Tunnel Boring Machine Photography

Tunnel Boring Machine in acronym is known as TBM.

Been an industrial or construction photographer. I was always awed by the huge machines on site, watching the capability of what a machine can perform to its maximum performance, i also love the loud coloring painting around the heavy metal. There are various types of complex machinery to build roads, tunnels, bridges, housings, airports, facilities and so on. This is why i love to capture pictures of construction and industrial photography.

I usually make industrial pictures on the surface or climbing high up onto an oil storage tanks. But i never had the opportunity to go underground. Sometimes the local news will report story about deep underground storage or the more common news is about building tunnels. I always see those lucky photographers and journalist got the chance to go down there to make pictures. I was wondering how would it be like down there to work? What would i do if am there? What are the challenges i am going to be facing? So many curious questions but no one to answer unless i try it myself.

One overseas construction company require my service a while back. The director needed me to document their important engineering progress, workers on-site with proper safety gears and working safely, company branding etc. One day, the site engineer on the ground needed me to go down to take pictures of their newly assemble TBM. Wow, i am going underground to not only make pictures of the construction but also taking pictures of a tunnel boring machine, i was super excited!

The power of visualization

With the bright open top, lighting was not an issue in this scene. Here you can see the workers were doing the final assembly of the various parts. Yesterday, i was speaking with another engineer from Germany, he told me, “assembling a TBM takes 2-3 months to complete, that also depends on the experience of the workers and engineers who are setting it up.” Seeing the complexity of this machine from the inside, 2-3 months or even longer is understandable. Is like building a huge lego set, except it is like 100 times more difficult to me.

This is the first time i get to see the machine’s front end, also known as the cutterhead. It has dozens of teeth that chip away the ground as it rotates. The TBM can bore through anything from hard rocks and sand. Am using a Canon 17mm tilt shift lens for this picture. I don’t want to have a converging effect from the bottom, i want the client to view their beautiful TBM in perspective. I love the deep contrast of the red and blue.

Despite all the digging and shifting of soils and sands. The air quality in the underground was not suffocating as there was cold air pumped in from the ventilation fan through the various long yellow air vent (or air bag). For work safety purpose, i believe there must be a certain temperature to maintain in the underground. The lighting must be sufficient to see things clearly.

From an aerial point of view, i can see the cutterhead and the tunnel shield. The shield is the protective barrier between the ground, the workers, and the equipment. Another angle picture for the client to use the images for their business presentation and portfolio.

Feel free to check out my industrial portfolio, drop me an email if i can be of any help to your company.

If you like this tunnel boring machine post do support me with a ‘like’, feel free to share my post to people who love construction and industrial pictures. Please leave a comment as well as i would love to interact with you. 

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Check out other industrial posts

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Industrial Landscape

I always try to find a balance between industrial work and finding my art. A very delicate process that is hard to achieve. Most of the time the final pictures usually ended up being the regular requirement by the client, i totally don’t mind at all, after all, i am paid to solve their picture problem. However, if i see an opportunity to do it both ways, i feel is even more beneficial.

Here are some of the industrial landscape shot that i made; both personal and work.

Using a 17mm tilt shift lens, capturing an underground digging site against the series of office towers as a backdrop. 

No drone, not a problem. A bird’s eye view of the machinery in action by using a telephoto lens to zoom in on the activity

When the day is blue and accompanies by some fluffy clouds, is great opportunity to make the tower cranes stand out in this construction environment. Using an ultra-wide angle to capture the entire scene

After months of waiting, finally saw the tanks are ready, the blue sky appeared at the right moment. Was on a boom lift using a telephoto lens to capture this finishing massive product

Capturing the biggest gantry crane i ever come across. The gantry crane was lighted up with starburst effect. I waited for the cars to make a turn for a light trail effect

Construction of an underground train station during the magic hour. Capturing the entire busy area

Is possible to mix commercial work with a little bit of my art. But to produce extensive work like this requires a lot of time and understanding of the site. If the chance arises, and i can do it better, why not.

