What Is Industrial Photography and Why Is It Important?

What is Industrial photography and why is it important?

In the world of business today photography is worth a million words. Everything from websites to brochures and television advertisements rely on high quality pictures to get a business’s message across. Industrial photography is a specialized field of photography which makes it possible for businesses to communicate with customers and other businesses showcasing their industrial process, machines, and techniques. The photographs not only need to be shiny with balanced hues and highlights but also need to effectively communicate the meaning of the photograph in less in a second. This is why these types of photographs require a skilled photographer with years of experience photographing industrial machinery, locations and manufacturing processes.

The importance of an industrial photographer

An expert will be able to take photographs which are interesting and showcase everything you want from every angle leaving no questions in the mind of the person looking at the photograph. He or she should have an eye for detail and be able to generate interest out of everyday / normal machines. This means that the photos need to be more like a piece of art rather than just specialized images. For instance an expert will photograph an everyday, regular and ordinary conveyor belt in a way which would generate interest by highlighting specific areas and blurring out the background. These images when laid out on commercial advertising material like a brochure or a PowerPoint presentation will tell the story of the process.

Enhancing your online image

Apart from physical posters and brochures the right images will enhance your professional image online. A website displaying top notch photographs of every industrial process the business is involved in will add credibility and interest in the mind of the viewer. This in turn will help a business earn a lead, sell a product or be able to improve its image as a business online. Photography of machines and processes for each medium i.e. internet and print is slightly different. It requires a slightly different approach but an expert with years of experience will know which approach to take in order to ensure that the pictures communicate exactly what the business needs to get the desired result. This is why it is important for business owners to hire photographers who have experience and with a diverse portfolio.

Hiring an industrial photographer

Industrial photography is serious business and so you shouldn’t leave it to an amateur to do the job and expect great results. Always look through a photographer’s portfolio to make sure that he has taken great photographs in the past. Ideally, he should have a diverse portfolio which would then mean that he is able to take photographs for both your website and print campaign.

Gifted American Photographer Documents Grandeur, Plight of Mali’s Fabled Timbuktu

Timbuktu is a city that has long gripped the Western imagination. It sits on the Niger River, that clearly marked dividing line between the sandy deserts of North Africa and the green, moist, fertile lands of tropical and sub-tropical Africa, the iconic jungles we associate with Congo and a blazing equatorial sun.

Timbuktu is also rooted deeply in the English language. Even young children speak of Timbuktu in the sense of “as far away from where I am now as it is possible to get.” And some of its charm, too, derives simply from the euphony of the word: “Timbuktu” slips off the tongue. We also speak definitively of “Sub-Saharan Africa” as though that were itself a name. Is that not an odd thing to do? Would we ever call the United States and Mexico “Sub-Canadian America”?

Timbuktu has an importance belied by its geographic isolation because it has served now for millennia as the doorway between the deserts and the jungles of Africa. It is the passage that one had to walk through, when camels and canoes were the principal vehicles of African travel, to get from North Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa — and back again. It maintained that role well into the 20th century, and it maintains it still today, at least symbolically.

Because of its critical position as the gateway to the south, Arab traders and evangelists from the seventh and eighth centuries onward made Timbuktu a way station of very special significance. Its two principal mosques are magnificent works of architecture, and Timbuktu’s Islamic libraries have been compared in stature to those of Baghdad and Cairo.

Though it has been no stranger to conflict over the centuries, Timbuktu today is in acute, grave danger, a sort of danger it has not faced before. Timbuktu may actually risk being destroyed because Islamic militias are battling over the surrounding territory and the very city itself.

These militias, with fanatical zeal, have already damaged ancient tombs which commemorate the final resting place of Sufi saints, now deemed to be “idolatrous” by Ansar Dine, an extremist group. A dozen sacred tombs have already been vandalized.

Worse, Timbuktu’s ancient libraries, housing priceless collections of ancient Islamic texts that the UNESCO World Heritage Center estimates may number 300,000, (including books on early Islamic studies of mathematics and science — the treasure trove is not limited to religious tracts), are now at risk of being burned or destroyed.

These priceless texts cannot be replaced. Some of them exist solely as one-time, unique calligraphy on scrolls. Destroy the single copy in Timbuktu and there are no sister copies in Cairo or Baghdad to preserve its intellectual content. Though some manuscripts have been moved to safer repositories, too many remain in Timbuktu, where imams have preserved them for centuries. But the imams have never faced the threat they face today.

And yet these books and scrolls could be saved both in actuality and as digital copies — if there was a will and a way expressed by the greater international community that made this a focus of global concern. Part of the problem is that the calamity facing Timbuktu is not widely known in Europe and America.

