INTRODUCTION

 

In the early part of his career, Mark Shaw worked as a professional photographer offering technical imaging services to the off-shore oil industry. These assignments proved a constant challenge since most of the photographs were taken at great ocean depths and in very hazardous conditions. Yet, there was an imperative to achieve the very highest quality images since these would later be very closely scrutinized by engineers as part of the annual NDT (Non-Destructive-Testing) program to determine remedial action on those components which were at greatest risk of corrosion leading to failure.

Understandably, offshore structures located within the North Sea are constantly exposed to the very harsh elements, especially during the long cold winter months when they can be pounded by eighty foot waves and howling winds exceeding 100mph. Yet, no other element is more detrimental to these structures than sea water. The highly corrosive nature of its salinity can rapidly corrode steel weakening the structure as a whole, ultimately leading to catastrophic structure failure; hence great care must be taken to ensure the long term protection of the structure.

There are many types of highly technical photographic methods used to achieve these tests, such as Ultra-Violet MPI (Magnetic flux Particle Inspection) for invisible crack detection, and UMEL precision stereo photogrammetry, used to accurately gauge the depth of corrosion pits in the steel members, welds and braces.

If this section, we include only PR type images which were widely used to promote the large projects within the industry. This small sample are just a few of the very many supplied to some the world’s most established oil giants.

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