The Big Dump
Impressive! Created for Komdresco Manufacturing in Cambridge in the late 1980’s, this image of a welder working on a dump box for a mining truck needed to express the mammoth task of the workers. High ceilings and massive cranes were all part of the required equipment. Picking up and rotating the large box was necessary to expose the next side of the structure for the welders to work on. That is until the automation was brought in.
And that’s why I was there.
Industrial photography can preserve a company’s history, as well as demonstrate processes and excellence in the making of it wares. I was summoned to make a series of images that illustrated Komdresco’s manufacturing process, before that very process became a thing of the past.
The excitement of this assignment came in the size of the subject, the lines, the textures. The challenge was lighting. Daylight through tinted window needed to balanced with mercury vapour plant lights. Each source produced a different colour temperature light. In addition to the quality of light, I had to deal with a quantity of light that surpassed the recordable range of the film. Dark shadows where there was next to no light to the brilliant brightness of the welder. Studio strobes brought detail into the shadows where necessary.
I chose the 4×5 camera to capture the maximum detail in the negative and black and white film to eliminate the challenge of the colour temperatures.
From the 4-5 negative I had a 24 by 30 inch print made and selenium toned. This print was used for years as a sample of my industrial photography in Chamber of Commerce exhibits.
The other “favourite” image from this assignment can be found here
My career in photography has presented me with the opportunity to see some pretty amazing things. The inside of the old Komdresco plant was one of them, making this one of my all time favourite images.