Try not to fall or drop anything into the number one tank.

 Why? "Oh, that's because it's the raw sewage intake tank." my client said casually.  "It'll be months before we find anything.  And it's really hard to swim in...."

One of the glamorous assignments that I truly loved came in 2004.  It was for one of the largest water and wastewater treatment companies in the U.S.  We cruised around and made images of all kinds of facilities.  It was on this trip that we introduced our art director from L.A. to the pleasures of Krispy Kreme donuts but our timing was off. We gave him a bag of fresh hot donuts about an hour before our twin engine prop commuter plane roared down the runway and into some really bumpy skies.

But what I liked about the assignment was the walking around in giant industrial plants looking for a shot.  All three of these came from a short slice of time at a single plant.  We'd done some shots to cover ourselves and we were about to go eat and recover from the rigors of the day when we saw the sunset and the wonderful soft clouds in the sky.  We stayed till long after dark shooting frame after frame.

Truly a situation of "waiting for the light to get neat."

These were early days of digital and we were shooting with a camera that was frustrating and fascinating all at once.  It was a Fuji S2.  The color was beautiful and the camera's ability to handle contrasty situations was pretty unique but it used two different kinds of batteries.  Four double "a" batteries for the mechanical parts of the body and a separate DL 123 lithium battery for the digital part of the camera.  And the batteries staggered their dissipation so that you ended up changing out batteries twice as often.  And you had to assess which set was going down.  But the camera did long exposures well and the files were easy.

I was just about to leave on this job and I was taking two camera systems.  One was a set of Leica M6's with a range of lenses which included the 15mm Voigtlander for the M series.  A few hours before we headed to the airport Ian called from the camera store.  They'd gotten in a new Nikon lens.  I ran by and picked it up.  The lens we used most on the Fuji was the Nikon 12-24mm DX lens.  It was actually very good but got "better" when Adobe started including a profile for the lens in PhotoShop.

While the people at Fuji insisted on calling the S2 a 12 megapixel camera it was really a 6 megapixel camera but that didn't stop anyone from making a series of large prints for the client to display in their offices.

Don't know why I posted this today but it reminds me of how much fun assignments of exploration can be.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your brilliant attention to the skies in these photographs. Subtle and elegant. And all in the service of wastewater?