The Crane Crew of Donny and Ray

Portrait of a Crane Crew, Donny Cooper, Operator and Ray Mansfield, Oiler.
Portrait of a Crane Crew, Donny Cooper, Operator and Ray Mansfield, Oiler.

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Every mobile crane on the Ohio River Bridges Project has a two man crane crew. The crane crew in this image is Donny Cooper who operates the crane and Ray Mansfield whose role is oiler for the crane. Together they coordinate any movement of the crane itself and verify the safety of the machine.

The operator is responsible for the actual lifting of the loads. The oiler is responsible for the crane itself and attends to the day to day inspection and maintenance of the machine. On this particular morning they were working with Ironworkers setting massive steel girders in place.

I was there shooting the installation of the girders when I realized that I had an opportunity to get a great shot of the crane crew too. The sun was being blocked by the crane boom and cab but they were still strongly backlit. I opted to shoot a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures which I later merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. I used the Balanced Preset as a starting point and made some adjustments to the Detail and Drama sliders before taking the merged file into Adobe Camera Raw where I darkened the sky and opened up the shadows. I the moved on to Photoshop CS5 and added a new layer using the NIK Viveza plugin to add just a small amount of punch to the final image.

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