EEF Photography Competition 2016 runner-up Adrian Waine: his experience and advice

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Adrian Waine is a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience, specialising in business and industry photography. He was runner-up in the EEF Photography Competition in 2016.



Can you tell us a little bit about you and your photography career?

I live in Ellesmere Port, which is 8 miles outside Chester where I grew up and went to school. My interest in photography started at around the age of 13 or 14.  I learned to print at high school, which to me was a magical experience. At around 16, I realised that photography was something which really appealed to me and would be a good career choice.  Over the next couple of years, it became rather an obsession.

I’m a sole trader and have clients dotted all around the country. My speciality is business and industrial photography. I don’t do any photography outside of my work. I think it’s good to have other interests, otherwise photography would certainly become tedious and I could easily become a geek! 

I do enjoy photographing people at work.  This is a subject that comes up regularly through commissioned assignments.  Many people in everyday working situations often feel very proud that they have been selected to be photographed and represent the business. They also tend to enjoy the experience as it’s different from their usual day and ultimately fun.

The manufacturing subjects I’ve photographed include air compressors, plasma coatings, radiator manufacturing, mining machinery, furnaces – it’s endless really. I shoot all of these varied processes, and also the people involved, the products they manufacture and the whole business around them.  However, the way these are photographed ultimately comes down to the client’s brief.

What photography equipment do you use?

I use a Nikon D3 and all my flash lighting is Bowens. This includes Bowens Estime 3000 and Bowens Quad 2400. I only use two lenses: a 24-270mm lens and a 70-200mm lens.

Lighting, viewpoint and the handling of the subject are all important aspects of a photograph.  Great photographs can be achieved with less advanced kit.  It is attention to detail which counts, though one has to have the right tools for the job in the first instance.

How was your experience participating in the EEF Photography Competition?

I first entered the competition in 2015 and was shortlisted. The following year I was runner-up in the professional photography category.

When I first entered the competition I submitted 15 photos and only one was selected, which was of a composite material called Nomex, which is a honeycomb sheet – a light-weight material for panelling. It’s used extensively in aircraft and trains where weight is a primary concern. 


In 2016 I only entered two photos and one of them was selected, which was of a view down the inside of a piece of an industrial chemical hose that would be used to transfer petrol or chemicals to underground tanks at a filling station. I lit it from the other end so the light was came towards me and I also put a red gel over it to create a sense of power and drama.


I was shortlisted and invited to Parliament and when you’re summoned to the House of Commons you feel that you’ve done something special. Even if you don’t end up winning, it’s a very prestigious place and event to be involved with. There was a really pleasant atmosphere and it was great chatting with everyone because we were all involved with the same subject. Having your name called at the awards ceremony is exciting and you feel elation and a sense of achievement.

Are you planning on entering this year’s competition?

I am entering this year’s competition and I already have something that I shot in February from a job I did from a commissioned location job featuring air compressors.

What advice would you give to young or amateur photographers in general, and also regarding the competition and manufacturing in photography?

If you’re planning on a career in photography go to college and get trained properly: learn how to set up lighting, how to take an exposure reading, learn all the basics. You will need to understand these things because you will use them every day in your work.

Don’t assume you can fix mistakes on a computer. That just amounts to bad photography. Get it right on camera in the first instance and make sure to look at your shot in great detail.

Be selective about what you enter into the competition. Avoid sending photos with mistakes in them, like a manufacturing procedure that is incorrect or demonstrates a safety issue. For example, a process that requires safety goggles but the person doing the work isn’t wearing them. No company will entertain shots like this to use in marketing collateral, so make sure someone with technical knowledge advises you. If in doubt – ask.

Enter the EEF Photography Competition 2017 by submitting your manufacturing photo for a chance to win a share of the £5,000 prize fund and have your photo displayed at Westminster and around the country at EEF offices and venues, as well in print and online media.

EEF01218 - Steve Morgan 290X217 EEF Photography Competition

Find out more about this year's competition, how to enter and the prizes you can win.

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