A Lot Can Happen In Two Years
Up until December 2019 The Ford Motor Company had been a major client of mine. For the previous seven years I had shot photography at their Bridgend Engine Plant for their internal communication magazine “Ford News” as well as other corporate events and visits by public figures and Ford top brass for distribution to the media.
Back in June 2018 I was being kept busy photographing the commissioning of the new Dragon Production Line at the plant ( pictured above ). A huge investment by Ford which would ensure the future of the plant. It’s unbelievable that a little over a year later the plant closure was announced. A huge blow for Bridgend, South Wales and the 1800 workers at the plant as well as the huge numbers of other local companies that supplied the plant including myself.
June of that year Ford also held a hugely successful open day at the plant something I also recorded for posterity. A few of images and a video can be seen below.
In the same month I was also asked to help with shooting a wall panorama for a new recreation facility that was being created for the workforce in the main office block.
The plan was to turn two walls of the area into a giant photographic backdrop. Their first thought had been to buy in an image for the job but it quickly became apparent that sourcing an image of sufficient resolution to reproduce at such a large size was difficult if not impossible and so they contacted me.
Whilst the Nikon kit I used at the time did produce very high resolution images this was going to require something special to achieve such a large image with sufficient detail. The solution was to shoot several images of a scene to create a stitched panorama of a high enough resolution.
The brief was to shoot a generic scene of greenery, nothing that was recognisable or too detailed just something that would give a pleasing and relaxing backdrop. Luckily for me the grounds around the plant provided the ideal location and all that remained was to wait for Spring to pass and the greenery to flourish and a blue sky to appear.
The camera, a Nikon D800 was mounted on a level tripod in the upright position and rotated through 360 degrees taking an image approximately every 16 degrees. Each image needed to overlap the next to allow for seamless stitching. The finished panorama is made up of 22 separate 103 megabyte images stitched together using Photoshop to create a high resolution image with a file size of 700 megabytes which with some upsizing in the printing stage is large enough to produce a print approximately 3 metres high by 16 metres long.
The top image here is the whole of the stitched panorama image although the limitations of online use don't allow the true resolution of the image to be seen. The bottom picture shows the finished print on the wall of the relaxation area with me included to give it all some scale.
The final image was printed in-house by Ford onto sticky backed wallpaper stock at 300 dpi. The amount of detail visible in the finished work is amazing with individual leaves and blades of grass being clearly visible.
All of this just goes to show how uncertain the future is. We never know what is around the corner. I’m getting on with what I do best, taking pictures, whilst constantly looking for new clients who understand the benefits that quality creative photography can bring to their business.
The pandemic and subsequent lockdown have hugely affected the economy of the country and once again the future is uncertain. As individuals we can only do what we can do and not worry about things that are outside of our control. I can only concentrate on my work but hopefully I can help the corona crisis by sticking to social distancing, something which if we all do our own little bit towards will ultimately be the thing that will defeat the virus.
Keywords: Business, Cardiff, Commercial Photographer, Corporate Photographer, Editorial Photographer, Event Photographer, Event Photography, Location photography, Marketing Photographer, Mediaphotos, Photo Shoot, Photography, PR Photographer, PR photography, Press Photography, Roger Donovan, Wales
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