The Cherry (Picker) on a Photographer’s Cake
Once again High Level Photography has recently taken to the skies. This time it was not a twin engine aircraft that carried us forth, but a giant cherry picker!
These beasts of the road are often referred to in the construction world as elevated work platforms or man lifts and that is precisely what it does. It lifts man. In this case, it lifted our photographer and camera 60 metres above the Albert Embankment in London.
Head for Heights
Not only does high platform photography require a head for heights, it also requires detailed planning and logistics in order to get a 32 tonne, 12-metre long vehicle in position in a busy thoroughfare. Generally the process includes an advanced site survey to determine important factors such as load bearings, health and safety issues, local authority permissions and permits from the likes of organisations such as Network Rail. In certain circumstances arrangements have to be made for a traffic management team to erect barriers that ensure the safety of passers-by.
Simple enough? No. Of course not! Having arranged all the necessary permissions and booked the equipment the great British weather intervened to delay the planned shoot by two weeks. Not only did we have a “sunshine” brief, but we are no fools and with a hand on the health and safety manual, we decided that standing in a small cage, 60 meters above concrete and water in high winds was not a place even these seasoned photographers wanted to be!
Blue Skies up Ahead
So, with the mid-term forecast now promising, low winds and sunny skies, we again applied for our traffic management licence, hired the rig and set-off. Our objective for the assignment was to take elevated 360 degree view photographs from our clients yet-to-be built apartment block standing majestically on the banks of the Thames.
As it turned out on this occasion the Summer sky post sunset provided a stunning backdrop to the city architecture and justifying our decision to delay the previous shoot.
Behind Every Great Picture….
Effective, contextual photography is not just about the camera, it is what’s behind the lens that counts; the experience of the photographer, not only in the art of capturing the brief, but in understanding what planning, logistics, weather management, financial investment and patience goes into meeting the photography brief – and then setting the client’s expectations against these.
This job, now completed against the wishes of the weather, is just another example of why businesses, the press, property developers, real-estate agents and design agencies employ our skills as professional photographers. We specialise in elevated and aerial photography – sometimes against all odds.