And now comes a brilliant young American photographer and writer, Alexandra Huddleston, who has given a substantial portion of the last eight years of her life documenting, in magnificent images and moving words, the dire threat that faces Timbuktu, both its living people and its living treasures. She has put all her work into a book, a volume that will hold you prisoner.

Her 96-page text is titled “333 Saints: a Life of Scholarship in Timbuktu” and it tells the story of a city under siege — there is no less blunt way to put it — by Islamic fanatics who think nothing of killing people and less of killing texts. Supported in part by her Fulbright, Alexandra Huddleston tells in photographs and words the story of Timbuktu’s long lineage of Islamic scholarship, and of how that scholarship is now imperilled as never before.

In a short piece she wrote for the development group Kickstarter, Huddleston says that her book “tells a story of discovery, a rich and beautiful African intellectual culture that remains largely unknown in the West. It is a book about men and women who love books — scholars of all ages who seek knowledge and wisdom through learning. It is about a city that has built its identity around a culture of scholarship.”

Alexandra Huddleston is a native of Africa, the daughter of Foreign Service parents then stationed in Sierra Leone. Though she spent time growing up in Washington, D.C., she has traveled extensively all over the world and she fell in love with Mali, that mysterious home to so many elegant peoples that is so deeply hidden in the southern Sahara, a nation that gently touches, too, in its southern precincts, Africa’s moist, green lushness.

Alexandra was introduced to Mali by her mother Vicki Huddleston, who had two tours of duty at the U.S. Embassy in Mali, first as a staffer in the political and economic section early in her career and later as ambassador. Vicki Huddleston began her overseas journeys as a young Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, so Alexandra’s affection for remote and difficult places appears to be deep in her DNA.

Alexandra Huddleston’s work 333 Saints: a Life of Scholarship in Timbuktu” must be approached by American and European readers with a sense of urgency, for there is a real risk of cultural extinction here, the permanent loss of treasures that help inform us of who we are. There are scientific treasures here, too, dating from that period when Islamic science eclipsed the backward European scholarship of the Middle Ages.

Many in this country were aghast when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan a dozen years ago, using precisely the same “logic” (that they are idolatrous) now being directed against Timbuktu’s Sufi saints and Islamic libraries.

But what is happening in Timbuktu is arguably much worse, because manuscripts encode vastly more human thought, history, emotion, and knowledge than stone statues are capable of doing. Where is the sense of outrage that is now needed?

Anyone who loves Africa will cherish this book. And by focussing attention on the dire predicament in Timbuktu, perhaps a solution can be found that will preserve this human heritage for those who come later, who may treat these treasures more wisely.

Read more about Alexandra Huddleston and her “333 Saints: a Life of Scholarship in Timbuktu” at:


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Worth Every Penny Book Review

As a business owner of a home-based photography studio, I find that constant education is vital to the continued growth of my business. There are a variety of forms of education for photographers and other business owners: conferences, classes, local meetings, or books being a few. Books are often one of the cheaper forms of education and I find a lot of great insights from books like Worth Every Penny.

Worth Every Penny is a business book written by both Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck founder and chief of The Joy of Marketing. This book is targeted toward small business owners running boutique style businesses. While bigger businesses are focused on volume, boutique businesses are focused on experience and high-end, quality products. This book helps boutique business owners understand some of the keys necessary to running their boutique business.

Worth Every Penny gives great advice on how to build a strong brand to market to your ideal client base, which is crucial in a boutique business. It’s importance to convey luxury and a high-end experience to your current and feature client base. The book also discusses strategies for creating a strong marketing and advertising campaign to reflect this idea and what makes your business unique. It is always important to convey what makes your business different and more desirable than your competition.

A huge part of boutique businesses is building relationships. When you aren’t working with a high volume business, you have the time to invest in getting to know your clients. Worth Every Penny discusses ways to convey your appreciation to your customers and develop strong relationships with them, which can help grow your business.

And of course, with the extra time, value, and care dedicated to the customers of a boutique business, a higher price is often a necessity. Worth Every Penny discusses methods for pricing your products and adding additional value to your clients orders. After all, to be a viable business, you need to make a profit.

I personally found Sarah Petty & Erin Verbeck’s book, Worth Every Penny, to be incredibly beneficial and insightful in working on my own business. Determining my strengths and unique products, how to market them and provide my clients with the best care possible are incredibly important to me, and this book has helped me narrow down and hone these things. I would highly recommend this book to any boutique business – not just photography business owners!