Another TBM experience

I was engaged by The Robbins Company to capture their Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in Singapore. The client engineers are doing assembly work here, with the intention of delivering it to their customer, Mumbai Rail Retro Corporation (MMRC) later. This was also an event ceremony and passing the factory acceptance test. I would say another milestone for the two companies. The client before hand informed me about their criteria of the pictures needed, on my end i have to do my best to fulfill what is needed by them. On the weekend, i made the effort to go to do the location for a scouting, this is to have a better understanding of the location and know the people on the ground.

Pictures i have taken.

@Mumbaimetro3 posted on their twitter.

Pictures from The Robbins Co on their Flickr album

Mumbai Metro Line 3 Slurry FAT

Mumbai Metro Line 3 Slurry FAT

Mumbai Metro Line 3 Slurry FAT

Mumbai Metro Line 3 Slurry FAT

Mumbai Metro Line 3 Slurry FAT

Mumbai Metro Line 3 Slurry FAT

On the working ground, everyone was extremely friendly, i was working with a group of people from various countries such as UK, USA, India and Germany. All gathered in one place with a common objective.

The PR manager from Robbins wrote for me a business testimonials which i really appreciate it from my heart. Most important my client must be happy with my service, one of my aims is to increase your target audience interest, generate revenue, impressive presentation for your business. 

“We are very pleased with the service provided by Ricky Gui of Capture Asia Photography. We were looking for an industrial photographer to capture an event commemorating the completion of a large piece of construction machinery. We needed someone who could mobilize quickly, get all the shots we needed, and give us good value for the quality of pictures, Ricky was all of these things. He responded quickly to our inquiry, was easy to work with, and provided high quality images in a very timely manner, We would definitely use his services again, and would recommend him for industrial photography and corporate events.”

For this photo shoot am using 17mm tilt-shift, 16-35 Mark II and 70-200 for the entire shoot. Camera is a 5D Mark III, with a manual Yongnuo SpeedliteYN560 IV.

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

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Tunnel Boring Machine Photography 

 

 

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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. 

Do follow my blog if you like!


Check out other industrial posts

Photo Walk at Pandan Reservoir

Took the chance with my partner on the weekend to go for a hike at Pandan Reservoir. This reservoir is located in the western region of Singapore. I think this is the only vast place on this island that i can feel more relaxed and to generate ideas.

Pandan Reservoir has a length of 6km. You can either walk, jog or cycle around the reservoir. Recommend you to bring a bottle of water to quench your thirst, as there is only one water station.

I brought along my 5D Mark III camera, mounted with a 70-200mm lens for the walk. I know i will be zooming in a lot rather than doing a wide-angle picture. The weather was great but hot as usual. I was ok with it, but my partner finds it a bit torturing. Thumbs up for her to complete it under the hot weather.

If you like taking pictures using your DSLR camera, and is your first trip to Pandan Reservoir. I will suggest you to bring a wide-angle and telephoto lens. There are many different viewing points as you trek along the mild sandy path.

14 pictures will be shown below


View of an industrial architecture picture, behind it is Clementi neighborhood


There is few dedicated area for the public to enjoy fishing


Another view of Fusionpolis building (center) i always wanted to capture from afar


Singapore produces the world’s largest builder of oil rig for global demand


An architecture view of the industrial logistic building


Zoom in to enjoy the colors


I always wanted to capture CWT logistic building in it best light form. The lighting was fantastic on that day. Blessed!



Industrial architecture that caught my eye


In the background is Singapore first offshore power station

If you are a traveler visiting Singapore, and your purpose is to visit some of the parks or a good hike. I would recommend you to go Pandan Reservoir. Make sure you have your sunblock applied because it is an opened area, there is small pocket of shelters for you to rest. It takes about an hour plus to complete the entire reservoir.

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

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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

Industrial Photography – Construction

Industrial photography is perhaps one of the toughest jobs for a photographer. But is always reward with many fascinating pictures of the industrial sector. I totally love making pictures that are more difficult to access by the public, i don’t like to be quite same with anyone else. Is pretty boring.

