A black and white graphic of crane booms that I shot at ConExpo was selected by American Cranes and Transport for their June 2023 cover. Not typical for a cover – a graphic or a black and white, but it supported their lead story “Booming” quite nicely.
Am excited to see the release of the new coffee table book, “Legendary!:Legendary People, Jobs and Equipment” celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association and published by KHL Group. The book features notable crane lifts, companies and people that have made a difference in the crane industry over the past 75 years. As a Contributing Photographer to the Editorial Board, it was interesting to go back through my files for iconic images to tell the story of the crane industry. My image of the historic Tappan Zee Bridge construction is featured on the cover collage and a number of other images have been reproduced as full page section dividers: cranes at sunset (shown below), a crane working on Cinderella’s castle at DisneyWorld, graphic of crane booms, and a tower crane working in NYC as well as to highlight the story in other sections of the book. Glad to be part of such a significant work in this industry.
The June edition of KHL’s American Cranes and Transport (ACT”) just hit the stands. I was excited to see that an article I finished up in late April was selected for the issue. “Distracted” includes 20 of my images from ConExpo 2020 selected by the editors at ACT, as well as my take on the show and shooting with the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding before our eyes in Las Vegas. While all this took place in the first week of March, it seems such a long time ago at this point in time. Besides COVID-19, the biggest challenge was really bad weather for largely an outdoor trade show.
I have to say that my new Nikon Z6 consistently performed alongside what would be my last serious shooting with the Nikon D5 before moving to the new Nikon D6. When you have small windows of time to capture images, you can’t be worrying about your equipment. Nikon camera bodies and lenses came through again.
After two days of miserable weather at ConExpo 2020, the sky began to clear and for a time we were treated to a blue sky with great clouds. Walking by a Kobelco Crawler Crane, I highlighted the yellow boom against what was going on above. Keeping it simple and at the same time creating a lot of space for text if it were to be chosen from my cover submissions.
ConExpo is the largest equipment trade show in the United States. Held every three years, in open lots around the Las Vegas Convention Center, it normally draws visitors from all over the world. I have attended ConExpo for almost three decades and shot the last four shows for American Cranes and Transport. Going into the show, the big challenge was that the old lot where most of the cranes were displayed had been sacrificed for the Convention Center expansion. Having shot three shows at the old location, I had a pretty good idea how the light moved throughout the day across the lot and where I needed to be to make the best use of it with the various exhibits. And I had my shooting notes from the previous shows. All that went out the window as the cranes moved to a new “temporary” lot about 1/4 mile away.
With COVID-19 at its infancy in the U.S., I arrived on March 6th and spent the weekend prior to the show, watching the light while avoiding being flattened by the flurry of forklifts and activity as the last minute preparations were made to the exhibits. The weekend was beautiful and had great light. Then for the first time that I can remember at a ConExpo, the weather went downhill fast and we opened the show to rain. Over the course of the week, the COVID-19 count in the U.S. climbed rapidly and ConExpo made the national news as the “last trade show being held in the U.S”. Most of the shooting opportunities were crammed into the last two of five show days because of weather and the show ended up closing a day early as the seriousness of the COVID-19 crisis became apparent.
I love the challenge of shooting trade shows of this magnitude and telling the story. With poor weather and COVID-19, I found the challenge amped up to an extreme. This is the scene that greeted me in the first 5 minutes of the show walking onto the crane lot.