Construction Industry PhotographyIndustrial & Commercial
Construction Site Photographer
In recent years, construction site photography has become a predominant part my commissioned industrial photography assignments.
Gas pipeline construction site photographer
There are literally thousands of kilometres of gas pipelines across Australia delivering natural and coal seam gas. I had opportunity to capture some great images which have been used to promoted Epic Energy, Bluescope Steel, Orrcon Pipes and NACAP. The assignment, Epic Energy’s QSN and QSN3 gas pipeline construction, between the Santos, Moomba gas processing and distribution facility, 770 km north of Adelaide, and the Ballera compressor station (QLD). This pipe line went through the Cooper Basin and Strezlecki rolling red sand dunes.
The photography was commissioned in stages over a few years. During one of these stages, the flooding rains that Dorothy Mackellar wrote of, considerably postponed construction and put that stage of photography back by twelve months.
The gas pipeline construction site photography was not all about burying steel pipe in the ground, it included action portraits in the field of the men and women who make projects like these possible. The landscape, wildlife and towns folk were also part of the assignment. The brief was to capture the spirit of the project and the personnel involved, convey that the environmental impact and cultural sensitivity of the area was kept to a minimum, highlighting consultation and co-operation with the traditional land owners.
There were some very hard working, talented and interesting people working on this project. Stringers, welders and the pipe laying teams completed kilometres of pipe work per day. Determined truck drivers carrying loads of pipe sections, barrelled along sandy roads to avoid bogging in the desert. Specialist teams prepared the way for tricky creek crossings for the pipe to travel through. The resulting images found their way into reports, promotional material, website and a coffee table book that honoured the people involved in the construction and of neighbouring towns. This book was given as a corporate gift.
Industrial construction site photographer
Another notable construction site photography assignment was the recent conversion of the Norske Skog Boyer Paper Mill PM2 2014 to produce Light Weight Coated paper. This $85m project gave the paper mill new life as the market for regular news print fell to unsustainable levels, threatening the mill’s existence.
The construction site photography of this project was completed in stages over a twelve month period. It involved documenting milestones in the construction phase. Still photography and time-lapse sequences were produced. The images were used in press releases, corporate documents, advertising, and the internet.
There were some very challenging aspects to this assignment. Winter temperatures got down to minus figures. Operating photographic equipment is not possible if wearing gloves to keep the hands warm. The wind chill off of the river made my hands so cold, my fingers felt like they had been hit by a hammer. At times there was rain, fog and windy conditions. Inside of the mill, the temperature was much warmer. Condensation was a major issue. The mill was still in production of newsprint and extremely loud. The project moved so fast, and everyone had their important tasks, it was not always possible for me to be informed when rapid change occurred. Schedules were sometimes brought forward with little notice making it essential to be intuitive.
At any one time there were five cameras covering the installation of massive pieces of equipment or demolition work. Images were required from the external and internal areas of the construction site simultaneously.
The engineering and construction team were amazing. The schedule and tolerances were extremely tight. As the time lapse shows, everything went like clockwork.