Halfway a happy summer camp, halfway a prison. It depends on your mind
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Photography Book. Introduction
In Australia, mining and energy are one of the most profitable sectors. Workplaces are located in remote areas, and thousands of workers fly in and out (FIFO) every day. They spend between 15 to 25 days working consecutively, during long hours shift.
One of the most attractive factors working FIFO is the salary. Starting between 80 and 100 k$ annually, it makes a difference in the life of many people.
There are some researches regarding the effect of working FIFO in the life of workers and their families. In some cases, this effect is positive, in others neutral and others negative. In the worst cases, it can have a devastating impact on the workers’ lives, struggling with mental problems, drug, alcohol consumption, and even suicide. Regarding the effect in the family, in some cases, children consider positive the experience, as they can enjoy more their parents’ presence during the time off work. Still, sometimes it has a negative effect, including bad behavior and bullying experiences at school.
Working FIFO was my last work in Australia before sadly deciding to return to my birth country, five years after arriving in this far, exciting and isolated country. As a FIFO worker, I just worked three months, the length of my contract. No complaints: no pressure, comfortable 12 hours shift, interesting people, good restaurant service, adequate facilities. However, it is not easy to spend 15 days away from family, an 18 months old son, and a six-month pregnant woman without family or friend support. Afternoons and evenings after the shift may become too similar and one needs to give additional meaning to the experience, not just work. Socializing, listening to music, playing the guitar, or reading were common activities. In my case, photography was my loyal ally. In fact, some elements were superb for a photography lover like me: powerful skies, intriguing plant labyrinths and, one of the most exciting parts for me, a massive amount of night bugs nicely illuminated by the camp corridor lights.
The following pages present my story with an image and an explanatory text, organizing the content from morning to night, as it could be any single day onsite.
[The last chapter, just about bugs at night, is not included here. If you would like to have a copy of this book, which would include the last chapter, please contact me; once there are enough people for a small print run, I will let you know].
This series and individual photographs contained within the series have been awarded in the following competitions:
- 2020/12 – Honorable Mention – TIFA 2020 (Tokio International Photography Awards, 5th Edition) – Category: Professional – Section: Portfolio/Personal – Series: “Flying in – Flying Out” (a selection of 20 images of the total series were presented to this competition).
- 2018/01 – Honorable Mention (Blue Ribbon
HellenicPhotographic Society) – International Photography Competition “Photo Art Prague” (directed by PhotoArt Magazine; 608 participants and 2732 photographs) – Section “Nature” – Photograph “Ready for a fight” – published in exhibition book.
- 2017/12 – First finalist (2nd place, silver) – International competition of Industrial photography organized by Galician Association of Industrial Engineers – Photograph “Infinity gallery”. Two other submitted photographs are exhibited during the prize-giving ceremony and they are displayed in the competition online gallery (“Recompensa al
esfuerzo” & “Ingeniería de detalle” https://concursofotografia.icoiig.es/album-del-iii-concurso-de-fotografia/).
To get the most from this book, as in nearly any other one, my recommendation is to read it from beginning to end. Just in case you do not realize, notice that next, you will find image sliders for every chapter: use the arrows to see all the images before jumping to a different chapter. However, if you are looking for something in particular, you can scroll down or use the following buttons. And sorry about my English, I am sure there will be a few inaccuracies!
1. The Camp in the Morning
2. The Plant Facilities
3. The Plant Guests
4. The Plant Machinery
5. The Plant Entertainments
6. From the Plant to the Camp
7. The Camp in the Evening
8. A Night of Fun
9. Camp Creatures