 


If you are new and wish to find out more about my work

Commercial Photography
– View of Industrial Vehicles
– My Work Flow On Corporate Photography
– I Love Architecture Photography
– Industrial Photography – Construction
Logistic Photography

Travel Photography
– 1 in Beijing
– 2 in Bangkok
– 3 in Sri Racha
– 4 in Nepal
– 5 in Vietnam

Logistic Photography

This is a self-promotional for Logistic Photography Service

I was commission by a company from UK to do a photo story of a logistic operation based in Singapore. Client’s brief was very clear, mood board was attached. I will have a better understand what type of images the client is specifically looking for. I love to solve client’s problem, this is what professional photographer is hired for. Deliver what the client needs, yet at the same time have the free flow of creative space to present the final work.

I always made an effort to do a recce at the warehouse before the commencement of the photo shoot. I have to emphasise it is important to check out the location first before the commence of the actual shoot.

– Understand how the warehouse environment looks like
– Finding the potential photography angles
– Know how their operation work
– Which area in the warehouse is required to rearrange
– Condition of the lighting
– Discuss/speak with the person in-charge of the project in details

Shooting on the vehicle side mirror to picture a glimpse of the action

Logistic personnel enacting their daily work process

Activated the scissor lift for a better perspective of the warehouse

Forklift in action

Staff pulling a pallet jack

Working scene from an elevated angle

Click on my logistic operation portfolio as well.

For enquiry click on my email for your picture solution.


If you are new and wish to find out more about my work

Commercial Photography
– View of Industrial Vehicles
– My Work Flow On Corporate Photography
– I Love Architecture Photography
Industrial Photography – Construction

Travel Photography
– 1 in Beijing
– 2 in Bangkok
– 3 in Sri Racha
– 4 in Nepal
– 5 in Vietnam

You Are What You Think

Many years ago. I asked myself what other type of photography service i can challenge myself. I got an adventurous personality. I like something that is challenging, a tough job that not many photographers would want to do. Yet, the money is good. The solution came up no later, it was the industrial photography i wish to take on.

 

Our thoughts processes are intimately connected to the physical world. The mind can affect physical reality. Back then, i was thinking how can i jumped into industrial photography. With no portfolio to show, i knew i have to head out to make some pictures for a start. I need to show the world my vision of the industrial sector.

So i headed out, take note of where are the possible sites for me to capture some industrial photography pictures. I study what is the best timing to take the picture, observe what is happening on the site that may continue on the following day.

Each day i was telling myself in mind, “i want to do industrial photography work, i want to do industrial photography.” It become a repetitive process, even on bed before i sleep each night i was still thinking about it. Talk about developing the subconscious. At that point of time i didn’t even have a clue what is mind power about.

I’ve unintentionally continued to repeat the whole process; scout for a site, make picture, edit, tell myself i want to do industrial photography, repeat. I finally accumulated some pictures i am pleased with, posted it up on my website, blog about it.

The 3 pictures below were the result that landed me my first contract for an industrial development later.

If you refuse to speak about your work. Nobody will know you.

Living An Adventurous Life

Don’t turn your life into a habit of comfort.

Challenge yourself to scale greater height.

Don’t be content in what you have, as you can always live better than yesterday.

My newly found mantra.

I have to admit here. I dislike conformity, is too stagnant. Because of my personality trait, i am more of an outdoor person, i don’t dislike challenge that is physical. I can’t be the typical 8-5 working lifestyle. A rush of adrenaline makes me feel my life is worth living for. That is why photographer is the best job.

Portrait of a Japanese worker on board the vessel, working inside a boiler room.

Sometimes i deem ‘dangerous’ photo shoot as an adventure. To obtain certain type of picture, hard work and time are required. I need to strongly emphasis danger in a safe way without throwing away your precious life. Don’t live in stupidity.

Am not sure about you, i had a few close shaved encounters that i almost went up to meet my maker.

  • I was caught in a sand storm in a rural part of Great Wall of China. I nearly fell 5 storeys down.
  • During my parachute jump, i landed on airplane field instead of the designated spot, unfortunately my parachute was blown open by the wind, i almost ended up inside the concrete drain which can cause serious damage on my body.
  • I was asked to go up an industrial oil tank staircase, the steps were unstable, missing steps as well. In the end i managed to went up and get the job done. After the incident, pondering about the safety issue all night. I swear never get into such dangerous situation again.

