It’s always fun to get a call for an image that will tell a story. In this case, I was asked if I could capture some images for a feature story on wire rope. Yes, a spool of wire rope would represent the story line but capturing the application of the product opens up the possibilities for far more interesting images that hopefully draws the reader into explore the story.
Was excited to see the July issue of American Crane and Transport hit the stands today. I was asked to share my experience covering the largest equipment tradeshow in the world as a photographer and the article includes six pages of images I captured during that week in Munich. The editor also decided to go with one of my abstracts for the cover which made this issue even more special.
Attending my fourth Bauma in Munich Germany and shooting for my friends at KHL magazine. It should be interesting both from the magnitude of the show and the fact that I’ll be using the new Nikon Z6 mirrorless body as well as my D5. So far the Z6 has not disappointed and has actually been consistently outperforming my expectations. Bauma is the largest equipment trade show in the world, held every three years at the trade fair grounds outside Munich. Its massive, a sensory overload for any first timer with 3,700 exhibitors from 63 countries spread over 137 acres, 44 of which are enclosed. Attendance is expected to exceed 500,000! Consistent with past shoots I usually arrive two days before the trade show opens and walk the show grounds to get a feel for exhibits and light. This is where the press pass comes in handy. The pre-show activity is nothing less than a frenzy with well over 1,000 forklifts and other equipment as well as thousands of tradespeople racing around and putting the final touches on the exhibits. And like magic, all this activity will be done by Monday morning when the crowds start lining up to enter. This is one of the tower cranes taken with the Z6 and Z 24-70 f4.5 shot in B&W in camera. Just love that ability!
Nikon Z6; Nikon Z24-70f4.5
In October, I received an e-mail from an editor looking for an image of a crane operator to support a story they were doing on operator training. Usually, in the assignments I have shot, the crane is the subject and due to the size of the crane the operator is a very tiny part of the image…if he/she can be seen at all. I had till the next morning to get back to the editor so that evening I filtered my images and from 10,000 plus finished images of cranes I had two featuring crane operators where I had releases. I found them in about 5 minutes and had them off to the editor that night. Four weeks later, the image was published. I never would have found those two images from 10,000 plus shot over the past decade had it not been that I had attached some basic keywords to those images. If you keyword when you input your images from your cards, it soon becomes a habit. A habit that just got reenforced by this experience.
In shooting the cover for the August issue of American Crane and Transport, I had what I thought was a slam dunk idea for a cover. Literally outside my 16th floor office was a 51 story building going up. I started shooting the building from the time the tower crane was assembled. What a unique shot I thought. Straight down on a Tower Crane, a perspective most people don’t see or get to shoot. Up 2,3,8,12 stories and I shot all the way, along with the conventional from the ground up shot. When it came time to submit, in went the “unique perspective shots” along with the traditional. Then the call came from the editor. “We are really struggling to select one from several we like, would you like to be the tie-breaker?” So I selected my favorites and had a couple of hours to get back to them. In the end, I picked the traditional shot. Why not the “unique perspective”. The image was to highlight the magazine’s lead story, key word “story”. The more I looked at the tower crane below me in the “unique perspective” shots, the more I realized that they just didn’t have the impact of standing under a 12 story tower crane in operation – that’s what your mind expects to see and if it doesn’t see that it doesn’t scream Tower Crane. So in supporting the magazine’s lead story, we needed to make the reader’s mind identify quickly that this was the tower crane issue, not struggle to figure out why we were looking down on the crane. It was an important lesson for me and a reminder that its about telling the story, not just about capturing what was a unique perspective. In the end the story won out, as it should have.
I was pleased to discover that the May/June edition of the Canadian publication, Service Truck, featured 16 of my images in a double truck ( a pair of facing pages in a magazine) article written by Dan Anderson for their column Spec My Truck. The idea for the article began over a year ago when I met the editor at the ConExpo trade show in Germany and pitched the idea of the article to him. While this regular column normally features an individual and describes how they have customized their service truck to fit their specific job, Dan interviewed the head of product support and wrote about how a company approaches customizing their entire fleet to meet the tasks required to service cranes. The editor requested a lot of images with specific vehicle details and it was fun spending a few hours with several fleet vehicles to come up with a fresh approach to capturing the story.
Excited to see one of my images from ConExpo be selected for the cover of the April issue of American Crane and Transport.
ConExpo is the largest construction equipment show in North America and occurs in Las Vegas every three years.
Here is link to the magazine: American Cranes and Transport