March 6, 2017 Komatsu Plant - MickeyRountree

March 6, 2017 Komatsu Plant

I had gone to the Chattanooga Komatsu Plant to help a friend set up and fine tune a lighting setup for group shots he would be taking the next day. We got everything set up and dialed in and he asked me if I would like to shoot a few shots in the plant.

We went out on the floor to the area where excavators are assembled. The first thing that strikes you is how incredibly clean and orderly the plant is; much different from many other plants I've been in.

We shot mostly at the end of the line where fully assembled machines were lined up. I even got to operate one to line it up for a better composition. The operator's compartment is luxurious compared to backhoes I worked with back in the 70's. There's a digital dash,  a seat as nice as most autos, joystick controllers and even air conditioning.

As we were leaving, we passed a worker grinding on one of the track frames and creating a dramatic shower of sparks. I'm definitely ready to shoot here again and see some of the other assembly lines.


Lighting was a difficult mix of daylight, florescent, and tungsten sources. Auto white balance did a fairly good job, with some further tweaking in Lightroom. The wide range of contrast called for HDR and I shot 5 2-stop brackets just to be sure I had covered myself. Images were HDR processed in Photomatix 5 and then finished out in Photoshop for the final sharpening and contrast adjustments.