Light Is Light Even In The Underbelly Of The World.

When you have total darkness and I mean where there is no light at all so when you hold your hand 2 inches from your face you still don’t see jack you really don’t need all that much light to illuminate things.  I find a lot of photographers (and other people in the photography/industrial industry) have a misconception when it comes to equipment needed vs equipment ego.  Learned many moons ago after testing, reviewing and practicing that light is light.  One flash or strobe does the same thing as any other light source, it illuminates.  I get many emails and messages from other people asking which equipment they should buy and I tell them all the same thing………….”it’s not about the equipment, but how you use it.”   If you ask me how much each of my flashes cost I will tell you under $50.  Yup.  Oh I have expensive lights that I have bought years ago that costs thousands of dollars but over the years I have noticed 1 key factor with them and that is they do the exact same thing as my $50 flashes.    The only difference is the googaws.  Googaws – the little bells & whistles that come with newer equipment that do nothing different if you know what you are doing.  Just like my $50 flashes, they do exactly what is needed, they flash. 

When looking at Professional photography one should look for the end product result, the experience the photographer created while on site, the professionalism and lastly the cost.   

Another thing I consider working in these harsh environments is  just that……………..the environment.  My equipment takes a beating and I do go through flashes on a regular basis, not because they die on me, but because the environment quickly does away with them.


Industrial Portraits by James Hodgins Mining Industrial Photographer

Even if I can’t show their faces I still take the same amount of time and professionalism to capture a portrait that is more than a quick snapshot.  It’s in the eyes.  A lot of times it’s the only thing that needs to be visible to lock the viewer in place on the portrait. You move across the image into the subject and directly into the gaze of the eyes and you stay there.  Sometimes it’s all that is needed.


“The Last Skip” – Stobie Mine After 120+ Years | Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins

Although I have not been photographing the mine as long as it’s been around I am however happy that I was at least a small part of documenting some of the people, procedures and facilities of Stobie Mine here in Sudbury Ontario for the past 6 years.  Watching the last skip on the big screen with the head frame just outside the tent was a bitter sweet moment for a lot of people who have called this mine home, and although a time capsule was created with various items commemorating the past, present, and hopefully future of Stobie mine, the memories of this place will be held dear to most peoples hearts who worked there.  Thanks again Stobie, it was a pleasure.

Please watch this video created by Ryan Kosiki and Over The Atlantic of the people, memories and “The Last Skip”

All photographs © Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins



Coleman Mine Family Fun Festivities | Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins

Recently I was on site to photograph Coleman Mines Family Day event.  This is where I get to stand back and let the magic unfold over and over while kids, parents, staff and volunteers create laughter and memories.   I go back into wedding photographer mode, trying to anticipate action as it comes while I constantly scan the area over and over looking for that scenario to present itself.    Even though the day spouted out some rain here and there, the day IMO (in my opinion) was a MASSIVE success.  There were so many things for the kids to do like pony rides, face painting, arts and crafts, bouncy castles, underground tours, dunk tanks, candy bars and more equipment to climb on that I thought they put their whole fleet out for display.    Family Day is one event every company should have annually as it’s a time and place where everyone can come together, have a great time and educate our future little miners in a fun and playful atmosphere.  Hats off to you Coleman Mine.  

Have a Mining Industrial Company Event?  Contact me if you wish to have it documented.

Here is just a sneak peak of hundreds of opportunities I photographed


Here a Crane, There a Crane Everywhere a Crane Crane | Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins

Install of Acid Flue Duct takes timing, precision and a non fear of heights.  On site with Lopes LTD documenting the projects and employees during shutdown at the Vale Sudbury Complex this week.  Genie lifts, Grove Cranes and other heavy equipment were used to drop the duct strategically into place hundreds of feet above the ground.    #mining #vale #lopesltd #safety #shutdownmaintenance

If your company requires professional Mining Industrial Photography to archive your projects and people I do have a few openings left for new clients for the 2017 season.  


Like The “I” in iPhone the “E” is New Biggest Thing in Mining

It’s popping up everywhere on the scene. You read about it in the trade magazines, you see it on the marketing brochures and you read it on the side of the equipment at the trade shows.  Electric (E) has hit the mining scene in full force.    With technology advancing at a higher rate day by day the mining industry can now dig deeper than years before but with that comes a cost with ventilation and fuel for diesel machines.  With most major brands in the Mining Industry now turning to the “E” the costs are lowered for the overall long term duration of the mining projects, not to mention they run cooler, quieter and cleaner.  

