Tag: concrete

Carpenters Working On Concrete Forms (Gallery)

The images in this gallery are of the Carpenters working on concrete forms on the Indiana Approach for the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. The carpenters are installing cooling lines that will carry water from the river through the concrete after it sets in order to keep it from overheating as it cures. Concrete cures due to a catalytic reaction between the cement and other chemicals in the mixture. If the concrete overheats during the curing process it may not be strong enough to do it’s job which is why it is crucial that some way to transfer the heat from curing out of the mass of material.

I processed the full color versions of these images using Adobe Camera Raw using a series of steps that i learned from reading Scot Kelby’s book on using Photoshop CS5. Rather than use my usual method of creating HDR images from three frame bracket sets I instead decided to work with the “normal” exposure alone and see what I could accomplish using ACR.

After creating the color images I decided to use [thirstylink linkid=”13827″ linktext=”Topaz” class=”thirstylink” title=”Topaz”] B&W Effects to produce versions that have an antique feel to them. I used various adjustments to create my own preset that desaturated the colors and added a vignette of faded edges. I then applied a border from Topaz that I thought fit the idea I had for the final images. I saved this preset to use later on other images that may benefit from similar treatment.

Click on any of the images to open a lightbox and slideshow of all these images.


Going Up!

The First Tower of the Downtown Span Rises Above the River
The First Tower of the Downtown Span Rises Above the River

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This HDR image shows the base of the first tower being stripped of the concrete forms that were placed there last month. The concrete base is approximately 20 feet wide and 60 feet long and will serve as the base for one of the six towers that will be built to carry the bridge deck across the river. While the Carpenters are removing the orange forms from the base the Ironworkers are busy above them erecting the reinforcement rebar for the next part of the concrete tower to be poured.

I used a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures that were merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 with 100% anti-ghosting applied to stop the movement of the workers. After merging the three exposures I returned the image to Aperture 3 for sharpening and color adjustments.

Concrete Pour Equipment

Concrete Pump Boom
Concrete Pump Boom

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This image shows the concrete pump boom transferring concrete to a pier pour in the middle of the river. The concrete is first transferred from the delivery trucks to the concrete pump which is sitting on shore. The concrete pump then pushes the wet concrete through the large pipe on the boom to the concrete placement workers who direct it’s placement in the concrete form in the river.

I chose this composition to emphasize the length that the material must be transported in order to make the piers in the river. I shot a three frame bracket set of -2, o and +2 EV and then processed the final image by merging them in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. After merging them and applying some basic tone-mapping adjustments I returned the image to Aperture 3 for final processing.

Concrete Vibrator Operator at Work During the Pier Pour.
Concrete Vibrator Operator at Work During the Pier Pour.

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In this image the vibrator operator is using a control box he is wearing around his waist to vibrate the wet concrete and eliminate any air pockets that may have formed as the concrete was placed in the form. The metal rebar that he is standing inside will connect the next pice of concrete to this base after additional forms are attached as the tower base rises out of the river. This particular concrete pour required 53 truck loads of concrete, 537 cubic yards of material, and took nearly an entire workday to complete.

This image is also a three frame bracket set processed with NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Aperture 3.

The Ohio River Bridge Emerges From the River

Placing a 240,000 pound form for the Ohio River Bridge.
Placing the 240,000 pound “tub” concrete form for the Ohio River Bridge. HDR Version

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Last Thursday a significant milestone was reached in the Ohio River Bridges Project. After months of preparation Walsh Construction placed the first “tub”, a concrete form weighing over 240,000 pounds, that will be used to construct the western portion of the waterline footing at Tower 5, the pier nearest the Indiana shoreline. With that accomplished the foundation work on the bridge broke the surface of the Ohio River for the first time.

The yellow tub is the form that will retain the wet concrete that will be poured to form a portion of the waterline footing. The tub, which is 61 feet long and 22 feet wide was lifted and placed over two 12 foot diameter permanent casings that have been placed in the river after drilling over 30 feet into the bedrock of the river. Once those casings were in place they were filled with a steel reinforcement structure and poured concrete. Those two drilled casings were then used to secure the tub form that will be poured full in a single continuous concrete pour later this month. This is a massive concrete pour that will require the installation of a cooling system to handle the heat generated by the concrete as it cures.

Watching the crane operator lift and move this massive structure was very exciting. The longer I work with the men and women from Walsh Construction the more I appreciate the amazing amount of coordination that is required between the people on the ground and the crane operator to safely handle incredibly large structures. The crane operator had to be able to smoothly and safely lift the tub from another barge in the river and then pivot 90 degrees without allowing the load the swing or sway as he moved it into position over the two pier casings. His skill and the planning that went into making this “critical lift” paid of as the form was lowered into it’s final position and secured to the piers. This was the first time something like this has been done and it went exactly as planned.

The image at the top of the post is a three frame bracket set at +2, 0 and -2 EV which was first merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished in Aperture 3. I am also including the zero EV image, which I adjusted in Aperture 3, at the bottom of the post to show why I  use HDR techniques. Using HDR techniques enhances the final image and reveals details in a much broader range than is possible when simply using a single frame and trying to adjust it for the very broad lighting situations that working in the field with available light presents.

Placing a 240,000 pound form for the Ohio River Bridge. Single frame version.
Placing the 240,000 pound “tub” concrete form for the Ohio River Bridge. LDR version.

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End of the Deck Pour

Removing the Bidwell Machine
Removing the Bidwell Machine

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This shot is from the day that the T & C Construction crew completed pouring the concrete veneer on the Big Four Bridge. This was the culmination of the task of getting the deck in place and one of the major milestones on the project. The Bidwell concrete paving machine in the air had to be reengineered and modified to work within the confines of the bridge. Because it’s original purpose was to be used for highways and highway bridges it was too wide for the Big Four Bridge. Willie and his crew figured out a way to narrow it to fit the bridge and designed a new roller system that could use the bridge’s curb to position the machine. This is another facet of the problem solving and ingenuity that the construction crew had to do on a daily basis that the casual observer isn’t aware of.

I shot this as a single frame and completed all processing within Aperture 3. As you can see by the angle of the shadows it was getting late in the day which gave me some great light to work with that saturated the colors and boosted the contrast.