Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Industrial Photography

Laurie I'm glad to say that I'm finally getting to the part of my book project that I've been looking forward to: Shooting the pictures.  I love industrial photography, so shooting the engineering firms is going to be great fun.  There's something very cool about manufacturing and metalcraft, although after working summers at the Bluff Aluminium smelter, I knew it wasn't the career choice for me.  Like my Dad (who was a foreman fitter there) used to say: "I can tell you love hard work boy, I've seen you sit on your backside and watch it all day long"

AJ Grant is one of the firms I'm writing a little about, so when I popped in today to talk to manager Allan Grant, I thought I might as well take my kit and get some pictures.  Allan's brother and partner Bruce wasn't there, so I thought of this as a quick test shoot.

AJ Grant is a blacksmith and metalcraft firm who also do a great job of children's play equipment.  I've already got some playground shots, so I wanted to see what could be done quickly in the workshop.  I was drawn to the most cluttered part of the building.

Unlit workshop

Workshop lightingThe fluoro lighting was pretty standard, and there were some really dark places under the mezzanine storage area - that's lit by one of my flashes. I knew I'd want to lose the ambient and do my own lighting. The foot of the ladder looked like a good spot for a portrait of Allan.  I like the clutter that busy workshops always have, but didn't want it to look too grungy, so I decided to add some contrasting colour to the foreground and background.  There's something about blue light that lends things a hi-tech look, so I figured it would help  Then I popped another flash on the floor with a red gel to wash up the pillar in front.  I was happy.  A quick exposure test with Laurie as my stand-in (top), and then it was time for Allan.

Allan Grant

You could have gone crazy with this - softer light for Allan, hair/rim/fill light, more restricted beam...tormenting Allan until he gives me the perfect pose and look... there's no limit to the number of ways to do this. I may well go back and do it again when Allan's brother Bruce is available, but this was a quick workshop portrait, and it does the job.

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