A year ago, I got a strange email inquiry asking if I would be available for a shoot in the spring. Everything was very hush-hush; the advertising agency wouldn’t say the client, the date, the subject, or the location. But the deal was good and it seemed like a good opportunity to branch out my business. As the time approached, I learned I’d be photographing a factory in Ulsan, South Korea, as part of a book, website, and advertising project celebrating the 125-year history of the global Bosch corporation. 125 photographers were to take picture at the exact same second, 0600 CET on May 20, 2010, as a way of capturing the global reach of Bosch and its many and varied projects.
The lot I drew was to photograph activity at a joint operation factory operated by Samsung and Bosch where rechargeable car batteries were being manufactured. I traveled to the site twice, once in April a month before the shoot to scout the location and operations, and again in May for the final shoot. The scouting shoot was a long process, exploring the winding corridors of a major manufacturing plant. I don’t know what it’d be like to wander around Willy Wonka’s factories, but whenever I’m in a large operation such as this, I feel like I get a taste. The final shoot was the shortest shoot of my life. I got to the factory early and drank tea and watched a clock, counting down the appropriate second. Then a single shot, a few minutes gathering model releases, and I was done. Whew.
Now, the campaign’s website has been released and you can see the work from all 125 contributing photographers. Many friends and acquaintances were also involved in the project, too! Thanks to Katja and the rest of the crew at Dorten and also to Kyuwon and others at Bosch and Samsung.