Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of working with SME Ltd. A world class engineering firm that has a fascinating heritage. Based in Steyning, West Sussex.
The Scale Model Equipment Company founded by Mr. Alastair Robertson-Aikman in 1946. Began as a designer and manufacturer of precision models for the exhibition and model engineering trade. The company expanded and diversified into engineering subcontracting, producing precision aircraft parts for prestigious companies such as Rolls Royce, Hawker & Martin Baker. The company went onto design pick up arms and turntables for the high end audio market and today continues to manufacture highly complex precision components.
Taking place over two days the photography for SME captured both the heritage aspects of the company alongside the modern precision engineering. It was clear on my first visit to the factory that the company was unique from its 1950’s era architecture to the ethos of hand crafted engineering alongside cutting edge lathes and milling machines.
Everyone I met had a passion for the company and engineering. I was impressed also to see that the founder Mr Robertson-Aikman’s original office remained untouched retaining the original decor of the 1960’s. Most of the product photography took place here and it was like stepping back in time, with wonderful objects from the era such as a desk fan, intercom and telephone. As well as the original furniture and furnishings.
The photographs taken were primarily for a redesign of the SME website which was recently launched. With a long shot list the photo shoot presented many challenges. I was tasked with photographing both exterior shots of the factory as well products on a white screen and environmental imagery of the factory and the precision components. The challenges consisted mainly of working in a confined space that was not
2014 has been a wirlwind year. My duaghter Eleanor was born in May and she is a beautiful joy to spend time with. Between power naps and nappy changes the last year has proven especially busy with lots of travel both abroad and in the UK. Photoshoot trips to regions of the UK I would not otherwise have visited and journeys further afield to Barcelona. I have been privileged to meet some amazing healthcare staff and see them at work. It’s been a pleasure to continue to collaborate with my long standing clients, producing creative work for annual reports, websites, marketing and advertising. I am looking forward to producing and developing more creative output in 2015.
I have also upgraded and added new equipment to my kit. The Nikon D810 and D800 currently the only DSLR 35mm cameras capable of producing 36 megapixel files, the largest digital image files available from a camera in this class. In conjunction with this I have upgraded my computer and storage in order to maintain an efficient workflow that can handle the larger files sizes produced by the D800 cameras.
Below is a small sample of photography completed during 2014.
Recent commission for HCA Healthcare. Photograph taken of London Bridge Hospital riverside facade with River Thames at high tide, dusk lighting, clear skies and a deadline within 7 days. This was probably a once a month occurrence and it was pure luck and constant weather watching which enabled all the elements to come together as well they did. After checking with the Port of London Authority for tide times at the correct location, I could see which dates would have high tide during the twilight golden hour. I just needed good weather. This was taken on the only day of good of weather during the only window of opportunity I had to complete the work on time and within the deadline date.
The new Cambridge Biomedical Campus at Addenbrooks, Cambridge, UK. Gallery here Always pass this on my cycle ride to Cambridge, and love the way the light falls on the metal cladding. Looking forward to seeing it completed and all the fencing disappear.