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About How to Use Industrial Photography
How to use industrial photography: Industrial sites offer many opportunities to create fascinating photographic images. Factories, shipyards, mines, and manufacturing facilities are just places for industrial photography.
They have everything from dirty machines, sweaty workers, unkempt industrial landscapes, and exciting lighting options!
Here are Tips to Get Started as an Industrial Photographer
Where to go for Industrial Photography
Townships often develop around industrial sites. These industrial sites provide jobs and valuable resources. And they serve as evidence of the history of the town or city.
Sometimes cities and towns migrate away from industrial sites, which makes finding them a bit more complicated.
You’ll likely find an industrial site nearby if you see smokestacks, tall silos, or cooling towers. Again, heavy truck traffic indicates that you are on the right track.
However, industrial photography does not have to be about large industrial plants. Smaller factories, vermin, or metalworks are also excellent sources for industrial photography.
Try calling your local auto wreckers or metalworks and ask if you could come over and take some photos for them. You will realize that it is not so difficult to find industrial clients.
You will find that the corporate sector is often interested in professional photographs of their processing facilities or manufacturing processes.
They use them for advertisements and are great opportunities for professional commercial or seasoned industrial photographers.
How You Protect Yourself and Your Team
- Photographing industrial plants can be dangerous for you and those around you. This is because industrial areas and construction sites differ in function and accessibility. But safety should always come first.
- Familiarizing yourself with the session location is the best way to plan. If you’ve seen a potential site, you’d like to photograph, locate it on Google Maps. Or visit the company’s website.
- And if you can, it’s also a good idea to stop by the site and look. Just be sure to stay away from fences or restricted areas.
- When you have completed your investigation, please contact the site administrator. Never try to gain unauthorized access to a website.
- In the past, I’ve found that most of the staff are happy to help, especially if you offer them copies of the images as a thank you.
In that day
- Once you’ve received the go-ahead, there are a few things to consider. First, it is essential to wear suitable resistant clothing on the day. Wear a thick, colorful, long-sleeved top, long pants, and closed-toe waterproof shoes. Get steel-toe shoes if you can.
- And prepare to get more than a little dirty.
- Typically, a site administrator will arrange for someone to walk you around the site. They can also deliver you a helmet, safety vest, hairnets, and goggles if needed. Make sure all safety equipment is on at all times.
- Respect the environment and industrial workers. They will most likely work hard during the photo shoot.
- Follow all instructions you are given. So you can avoid the danger zones and concentrate on your photography!
Equipment for Industrial Photography
There is a lot of equipment for industrial photography that I would keep in my bag… if I could carry it all. The trick is to have as little as possible to move around. But herein lies the difficulty.
Industrial sites are often quite dark, requiring a slow shutter speed and a tripod. So do the best you can. Pack the essentials and leave the second camera at home.
Here is a list of equipment that I would recommend;
- A camera
- A high-capacity CF card
- Spare camera battery or battery grip
- A lens (I’d recommend a zoom lens to get into inaccessible areas)
- A regular of extension tubes for macro photography opportunities
- A camera flash and batteries
- A tripod
Get Creative with Lighting Effects
Industrial photography also offers the opportunity for lighting effects that you won’t see anywhere else.
Sparks from industrial equipment, sparse but forcefully bright artificial light, red-hot metal, and natural light streaming through dirty windows create diverse and intriguing visual effects.
Be prepared for different lighting situations. Bring a tripod and flash, and don’t be afraid to experiment with exposure.
Capture Industrial Landscapes
One of the greatest striking aspects of many more significant industrial sites is their sheer size. Capturing the enormity of industrial structures underscores the amazing feats modern construction can achieve.
Don’t forget to snap the big picture when photographing an industrial site. Take your eyes off the camera and take a visual panorama of your surroundings.
For security reasons, you familiarize yourself with your surroundings. And you won’t miss the opportunity to focus on the entire industrial landscape.
Don’t Forget the Details
Focusing on the large picture and the small picture at the same time is an essential skill in many areas of photography. But it’s informal to get carried away by the dynamism of industrial sites. And skip intricate details for more immediate topics.
Try rotating your lens for features like rusted screws, aged metal, or flashes of color (often found on safety signs). These will help you add more stories to your work, and details like these add depth and feel to a series.
Focus on One Color to Bring Out the Emotion
Color brings scenes to life. Even in the lowest point of a dark industrial campus, our eyes are hardwired to be drawn to areas of color. Therefore, incorporating color into your industrial photography is an effective way to create a more dynamic image.
People inseparably associate colors with certain emotions. Different shades of color can also give an industrial photo a particular atmosphere.
Think of the yellow sparks from a grinder, the red of molten steel, and the blues of daylight filtering through. Color can be used to reinforce the story behind each image.
Involve Industrial Workers
The industrial buzz of the urban landscape seems to suggest a life of its own. But it is the people who are at the heart of the machine. Photographing people at work can seem intrusive, but people are often happy to be photographed. Just ask!
While photographing alongside workers, you may need to wear additional protective gear. There is a possibility that this will make your devices challenging to operate.
Make sure you have the neck strap on and use a tripod or solid surface whenever possible.
Change Your Perspective for More Dramatic Photos
Industrial photography allows viewers to see a world they may never have seen in person. However, the creative use of view goes one step further.
A well-executed perspective image positions the viewer at the camera location. For example, try to put your camera on the ground (out of the way of the workers). Or head to a high point and photograph the scene below.
You’ll find that unusual perspectives say more about the area’s language than a standard point of view.
How to Photograph Abandoned Industrial Sites
There are many wild and neglected industrial sites around the world. Some are falling apart; others are surprisingly intact. Although many have been illegally accessed and destroyed, they are still fascinating photo opportunities.
And while you may be attracted to access the site, it’s worth contacting the owner first. If you’re unlucky, this saves you a fine or a trip to the police.
Photographing an abandoned industrial site requires much caution, and you don’t have a security officer. Hazardous hazards like broken glass and unstable surfaces are hard to avoid.
But exploring the industry’s life cycle through abandoned architecture is an exciting facet of industrial photography. Just ask permission first and proceed with care.
Industrial photography is a countless way to create beautiful work. Whether documenting networks of dirty machines, taking portraits of workers at work, or capturing the details of the industrial landscape.
While industrial photography may take you out of your comfort zone, it’s worth the trip. So please keep personal safety in mind, follow the instructions, and be sure to post your results here!