmosphere in the workplace. Annual Report Photography.

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.  

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.   

 

 

Old industrial photographs-why do we like them?

People Photographer.

Industrial portrait photography.

It's a little crazy really, we spend $$$$ (££££) on expensive high quality digital camera bodies, select lenses that will resolve every last pixel then make the image look aged, blurry and imperfect.

Is it that the imperfections are what makes use view an image in such a way that we are drawn to the true character or subject that is familiar, a form or person we can instantly recognise or are we just fascinated with the past. We look at old photographs as the capture of a moment past-not too old to be ancient history-but old enough to be a time past.

Perhaps we take comfort in what has been and view what is to come as something to be challenged, perhaps the way to make a real connection with a photo is for them not to be super sharp high clarity recordings but a little imperfect..like the rest of the world.