At Sea again – photos and video for the maritime industry in Indonesia
Those familiar with my work as a professional photographer in Indonesia will know that I have done a lot of work for the coal mining industry in various parts of Kalimantan – Indonesia.
However, in recent years I have more focused on other projects here in Bali. So it has been over 5 years since I did my last mining photography assignment. Recently I started to miss all that comes with photographing for the mining industry in Kalimantan.
So when the CEO of ROCKTREE, a Singapore based global logistics company called me and asked if I were interested to do some work for them it took me not long to say yes.
Because assignments relating to photography and video for Indonesia’s coal mining industry always come with a degree of adventure. I can go to far-flung places and I am privileged to visit places that are off limits for anyone who is not involved in one way or another in the mining industry.
This photo gig took me to Samarinda, the capital city of East Kalimantan province – on the island of Borneo.
My work almost exclusively to place on the water. Partly on the Mahakam river, Indonesia’s largest river and the other part offshore. About 40 nautical sea miles (about 75 km) there is an anchorage point where the coal is loaded onto larger and very large vessels to shipped to destinations around the world.
But let’s see some pictures first:
Drone Photography & Video
Photographing maritime operations usually requires aerial photography. In the past, I was lucky that for this I could fly with a helicopter. So in the past, I did a lot of chopper flying throughout Kalimantan.
However, thanks to drone technology those days are gone.
Drone photography & video are particularly useful in the context of shipping and maritime operations with huge ships, large barges, tugboats, and cranes. Photographing a vessel of 100 – 200 meters in length require some distance to find a nice vantage point.
Photographs can be done from another ship, but for video taking it is important to be still – something that is very difficult to achieve from a ship that is pounded by waves and vibrations from the engine.
That is where drones come in handy. On top of that drone photos and video can look pretty spectacular when done right. But make no mistake: flying a drone at the open sea can also get tricky when the wind becomes to strong. Also should the drone crash it would be gone for good.
While I also have a drone and occasionally take photos with it for this assignment I wanted the best drone pilot I could find. So I was accompanied on this assignment by Pak Putu – a drone operator widely considered among the best in Indonesia.
Here are some examples of the maritime operations required for shipping coal across the world.
Three days of maritime photography & video
Our assignment was set over three days. The first two days were just so-so in terms of weather and light, but on the third day, the conditions were 100 % perfect, enabling us to capture some great images of ROCKTREE’s maritime operations.
Most photographers dread the harsh, super-strong light of the mid-day sun. Not so for me. In fact, I love this kind of light and the strong colors and deep shadows it creates.
Talking about shadows. The place where I worked is less than 50 km from the equator. So, at midday, the sun is almost 100% above your head thus casting almost no shadow at all. An ideal condition for spectacular drone photography and video.
Anyway, I am being carried away by my adventure photographing for the coal mining industry in Borneo and I am rambling too much. I know you rather would like to see some pictures. So here you are:
My passion for maritime photography in Indonesia
Another aspect I love about mining and maritime photography is that I can use ultra-wide lenses. Those knowing my style for industrial photography will have noticed that I tend to photograph a lot with ultra-wide-angle lenses. Lenses with a focal range of 12 mm up to 24 mm. This time was no exception.
One of the challenges doing photography and video for the mining industry in Indonesia is that I have to get hardened seaman to act as models. Judge for yourself how far I succeeded in this quest.
And in the following a few pix of Yours Truly & Team in action:
I hope you have enjoyed the photographs of my latest adventure photographing for the coal mining industry in Kalimantan. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Special thanks to the following people who have generously support Pak Putu and me during this photoshoot:
Sigit Wicaksono – Site Operation Manager at ROCKTREE | Capt. Berly Kurniawan & Pak Acep Nurohman | Capt. Dwi Prasetyo Hadi
& Pak Galuh | Capt. Kaharudin & Pak Ciptadi Pratomo.