Effective Working Image

Industrial and Corporate Photography for business

Don't be afraid of the dark

Most photographers are always scratching around for more light so they can achieve good exposures. A well light shot is claimed to be when one has tonal range throughout the shot within accepted technical limits. As an industrial photographer I’ve learnt there are some location that are just beyond lighting. Either they are to vast. To busy or simply incapable of shutting down simple so some pesky photographer can place lights everywhere.

Some locations are dark, dirty, dangerous and stunningly good for some fantastic, punchy photography. The images below are a case in point.

Industrial photography Smelter worker
These shots are some from a days shooting done in a huge metal foundry. In fact the largest lead producer in the world.

Industrial smelter worker
This is the sort of place where everybody is very worried about the safety and risk of disruption from visitors being on site. It is full of very big, dangerous pieces of equipment rumbling around. Molten metal flowing or being poured, flames, toxic fumes and in this case the possibility of microscopic lead particles in the air. Safety procedures are extensive and totally non-negotiable. Photographer needing to look through a viewfinder or not, you wear ALL the safety gear just like the guys on the job, NO EXEMPTIONS ! Breathing ventilator, safety glasses as well as Screen on the helmet, neck protection, fire resistant overalls, the works. You go nowhere or set up anything without your escorts permission and close company. The noise is constant and ear protection is also mandatory so its hard to communicate.

All that said this is a location that simply because of the dirt, darkness, complexity and shear size make striking results always possible.

But before you go snapping away remember your choice of angle, lens selection, positioning of your subject and handling of your equipment can compromise all the efforts your client has implemented to keep the operation safe and productive.

Just like with the old master painters. The selective use of lighting to pick your subject out from the dark backgrounds create great impact and allows for richness in contrast and colour. ENJOY !
Furnace worker in smelter area
Industrial photography Smelter worker Industrial smelter worker
Pouring Furnace Bucket in heavey industry smelter
processing plant worker at night
Industrial photography Electrolytic Cell Worker
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