So Cal Plumbers, A Film
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
3y ago
For most of my career I’ve been the quintessential one-man band, doing everything required of a project, above and below the line. I contract with the occasional assistant or two, but it’s usually just me. It’s the course I sail, no complaints. After completing a video documentary in 2017, (Read about it here) I wanted to become a film producer, specifically industrial video productions. I’ve coveted this role for quite some time but I had zero practical experience. I marketed to existing and new contacts, worked on becoming proficient in all aspects of producing and when luck and opportunity ..read more
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60 Hour Embedded Track Pour
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
3y ago
7pm Friday evening through 7am the following Monday. That’s what I was told when asked to shoot time-lapse of an embedded track pour. A finished time-lapse film depicting the work to use for corporate marketing was the goal. Ultimately, they completed the build with 6 hours to spare. That was impressive. I was also impressed with their planning and efficiency, as I have been numerous times since becoming their project photographer. With single-camera time-lapse films comes the challenge of how to avoid a boring edit and deliverable. Planning to capture supporting visuals from the beginning, mi ..read more
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Construction Panoramas As A Tool For Communication
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
3y ago
THE BIG PICTURE Since 2011, I’ve worked as a project photographer on many private and public construction sites. From my perspective as an outsider, scale always impresses me, especially when projects begin at ground level, go up and out. For many years it was all time-lapse work for my clientele, then video production was added and lately it’s been a lot of progress stills documentation. This year I’ve taken up shooting panoramas as a way to illustrate scope and scale. NODAL POINT TOOL Panoramas are traditionally made by using a tripod head with nodal point capability. This capability allows ..read more
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Short Films: Inside the Fence
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
3y ago
When It Began A little over a year ago I began producing a series of extremely short films called “Inside the Fence”. The premise going in is that I’m on site for only a portion of the process, but long enough to show what the job requires in terms of equipment, workforce deployment, safety gear and type of activity. These films are made for people who are interested in joining the industry by illustrating construction processes with short and artistic film stories. My work is primarily used for social media and education. The films, comprised of snippets of activity are short and sweet ..read more
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Construction Photography as Tableau Vivant – Part One
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
4y ago
Dramatizing The Activity When photographed correctly peak moments of construction activity can be turned into human tableaus. The formal name is Tableau Vivant, French for Living Picture and I could not find a more appropriate identifier for my work. Like a Tableau Vivant painted onto a blank canvas, construction photography lends itself quite easily to dramatization. My mission it to deliver these moments to you with clarity, quality and efficiency. Light, Movement & Moment In the photograph above, the peak moment clearly shows the activity of nine separate individuals under solid amb ..read more
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The Quick Hit Construction Portrait
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
4y ago
For me the job of photographing people, project sites and machinery is play disguised as work. Construction is intense, tedious and dangerous. But it’s enjoyable to document it and the people who build America. I tip my hardhat to them, but for safeties sake, I’ll keep it on. I really dig my job. My respect for these folks is so immense that one of my core missions during a site visit is to photograph them in their environment. Always on the lookout for portrait opportunities (I call them quick hitters) these sessions last anywhere from 30 seconds to 4 minutes. These people are busy, on a sche ..read more
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Women in Construction Week
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
4y ago
Women in Construction Week – Portraits After all my years in business, it’s still thrilling to get an email inquiring about availability. And when that email request involves environmental portraiture on a construction site, I’m as happy as one can get. Well, maybe a perfect 300 score in bowling is better but not by much. (my best is 284) Sunlight Direct and sunny or diffused and soft, this ambient light is the light you work with. As my skilled brethren will attest, working early or late day is preferable, the sun angle relative to the subject lends itself easier to drama and emotion, charac ..read more
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Branding Your Company
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
4y ago
The Bargain I’m a bartering horse-trading kind of a guy so when I sense an opportunity to “transact a little business” I jump on it. It’s always no if you don’t try, the odds only go up from there, right? This was the case in 2014. As the official photographer I was wandering around our neighborhood documenting our biennial historic homes tour when I happened upon one of the vendors we invite to share their wares and expertise with our guests and homeowners: boutique teas, coffee, pastries, home repair businesses and the like. Scott Campbell the owner of Window Repair and Restoration is accomm ..read more
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CIDH Construction
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
4y ago
December 6-7, 2019 Drilling All Night Long One of the absolute joys of my life as a professional photographer is when I’m commissioned to photograph something I haven’t seen before. I arrived on this site at 7pm and left the following afternoon at 3:30. CIDH, (Cast in drill hole) is a process for drilling large diameter holes into the ground. As part of this process, drilling fluid is poured into the hole in copious amounts and multiple steel casings are assembled together into one long tube, (in this case 120′) and gradually twisted downwards by an oscillator. These steps keep the hole from c ..read more
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THE CONSTRUCTION WORKER TEAM
Build Better Photograph | Construction, Industrial & Corporate Time–Lapse Films
by Michael Stern
5y ago
Quality Week is the time when Walsh employees working on projects across the US gather and get recognized for their hard work, safety regimens and team play. From newbies to seasoned veterans, they gather, socialize, talk shop and if it so happens, (as in the case of the OC Streetcar project I’m on) free coffee, doughnuts, hard hats and t-shirts. (I’m gluten free but I got everything else!) The ceremony isn’t long as they still had a full workday ahead but the idea of bringing the team together to celebrate, cajole and support each other under the direction of the Project Manager Rick Felkins ..read more
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