Capturing the interior of an industrial oil tank during the test phase. If i did not took the dangerous staircase up, i may not have capture this magical scene.

Overall i have lots of adventurous experience which i never regret, yes i may get hurt if am not careful. Safety is always my priority. If i sense any danger that threaten my life, i say NO. Been adventurous and stupidity is two very different situation.

Lifted up by the crane, station inside a cage out in the sea for industrial documentation photography work. It was fun commanding the operator to change direction wherever i wanted. 

We only got one life – live adventurous, live with happiness, live with meaning.

Am going to live for another day!

You Are What You Think

Many years ago. I asked myself what other photography service i can offer to earn more money. Been an adventurous personality. I like something that is challenging, a job that not many photographers would want to explore in. Yet, the money is good. The solution came up no later, it was the industrial photography i wish to take on.

 

Do you know our thoughts processes are intimately connected to the physical world. The mind can affect physical reality. So here i was, thinking i wanted to jumped into industrial photography. However with no portfolio at all, i knew i have to head out to make some pictures for a start. I need to show the world my vision of the industrial sector.

So i headed out, take note of where are the possible sites for me to do some industrial photography. I continue to take mental note of what is the best timing to take the picture, observe what is happening on the site that may continue on the following day.

You know what is unbelievable, each day i was telling myself in mind:”i want to do industrial photography work.” It become a repetitive process, even on bed before i sleep each night i was still thinking about it. Talk about developing the consciousness. At that point of time i didn’t even have a clue what is all these mind is thing about.

So, i finally had some great pictures i liked it a lot, posted it up on my website, blog about it as well.

The 3 pictures made below are the result that landed me my first contract for an industrial development later.

If you think you are lousy. You will always be feeling lousy.

If you think you can’t. You can’t do anything right.

If you refuse to speak about your work. Nobody will know you.

Having weak thought for yourself; there will be no goal to look forward, to work on, to develop oneself.

Using 17mm Tilt-Shift lens in construction photography

Bringing a 17mm tilt shift lens into a construction site for work does carry certain risk. As you can see in the picture below, the lens element is protruding out unlike most of the lenses. The curve surface easily attracts more dust particles onto it. It does not comes with lens hood when purchase. I think there is a third part lens hood for it.

Yes i bring this expensive lens to construction location for industrial photography work since 2015. Although this awesome lens is mainly used for architecture and interior photography. I bring it a step further by utilising this lens in the industrial sector.  The days of converging picture are gone forever. Using this lens to shoot tower crane for example.

Less foreground and having a better perspective. 

As you can see on the above pictures, all the key subject is straight. These images will make your picture presentation stand out among the rest! Is really worth the investment to purchase this lens.

Kindly make a comment if you have any question, or just to say Hi.

Industrial Photography on ship

I received an enquiry last month to photograph a vessel that is docking in Singapore for work. After liaising and quote were done. Date was set but was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances out in the water. That was a time that i need to exercise my patient for the frequent changes. Finally it was finally confirmed one day before, and i was extremely excited to head down to the location.

Next day headed down to the location 15 mins earlier, is better to be early than late. Got all the necessary clearance was a breeze as the client had did a good job with the port authority to get me in.

I was driven in a truck to the vessel location, as the port was vast, i was surprise no cycling was allowed either as compared to other port i worked with. It took about 8 mins to reach the location for a slow drive. I cannot imagine walking in either if no vehicle was available. But the port authority was professional and experience to get things covered.

Boarded the vessel, sign in at the entrance. Went up to the deck to meet the Captain and some of his crew members. I was assigned to a crew member from Egypt who was friendly and very professional. He will be the man guiding me. As i am new here, i asked the crew how are things doing, how old is the vessel (which was a new vessel), where are the good spots to capture some great images, to break the ice. Once communication was “set up”, we proceed up to “Monkey Island” to check out the view.

