Antonio Villanueva Placing Concrete

Antonio Villanueva Placing Concrete

Antonio Villanueva Placing Concrete

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This photo of Antonia Villanueva was captured while he was placing concrete this fall in Section 1 of the Ohio River Bridges Project. Antonio is a Carpenter with Walsh Construction and one of his roles is to man the hose from the concrete pump when placing concrete.Placing the concrete with the hose is a very physical job that looks easy to someone who hasn’t tried it. In reality the weight of the material flowing through the hose requires a lot of strength to maneuver it. I processed the image in Adobe Camera Raw from a single frame. I then took it into Photoshop CS5 when I created the border and descriptive title.

I use a local printer, Unique Imaging Concepts. to have these types of images printed on .040″ Aluminum. The process makes a dye-sublimation print that will  last for over 100 years. This makes a very nice way for anyone working on the Ohio River Bridges Project to have a permanent memento of their role in the construction of the Ohio River Bridges Project. I usually try to size the finished print to approximately 11′ X 14″ though that can vary depending upon the way the image is cropped. They come mounted with a hanging system that floats the panel 1/2″ off the wall and sell for $100 each. Any image that I have posted here on the blog can be presented in this fashion.

I have included some examples of these prints that I have made for other people working on the Ohio River Bridges Project in this post too. I strive to create images of these men and women that are more than a simple portrait.My focus with these is to create something that shows the person in the photo in the environment that they work in. The goal is to produce something that will allow them to share with their friends and family a vision of the work they did while building the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Ohio River Bridges Project Progressing Well

The work on the Ohio River Bridges Project is proceeding well as can be seen in the accompanying photos from Indiana and Kentucky. The girders from Indiana are heading south and soon will be connected to the first section of the Downtown Span at Pier 5 where the first section of bridge road deck has begun to take shape.

In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown  Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.

In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.

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The weather on this particular morning was changing from clear skies to rain clouds and made for a dramatic backdrop to my photos of Brian Kirker. Brian is an Operating Engineer who came here from Las Vegas to work on this project. I wanted to capture the towers on Pier 5 as well as his excavator when he happened to move into a perfect place for that shot.

As a rule I don’t pose people when I’m shooting because I feel it will interfere with the work they are doing but in this case I did motion for Brian to hold still while I shot a couple of bracket sets. I knew that due to the strong backlight and broad dynamic range the best approach would be to shoot this scene for HDR processing.

Back in my studio I took the three frame bracket set of -2, 0 and +2 EV exposures into NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and merged them. I then applied a custom preset of my own creation (one I had used several months ago) to get the look I felt best accented the image. After I had done that I took the resulting image into Adobe Camera Raw for some adjustments to the Brightness, Exposure, Fill Light and Blacks. I also added a little Vibrance to the image and then opened it in Photoshop CS5.

Once I had the image in Photoshop CS5 I added a new layer and made a Curves adjustment in order to get pure white and pure black. I then flattened the layers before adjusting the Sharpening using the Smart Sharpen command. Recently I have been using ACR and PS CS5 more  in my processing workflow. I have discovered that doing so has allowed me to attain better results than I used to get from finishing the HDR process in Aperture 3. There is more vibrance in the colors and the whites are more pronounced.

Brian Kirker and David Preston are shown here as the drainage pipe is being installed on the Indiana approach to the Downtown Span.

Brian Kirker and David Preston are shown here as the drainage pipe is being installed on the Indiana approach to the Downtown Span.

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In this second image Brian is lifting a drainage pipe as David Preston, an Inspector with FIGG, verifies that it is being installed per the job specifications. Throughout the construction process outside entities like FIGG monitor the work being done to make certain that everything is properly installed.

I liked the way the composition worked and also the way the light played along the excavator bucket. Having David and the large concrete cylinder in the foreground with Brian and the excavator in the middle ground and the beautiful clouds in the background really makes this image work for me. I used the same post processing steps in this image as in the preceding image.

Early morning on Pier 5 after a short period of rain. The barge in the foreground is there to use as an assembly point for steel rebar and concrete form as the tower is extended up.

Early morning on Pier 5 after a short period of rain. The barge in the foreground is there to use as an assembly point for steel rebar and concrete form as the tower is extended up.

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The last two images in this post are from the barges alongside Pier 5 and give an idea of the scale of the work that is going on on the river. Near the center of the image workers can be seen near the tower base. The first section of bridge is in place and the deck panels are being installed. I liked the way the sky was reflected in the water puddles on the barges and the wetness of everything in contrast to the clearing sky.

