Hard Hats & Hustle: The Story of Industry in 5 Recent Photos

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.”— Peter Adams

As an industrial photographer, I’m not just capturing machines and materials; I’m chronicling the symphony of human ingenuity played out on factory floors and construction sites. It’s a world of grit and grace, where sparks fly alongside quiet determination, and the rhythmic clang of metal meets the focused hum of concentration.

OK, well, let’s tell it like it really is. These people work where it’s dirty, grimy, loud and smelly. Here are 5 recent images from different projects that showcase what they do and where they do it.

1. Laser-Focused (Western NC): She stands in a maze of pipes and valves, hard hat and safety goggles ready, clipboard clutched in hand, laser-focused on the task at hand. In that single frame, I saw someone unconcerned with the noise and distractions around her.

Michael LoBiondo Photography - worker moving glass for installation

2. The Glass Dance (Greensboro, NC): A ballet of brawn and precision. Making it looks easy as he maneuvers a glass panel, its surface reflecting the world around it in distorted fragments. Care in handling is one of the cornerstones of this client’s business, and a lifestyle shot like this helps demonstrate it clearly.

Michael LoBiondo Photography - walking along paper manufacturing rollers

3. The Catwalk King (NC): On the catwalk, bathed in the eerie glow of industrial lights, he walked. A lone figure in a vibrant yellow t-shirt, a stark contrast to the steel and shadows that surrounded him. By showing a member of the team in relation to the equipment, I can show the scale of this company’s manufacturing process.

Michael LoBiondo Photography - grinding metalwork

4. The Spark of Creation (Wisconsin): It is always a fleeting moment, captured in a fraction of a second, but one of my favorite images to capture. A grinder’s wheel spits fiery orange and yellow. This image shows a raw energy that fuels industry, a reminder that beauty can be found even in the most primal forms of creation. Action shots like this are one of the best ways to capture attention of your website or marketing materials.

Michael LoBiondo Photography - forklift operator moving product in warehouse

5. The Warehouse Waltz (Charlotte, NC): A dance of steel and rubber. A forklift, its driver focused on the path, conducting this silent symphony, orchestrating the flow of materials with practiced ease and constant motion. Clean lines and a neat, organized warehouse highlight the efficiency of this client’s supply chain.

These five images are just a glimpse into the vast world of commercial industrial photography. They are windows into progress and the human spirit. After more than 30 years in this business , it’s still an honor to be a storyteller in this world, to capture the beauty and the power that often go unseen. 2023 was filled with moments like these across the US. I can’t wait to see where 2024 brings me.

More later…

Michael

Industrial Photography – Behind the Scenes with Polymers

Michael LoBiondo Industrial Photography Portfolio - Worker inspecting clear polymer pump cover

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.Vincent Van Gogh

They’re everywhere. And they’re often invisible.

We’re talking about polymers. Manufacturers use these natural or synthetic substances to create  thousands of products, including small parts essential to the function of big products. Polymers are in everything from cars to artificial joints to pool pumps. 

Clients often call us when they need to show their polymer capabilities to potential buyers. As experienced industrial photographers, we’re often shooting on the manufacturing floor and these assignments never fail to fascinate.

Our goal?  Create visually exciting photos that help build our clients’ businesses.  

Our images reveal the expertise of the people doing the work.  From the beginning stage of polymers in pellet form, ready to be shipped in 1,000-pound bags….

Michael LoBiondo Industrial Photography Portfolio - Worker inspecting polymer pellets

or melted into barrels….

Michael LoBiondo Industrial Photography Portfolio - Worker watching melted polymer in barrel

or to be manufactured into something new.

We’ve captured every step of the process, from production of polymers themselves, to products made with polymers, to tests on the results.  

Michael LoBiondo Industrial Photography Portfolio - Worker in quality control of paper coating lab
Michael LoBiondo Industrial Photography Portfolio – Worker in quality control of paper coating lab

Though we aren’t manufacturers, we appreciate the complexity of what manufacturers do.  Our curiosity can help us see visual opportunities that others might miss.

On any industrial shoot, we take time to understand the process we’re witnessing. That deep interest is essential to capturing meaningful photos. It’s the difference between grabbing a snapshot versus crafting an image. 

We’ve photographed everything from sweeping panoramas of manufacturing floors to workers with sharp eyes on the inspection line.  

From checking coated paper to be used in brochures, stickers and other applications….

Michael LoBiondo Industrial Photography Portfolio - Worker inspecting coating in paper plant

to studying a sheet for any imperfections, as no detail goes unnoticed.

Michael LoBiondo Industrial Photography Portfolio - Worker checking paper roll in paper plant

Our process begins with conversations about a client’s goals and creating a preferred shot list.  On site, we make discoveries and capture unexpected images to fulfill the client’s vision.

