I finally had the chance to shoot at the bottom of the MacLean Engineering Test Mine located right here in my hometown Sudbury, Ont. Previously I had only photographed at the entrance and around the first bend but this time it was direct to the bottom.
The subject? MacLean Engineering’s SB 12 Blockholer.
Here is a well written description of the blockholer from Ernest V. Schaffernicht
“Blockholers are very important to modern mines as they are an essential part of the ore flow process. Even under the best of conditions and practices drill and blast or block cave operations have to deal with oversize pieces of rock that won’t fit into a scoop bucket. Sometimes these big chunks occur further up into the draw point.
These single boom purpose built drill rigs will drill the holes and load the explosives (emulsion or “pencil” bombs” remotely with TV cameras and radio remote control (RRC).”
Thanks again to Stuart Lister and MacLean Engineering for the opportunity.
“I see you there walking around my personal space, chasing the equipment, people and light as it fades into my horizon. Many have come before you, many have succeeded in capturing my good side but many have also failed. Show me respect and walk safely within my domain and I will reward you with captured glimpses that will stay true to the end of time.” ~ The Open Pit
It’s back to the grind, nose to the ground, full steam ahead, give it all you got kind of day. It’s back to work creating and showcasing mining images from around the world. Where will I go in 2020? I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet but if all goes according to plan I should be out and about to a few different countries this year so stay tuned to my blog, social media or subscribe to my email list and receive my posts once a week.
My client www.macleanengineering.com sent me an email notifying me that an image I created for them is now on the cover for the December issue of Engineering & Mining Journal www.e-mj.com . Photographed underground at the Bracemac-McLeod Mine in Northern Quebec, Canada.
From afar mining equipment look smaller than they really are and it’s not until you get up close to them that you see the enormity of these machines. I always try to get some human interaction between the equipment and the environment so you can see the difference in size. Using smaller vehicles that everyone is familiar with like trucks and cars or placing an operator within the frame can easily give the viewer the reference needed to visualize the overall size of the heavy equipment.
I remember my father getting annoyed with me when I would use something and put it away (in a place other than the place I retrieved it from) and as I got older I understood why. Clutter wastes time. Even if it’s a few seconds looking for a tool, over time, those seconds accumulate into minutes and minutes into hours. An organized workstation is an efficient workstation.
Whenever I am in a shop now I always pay attention to the organization and cleanliness of the area and this maintenance bay at Coleman Mine did not disappoint. Everything had it’s place and these individuals took pride in their work as well as their work environment.
I had a few minutes to create individual portraits for each of the participants of the Health Sciences North Foundation photoshoot with Air Ornge after we completed the initial creative shot. Lighting was a bit tricky with lots of reflection coming from the helicopters windshield but in the end it worked ok if I do say so myself.
This image showcases a few old school lessons I learned in photography composition. “You look at an image like you read a book, from left to right” was mentioned to me early on in my career and it stuck with me ever since.
Using leading lines and creating highlights and shadows with my lighting I draw the viewer into a specific part of the image. In this case I used the leading lines of the truck to draw your attention to the main subject while utilizing some background lighting for impact. This overall composition leaves room for “copy” on the left side of the image over the negative space of the truck while drawing your attention onto the main subject of the miner and tablet. As well with this composition the image can be cropped vertically isolating the subject thus giving a designer several options for layout placement.