I get asked this often and to be honest, I don’t have just one, I have hundreds. Some images are planned, some images are candid and some images are a one shot deal. The most satisfying captures happen when I pre-plan for a scenario that is a “one-shot”deal and everything falls into place exactly like I planned for.
This image below for example that I captured in 2019. A routine gold pour but since we were on a timeline it was a one shot deal. I could only place the camera in this position for safety reason and we had to remain just outside the gold pour. I knew that the pour would illuminate the room from one side with a beautiful orange glow but I needed to highlight the attendants as well to keep the focus on them as well as the pour.
For such a tight space and minimum time/lighting, I captured the image I planned for.
Get in, get it done, get it right.
The MiningPhotog Experience ~ www.miningindustrialphotographer.com/experience.
Congratulations to Pure Gold Mining Inc (www.puregoldmining.com) on their successful first gold pour. It truly has been a great experience for me to watch and photograph the different stages of the mine development.
Congratulations as well to the staff, contractors, friends and family who have had a part in making Pure Gold a success story in the Mining World and I thank you all for allowing me to document some of the steps along the way.
Note: Gold Bar Image provided by Pure Gold
Read about the First Pour: https://puregoldmining.ca/first-gold-poured-at-the-puregold-mine/
I often get asked “Do you have a game plan when you go to site?” and my answer is yes I do, but it’s a refined rough plan. There are so many factors involved that influence my photography while I am on site. Is the weather accommodating for surface shots? Are the key people available for this time? Is the equipment operational and in the location you want it photographed and so forth. The majority of times my shooting schedule changes multiple times due to all these factors converging at once.
For some jobs it’s a “play it by ear” scenario. We have a rough outline of who what where when and so we get out there and see what’s going. I will capture what I can, when I can, how I can. Site images, people working, vehicles moving, processes, people pictures, environmental, community projects, drilling, open pit operations, hauling, exploration, maintenance, underground, surveying, field work, are things I try to capture while I am there. If it’s happening, I can capture it one way or another. Some images I can get creative with lighting and composition with my equipment while others it’s a shoot from the hip opportunity, but either way I try to create an image that is pleasing to the company and can be used within their marketing. After all, this is why they hired me.
No matter what the scenario is there is always challenges and problem solving in order to achieve the best possible image at that moment, even if it is just a “snapshot”. Where you position yourself, what direction the ambient light is coming from as well as the quality of it (yes, there are different qualities of sunlight), what lens to use to frame the image and what camera settings to apply to achieve a dynamic capture…………all decided within seconds.
If all goes well (and it usually does) my clients are left with a variety of images captured safely and professionally. “Professional” encompasses a lot more than just an image…………but that’s another post. 🙂
Another forgotten image I created years ago in an open pit mine site. I watched this Caterpillar skid loader zooming around here and there with precision so when he stopped and got out to check something I took the opportunity to capture a few images.
How do you create a 15-hectare nursery packed with row upon row of shrubs, trees, plants grasses and more? Easy, one pot at a time.
I walked Eldorado Gold’s nursery (located just outside of Olympiada Greece) from end to end with 30+ degree temps and what felt like 100% humidity. The smells of the planted inhabitants would breeze across my nose in the wind as I would stare at the vast size of the area. By far this was the biggest nursery I have ever seen or photographed.
The term “Visible Gold – VG” is used throughout the mining industry and on most occasions I am photographing the end product in a solid brick form or within core samples from the exploration drillers but recently I photographed some VG that just shined like the yellow brick road.
When it comes to using images for marketing materials just any o’l image wont do. There needs to be some balance between the image and the copy. Negative space is required to add text and graphics and if the composition of the image doesn’t work then the marketing material will not reach it’s full potential.
Having an end goal when creating images is always in my mind when I am looking through my viewfinder and creating the space needed within the frame is just one of many goals for each image.
This image was created for MacLean Engineering at the Agnico Eagle Laronde Mine in Quebec. I used a balance of ambiant lighting from the machine as well as 2 external strobes to add a bit of shadows where needed to draw your attention to the operator