When international company American Air Filters where looking for commercial and industrial photographers in the UK, they wanted photographers they could trust and who had the right levels of experience.
With specialised commercial and industrial photographers covering the whole of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Commercial Photographers Network (CPN) was able to introduce them to network members Critical Tortoise, who cover the North East and are frequently sent on challenging industrial assignments as part of their varied working lives.
American Air Filters manufacture large filtration structures for use in the offshore industry. The nature of this industry means that the photography had to be carried out in in a busy, dusty and noisy environments.
One of the greatest challenges in shooting this sort of commercial industrial photography is to not show what else is going on in the background. With tight deadlines on product deliveries, other work in the factory simply must go on, “so we have work with what we have got”, explains photographer Andy Jones; “we use very powerful portable flash units and high shutter speeds, which lets us darken the otherwise visible background, but allows us to light the people and the structures that we actually want to see”. Clever stuff indeed. One of the other challenges is to work around health and safety regulations and to also find clean overalls that fit the workers. “We always carry bulldog clips to nip-in baggy boiler suits on these jobs. It’s all part of turning the everyday workers into film stars for a few minutes”.
The successful shoot was used for a variety of marketing materials, including a billboard of the images which can be seen on entering the factory. The images provide an impressive visual impact for clients on the frequent factory tours that take place.
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