The image below was the first view that greeted me, a clear sight of the work progress. Blessed with blue sky and the sun still moving up to the top before the peak of afternoon. I had only about 2 hours to work instead of the 4hrs i propose to client. An unique situation i need to be speedy and reliable to capture the best images for my client. I can keep my camera ISO as low as possible as shutter speed was sufficient to freeze the moment.

Using a telephoto lenses to zoom into the grabs, the vessel has 3 cranes in total and all are operating in the same time non stop.

In my mind i already have a vision of getting 3 grabs in one frame, but i know it was not easy. As the cranes were moving at different speed but same direction. I was shooting and observing, secretly pray to have the 3 grabs in my line of view. As i was about to move to another location after a long wait, the 3 grabs aligned! I managed to get 2 frames quickly.

Next the crew asked me whether i want to shoot from the crane operating room? I agreed immediately, knowing it will be sort of aerial images from the top, and i never been up there before. Of course with the supervision of the crew and port authority. Got my hand a little greasy during the vertical climb, no complain at all!  But i should have bring my gloves next time! I went up and saw a operator operating the crane back and forth like a pro. I quickly capture some good shots from inside to outside.

I make my way out from the operating room with the guys, i stopped and turned back again to make sure is there anymore possible angles to work at? I told the crews to wait a while while i get in a half kneeling position to stabilise myself while the crane was turning. This was one of the image i captured from the top, outside.

I knew my job was 80% done, i was able to cover the angles with the right lighting available. but i still wanted to capture more angles. I started to do close up of the grab and the cargo.

I was invited to a quick lunch on board by the crew before i left the vessel, said goodbye and thanks the crew member and Captain. As the earlier light was not in my favour for the entire vessel shot. This was the last time i can captured it on ground before am been escort out of the facility. I approached many angles and below is one of the image i did.

Overall the shoot went very well, no injury and everyone was safe. Safety is very important as advised by the crew and i had to obey their instruction. I went back to the office, i carefully select and edit the images. I always heard some photographers dump all the whole chunks of pictures for the client without QC. I only selected the decently good or best pictures, never mind if is repetitive as long the quality is good. I never know what client had in mind in certain images for their usage. As usual, i uploaded all my high res and low res for the client to download, with a secure password for them to access. Outsider would not even able to see the set as well.

End of assignment.

My industrial pictures on Google Images search

I was on Google Images page and was typing out some keywords am using in my website. I tried ‘Singapore Shipyard Photographer‘. A list of images popped out. It was good to see the images i captured were on the top of the search engine! 🙂

This was my search about 2-3 weeks back

This was my search on 18th April 2016

Drop me a message for industrial enquiries! Want to say Hi, come on in as well!

 

My thoughts on the start of industrial photography and the challenges. 2/2

In my previous blog i had shared how i started off to do industrial photography. This blog am going to share what were the challenges i had faced during the assignment.

  • It is a norm in the construction site to witness the crazy dust storm sweeping up and knowing what am going to breathe into my lungs.
  • Wanna get tan in the beach. Scorching sun out in the construction open area sure makes your skin tanned, apply thick sunblock. XD
  • Dress in ‘full-safety-order’ attire to be safe. To be exact is injury free, not even the smallest cut on skin is considered safe.
  • Certain images require to capture from high ground secure with the help of safety harness and the skill of the operator operating a Galmon boom lift. My only crazy imagination is the wind to sweep me away since am ‘floating’ 50m high.
  • Lots of staircase climbing as elevator is not ready, it’s not a big deal actually.
  • Professional interaction with the management team to understand their requirement. They are my pay master too!
  • Make friends with as many people as possible on the ground, there are many nice unsung heroes that is going to take care of me really well. But i can ensure you not everyone is gonna be nice. #harshreality

Is a huge achievement for me to witness the project is completed after so many months of documentation, no injury in the entire construction process, my client achieve their client’s completion timeline.

Here is a self portrait of myself working in various industrial assignments!

Anyway am looking out for another exciting industrial photography assignment to commit for another 2-3 full years if any companies wants to hire a professional photographer. Always ready to commit in what i am passionate about.