We’re grateful to have received referrals from industrial clients. Every manufacturing job deepens our knowledge and respect for the field.  It’s fascinating to learn how clients are solving problems for their customers.

Click here to see more of our commercial industrial photography portfolio. And give a little thanks today for polymers that make our lives easier.

More later…

Michael

Creating Successful Images – Vol. 1

There are many avenues to creating a successful image, even when the conditions aren’t ideal. In this project, our challenge was that we had little time to create images and unappealing warehouse lighting. It was also important to the client that the warehouse be non-specific. Using various light sources, we crafted an image that shows the intention and focus of the security guard, as well as the use of new tech.

lobiondo-security-warehouse-industrial

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Here’s To The Women Who Work Through Lunch!

You might think that our industrial and manufacturing photography is dominated by men, and largely it is. But there are many women working in the blue collar arena, gettin’ dirty just like the guys…

women-industrial-manufacturing-lobiondophotography

 

Rosie the Riveter comes in many forms.

 

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Through The Looking Glass

The problem with shooting glass is the glass can act like a mirror; it  sees everything in the background, plus all of my production lights and sometimes me, behind the camera.

The cool thing about shooting glass is it can create fabulous reflections of your subject. It’s all a matter of angle or “perspective,” as I like to say.

industrial | North Carolina plant | glass | LoBiondo Photography| reflections

industrial | North Carolina plant | glass | LoBiondo Photography| reflections

 

This client makes glass windshields for trucks and huge window panels for skyscrapers.  Both production locations afforded the opportunity to play off of the reflections of the surroundings and of the people working in the plant.

industrial | North Carolina plant | glass | LoBiondo Photography| reflections

industrial | North Carolina plant | glass | LoBiondo Photography| reflections

 

We also got to photograph glass processes in a large plant in Texas where, as you know, everything is bigger (big plant, big sky, etc, etc!!)

industrial | texas plant | glass | LoBiondo Photography| reflections

More later…

ML

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Adding Dynamic Color – Industrial Location Photography

industrial-location-photography-technical-measurement_blue

Blue filter added to background light during shooting

When I get to a location, I like to look around where I am and get a “feel” for the space and the people working there.  Then the question becomes, how can I enhance it?  On this location shoot, I wanted to add interest to a shot that was…ok, but needed a little a punch.  All right, a lot of punch.  Blue was a logical choice because of the company shirts.  I added a blue gel to the lights I was using.  This can’t be done after in post.

The color you add has to make sense, can’t conflict with the subject, and above all, can’t send the wrong message.  Red for instance, would have been like an emergency room!!  The original, more traditional lighting is below and it’s not bad, but the top one with the gels makes a much more emotional impact.  What do you think?

industrial-location-technical-measurement

Photography by Michael LoBiondo specializing in people, corporate, industrial and advertising.

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Chemical Industrial Shoot

industrial-portrait-location-lab-worker-environment

This project involved mixed lighting and both interiors and exteriors. They had just finished a major upgrade so all the spaces were very clean.  This helps because you don’t spend a lot of time trying to hide backgrounds, trash, and other things.

industrial-portrait-location-technical-worker-environment

We also had both hands on work and lots of technical items to punctuate the high-tech lab environment.

industrial-portrait-location-electric-worker-environment

 

industrial-portrait-location-welding-worker-environment

 

industrial-portrait-location-pump-worker-environment

So we ended with some great imagery accentuated with lots of color.

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Industrial Portrait – Paper Box Manufacturing

 

industrial-worker-location-safety-portrait

We did an industrial portrait in a box plant that pushes out thousands of feet of box material.  Our clients produce the glue that the plant uses so they have reps who constantly monitor the manufacturing to make sure that their product maintains the specs the manufacturer requires.

industrial-paper-worker-location-safety-testing

At the end of the line, a piece of corrugated gets a quick test to check the adhesive…

More later, ML…

Industrial Photography,Industrial Photographer Charlotte

Industrial Photography by Michael LoBiondo

Industrial Photography by Michael LoBiondo

Industrial Photographer Charlotte, Industrial Photographer, Industrial Photographers, Charlotte Industrial Photography, Charlotte Industrial Photographer, Corporate Photographer Charlotte, Professional Photographer Charlotte, medical photographer charlotte,location photographer charlotte,

These locations include Chattanooga TN, Bristol TN, Birmingham AL, Greensboro SC, Charlotte NC

Industrial Photography: Who keeps America running? #1

Industrial Photography by Michael LoBiondo Photography

Industrial Photography by Michael LoBiondo Photography

Industrial Photography…places where things get made.  People using their hands, sweating over the smallest detail, getting dirt in their fingernails, making the things that make the things go. The tattoos don’t hurt, either.

More later…ML