Below is the Sandvik LH514E that I recently photographed. I was impressed with the maneuverability of the tethered  tram in close quarters while at the same time I was able to communicate with my assistants while it was in production.  The images I created on the shoot will be used for marketing materials and promotional products  as the Iphone “snapshots” don’t belong in the realm of Professional photography.


It’s Just Like A Furnace In There! | Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins

Recently I had the first time opportunity to crawl into and photograph a furnace from the inside.  Recently built for Vale Sudbury Operations the rare instance of being inside one of these massive fabrications for the aspect of photographing the individuals and groups that carefully pieced it all together is another piece added to my  industry photography puzzle.

“yup, that’s me testing the scene again”

If you enjoy the images I create, if you have liked and followed my blog and social media to see what new industry images I have created and wish you had higher impact images to showcase your business or company, drop me a line, email, text and let’s talk.  Professional custom photography is an investment that is never a loss. @miningphotog


The Sudbury Woodworking Studio | Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins

Yesterday I found myself at  The Wood Working Studio in Sudbury Ontario after meeting owner/operator Tyler Depatie at a trade show a couple of weeks earlier.  After discussing each others trades, trials and tribulations (say that 5 times fast) I knew I had to see what his Studio looked like and and take a closer look at some of the creations he manufactures.  I was blown away with his craftsmanship, organizational skills and all around layout of his Wood Working Studio and not to mention the different types of wood he kept pulling out of every corner of his studio.  Wood from different Countries, wood that I will probably never have seen in my lifetime, wood that feels heavier than some metal, and wood with grain patterns so unique you think it wasn’t real.  Take the time and visit The Woodworking Studio’s Facebook Page and Website not only to see some of his creations but also to emphasize the power of social media marketing and networking, something else we discussed throughout my visit.  

Thanks again Tyler for giving me the tour, some education, inspiration and the chance to quickly photograph you.  

Check out The Woodworking Studio on Social Media (Choose your poison)
Facebook Page



Getting Your Equipment To Smile | Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins

So you have your mining equipment out in your yard and you grab a few quick snaps with your cellphone to showcase your beautiful creation to the world but it doesn’t have the “impact” you were hoping for?  I wonder why.  

One reason is because your surroundings are really not relevant to the equipment or the background is so distracting that your product is lost in the overall image.  When I photograph Manufacturers equipment for their social media and marketing materials I try to get the equipment in the environment it was made for so that potential clients can “SEE” and relate to the product.  If that can’t take place, the next best thing is to not have a background at all, like placing the equipment on a white background (or any color of your choice).  Sounds simple but it is a tedious task as factors in lighting, composition and exposures are influential not to mention the post production on the image to extract the product.   I know for a fact your cellphone can’t do most of those things and why would you want to?  It’s not your job, it’s not your profession.  You have skilled employees that specialize in their trades  (welding, electrical and diagnostics}  to get the job done right so why does that aspect not carry over into the photography,  the most important “visual” component that your potential clients ALWAYS look at? 

You would be surprised at the amount of time it takes to create the below images and how cost effective it is to hire a professional Mining Industrial Photographer to create your marketing images for you.  Leave this job to me, so that you can focus on the more important things in your company.


Why Does The Underground Photographer Step In Front Of The Camera? | Mining Industrial Photographer James Hodgins

Like everything in the Mining Industry production is always moving forward and is counted down to the minutes, so when you have a tight timeline to create a specific photograph you need to be on point to get the job done fast & efficiently.  When you waste your clients time by testing your camera angles, lighting and exposure while your subjects are standing there watching, you are also wasting away your professionalism and company brand.  When you know your equipment inside and out, when you know your surroundings above ground or under and when you know what the finished image is supposed to look like you should be as streamlined as the job you are photographing.  This is why you will sometimes see me in my own images like the one below where I am taking light meter readings for the scene.  Once I have everything in place, the exposures are defined, the composition is determined and I have tested the “scenario” by introducing myself as the subject, only then will I bring in the main subject  for the final exposures.  This way they are only in front of my camera for seconds and to them the shoot is fast and efficient.

“hoist winch set up for shaft deepening”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Why Hire James Hodgins?
Home Safe Video
I had the pleasure of working behind the scenes with this project coordinating the stills and lighting for the video.
Stock Photography Or Not?
stock photos of mines

I recently received an email inquiring the use of some of my images for a companies marketing materials and within the email was a common sentence I usually see "We have done an exhaustive search of the stock photo sights and are coming up short". Read More