Nicolas Ruel’s Industry series both foreshadows and exemplifies this particular photographic project, launched in 2008. Shipping containers epitomize our industrial age, and just as they travel around the world, so has the photographer journeyed from location to location to capture their essence. Their material reality is reflected in the photographic works themselves, which are printed on stainless steel. For this project, Nicolas Ruel travelled to the storied ports of Cape Town, Barcelona, Hamburg, Montreal, and Rotterdam in pursuit of industrial cranes, capturing their mechanical balletic artistry, their screeching choreography, and their gargantuan yet precise movements. Farther afield, away from the water’s edge, he roamed through industrial zones, home to fuel tanks and tankers.
Maximum security and extreme shooting conditions. The photographer climbed to dizzying heights to achieve dazzling angles and seize the beauty of spaces gnawed by rust, oil, and seawater. Working closely with dockworkers in Hamburg, Nicolas Ruel was able to orchestrate colour and light, capturing shipping containers in custom compositions fully in accordance with his vision. With this stunning photographic feat, he has created an ode to these metal goliaths and a tribute to human ingenuity and geography.
Metal Goliaths By Annie Lafleur
None of the images have been digitally superimposed.