Nothing is as easy as it looks. You may have noticed how the photographer takes a picture, and you may think his effort is idiot proof, “I can do it too, hold the camera and point at the scene, what’s so difficult about it?”. However, when you tried it, the end result is vastly different from a professional photographer whose eyes is “trained” to compose a picture perfectly.

What are the challenges industrial photographer faced?

1. 99% of the shooting time is working under the scorching sun, if not underground (more dangerous). I am perhaps no different from other construction workers working on the site. Sometimes my neck may be sunburnt after out on the site from day to evening. That is why workers are usually well covered up from head to toe.

2. PPE means Personal Protective Equipment. This refers to wearing of protective clothing, safety helmet, goggles, or other forms of garments to protect my body from injury in the construction site. Everyone that enters into work site has to comply with the site stringent requirement. This is a basic requirement and importance of safety aspects.

3. If you, unfortunately, have acrophobia. Industrial photography job is not suitable for the weak hearted. Many times i have to be “cage” inside the boom lift and elevated me up to the maximum height to make pictures. I will be required to be geared up wit a safety harness, which is an additional weight on my body, sometimes am just too lazy to take it out until the end. If is in a windy condition, my body will feel the panel cradle is shaking, can be a rather scary moment, but i trust the capability of the industrial equipment. Anytime when is not safe to work, the operators will have to lower us down. Safety always comes first.

4. As any other type of outdoor photography, having a clear blue sky is the most ideal. Having a clear blue sky makes the scene stand out very well, and with an understanding of the direction of the sun. The downside is the weather can be rather roasting, especially sites in the coastal area. Temperature can easily reach 34-35 degree celsius . Can you within the heat?

5. Hydration is very important, i usually can be out on-site with little food. As i always lost my food appetite under the hot sun. But i can’t go without water. The body can be easily dehydrated. Constant fluid is much needed, i always try to carry 500ml of water bottle with me. Additional weight as well.

6. Going into the construction site require maneuvering past a lot of obstacles. As i am required to climb up long steps or even squatting low for access to a certain access point. If i carry my bulky camera bag into the site, the additional weight and size will affect my mobility and stamina. My solution is to bring 2 cameras with lens attached,  a special design belt that can hold my ThinkTank modular pouch with lenses in it.

7. Getting the “right” picture can be challenging at times because of various reasons.

a) Some workers may not be properly geared up for certain type of work
b) The site is unorganized due to the arrangement of equipment
c) The ground is muddy after a heavy downpour
d) Certain type of work breach safety regulation which i have no knowledge of
e) Weather is cloudy, makes the picture almost flat

This concludes the numerous difficult challenges for an industrial photographer (I haven’t even touched on the technical aspect). This type of job requires someone who is passionate and dedicated to documenting the industrial work process for the client. You may not need to be in the field of construction or engineering to do this type of photography. But the passion for it is more important. I started out with no knowledge but a desire to work in the industrial sector. I always learn along the way as i paved to further develop our skill and knowledge.

Drop me email if you like me to solve your picture problem.


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

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

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, i am  an outdoor person, i don’t dislike challenge that is physical. I can’t be working in the typical 8-5 lifestyle. I believe a rush of adrenaline makes me feel my life is worth living for. That is why photographer is the best job for me.

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

Sometimes i deem ‘dangerous’ photo shoot as an adventure. To achieve certain type of picture, hard work and much time are required. I need to strongly emphasis dangerous 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 forget, i may get hurt if i am not careful. Safety is always a 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 guiding 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!

View Of Industrial Vehicles

WARNING: This is a self promotional professional photography industrial vehicle service!

I’ve been frequently going in and out of the construction site to do site documentation photography. I thought of setting up a more focused portfolio on industrial vehicles in action.

Excavator in action

Rough terrain forklift carrying machine

Bird’s eye view of excavator

Rear view of a road roller in work

Truck mounted crane

Email me for enquiry if your company wants more of an ‘artistic’ picture.

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.