Early morning shot of Pier 5 after a short period of rain. This view give a good overview of the progress being made on the bridge deck and towers.

Early morning shot of Pier 5 after a short period of rain. This view give a good overview of the progress being made on the bridge deck and towers.

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As with all the other images in this post I used HDR processing to bring out the details in both the highlights and the shadows while enhancing the colors in the scene. When shooting these infrastructure construction photos I find HDR techniques to be indispensable tools. I always shoot bracket sets with 2 stop intervals and most times I am able to use all of them in the final image. In the event that the subjects in the bracketed photos have moved too much for the software to accommodate I usually find I have one image that has a good enough exposure that it can be processed for an acceptable final image.

Was a Rainbow Over the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project a Positive Omen?

I try to capture something from the Ohio River Bridges Project nearly every workday. The rapid progress that is being made now is transforming the landscape all along the construction site. It isn’t always possible to be in just the right place every day but I really hope to provide a pretty complete view of how the Ohio River Bridges Project is progressing. I like to think that this rainbow is a positive omen for the project and for my own desire to show the world of heavy highway and bridge construction to the world though my images.

The other morning there were scattered showers moving in from the northwest and I was lucky enough to be in just the right place when the morning sunrise illuminated a gorgeous rainbow over the construction at Towers 4 and 5. I was on the Kentucky shore where the bridge will land in Louisville. I adjusted my vantage point in an effort to align the base of the rainbow with the eastern tower on pier 5. In doing so I was also able to include it’s intersection with the eastern tower at pier 4. In the upper right hand corner of the image is another faint rainbow that I discovered during processing.

Rainbow over the bridge towers for the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span being built by Walsh Construction in Louisville, Kentucky, November 2014

Rainbow over the bridge towers for the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span being built by Walsh Construction in Louisville, Kentucky, November 2014

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The images in this post were captured all around the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville Kentucky in the past 30 days. There are photos of individual tradesmen, progress on the Downtown Span and the reconfiguring of Spaghetti Junction. All this activity keeps me hopping as I try to capture the process as well as the progress of this massive Heavy Highway and Bridge Construction project.

In several of these photos I have taken the liberty of sharing different versions of the same scenes. I like to use HDR techniques and HDR software when capturing and processing my images. I often like to take those same HDR images into various Black and White processing apps. I am not married to any one B&W app and use many different plug-ins as well as the B&W conversion tools in Photoshop CS5 and Aperture 3. I like the variety of effects I can get by using Topaz B&W, onOne B&W Effects and NIK Silver Efex Pro 2.

 

Sunrise over Louisville’s Towhead Island

Towhead Island is at the eastern end of Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY.

Towhead Island is at the eastern end of Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY.

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Towhead Island is located in the Ohio River just east of downtown Louisville, Kentucky. It was formed by a barge that sank many years ago and obstructed the channel. Over many decades the river delivered loads of silt and debris which eventually created the island we see today. Not only is it a staging area for barges to be transported down river it is also a mini wildlife refuge hosting a few blue herons and the occasional beaver.

Fall sunrise on the Ohio River  in Louisville KY.

Fall foliage at sunrise on Towhead Island in the Ohio River at Louisville KY as seen from the observation deck below the Big Four Bridge.

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Towhead Island also creates a calm protected waterway to the University of Louisville’s boathouse, a police substation and a large marina. The lights on the distant shore are from the Jeff Boat boat building yards in Jeffersonville Indiana. On this particular morning the University of Louisville rowing teams were training and moving along the western end of the island.

The First Structural Steel Girders For The Downtown Span are Installed

On October 20, 2014 another major milestone in the Ohio River Bridges Project was attained. The first structural steel girders were installed at Tower Five by Walsh Construction and a Structural Steel Gang of Ironworkers from Ironworkers Local 70 in Louisville Kentucky.

Morning fog blankets the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville, Kentucky.

Morning fog blankets the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville, Kentucky.

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The photos accompanying this post were shot over the course of a week as the structural gang hung the first structural steel girders, the edge girders and floor girders, that will support the bridge deck and roadway for the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. I have tried to acknowledge and identify all the people in these images but there are some that I missed. I hope that anyone with information about those I failed to name will kindly add a comment along with the missing names which I can then use to edit the descriptions accompanying the photos.

It was very awe inspiring to watch as the Ironworkers maneuvered the first Edge Girder into place. The Edge Girder weighs 139,000 pounds and is 141 feet in length but these men made it look simple as they lifted it into place and attached it to Tower Five. I went home the first day after the Edge Girder was in place and returned the next day to watch them fly the second Edge Girder and some of the Floor Girders into place.