I got a call from a previous client about a shoot the next day, which I was able to accommodate. And this is what it looked like.
I have my own PPE, which gets me on most construction sites. I did not have high vis trousers. I had to get the trousers that afternoon.
On to the next day.
A baking hot day in Poole, wearing a high vis coat and trousers. Boots, gloves, glasses and hard hat.
I can remember the heat to this day.
And the trousers.
Lets just say they were a generous fit, I had to pull them virtually up to my elbows to get them to stay put. Meaning a double layer of material around my midriff to make things even more uncomfortable. And too much material around my ankles – I must have looked like a clown in yellow!
Enough about the clothing – what about the shoot?
The problem was this, they wanted me to photograph the gravel being off-loaded from the rail cars you can’t see from this level, which was the problem. From ground level you cant see the rail cars.
And the other problem – they only had a limited time slot to offload the gravel before the train was off.
There was no waiting for me to take some nice photos – I just had to get on with photographing what was going on in front of me before they finished their work.
- I could not climb up to the back. Not allowed.
- All I could do was go to an adjacent gravel bay, giving me a concrete wall as safety segregation from the large machine and the live rail siding.
I was happy with that.
But how do I take the photos they want?
Bring on the painters pole.
I attached my Canon 6D, with Canon 17-40mm lens attached, to a Harris painters pole using a special adaptor. I connected my Canon 6D to my iPhone 6 Plus via WiFi, which I used as a remote release, and then did this technical image capture.
Poke the pole up as high as I could, point my camera in the general direction of the machine, focus and take photos.
It was so hot my glasses were steaming up, and so bright that I could not really see what i was photographing, so I just took lots and lots of photos.
The client was happy, and all was good.
The moral of this story – be prepared as you never know what you are going to encounter on a commercial shoot.
The brief as presented was impossible to achieve, but happily with some ingenuity and unusual gear I got the job done.
And this was one of those jobs where I downloaded the images to my PC and then transferred all the RAW files to my client to sort and edit.
I love jobs where i do this! And I love unusual jobs like this in unusual environments and unique circumstances.