Inside Carbo-Link

Inside view of Carbo-Link, a Swiss high-tech organisation specialized in the design, engineering and manufacture of composite cables, tubes and reinforcement solutions. Carbo-Link spun-out from Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science & Technology in 2000, with the aim of solving complex structural challenges with the most efficient composite solutions.

Automated Filament Winding, Tape Laying & Consolidation machine.

When I first saw Carbo-Link’s tension members used on America’s Cup boats I immediately thought; how do they design and build these parts?
Later I learned that this is a Swiss invention from an engineering and manufacturing company based just outside of Zurich. Normally it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to get an inside view of such a high-tech company given the secrecy and confidentiality of their processes.
However, I was lucky enough to be contacted by Carbo-Link as they needed high-res product photos of their composite solutions and crisp, clean photos of the Aerospace & Defence certified factory. What a dream … It was great to explore the brand personality and to explore how best to portray the high-tech, Swiss made feel into the photographs. All services were carried out in strictest confidence, this is a very important part of my work approach with all clients.

Wally Cento ‘Galateia’. Featuring Carbo-Link’s elliptical, round and hybrid rigging cables.
Emirates Team New Zealand, Winner of the 35th Cup, Bermuda. Featuring Carbo-Link wing & platform rigging.

The loads introduced to these cables in sailing yachts can be enormous, ranging anywhere from 1ton to 300tons on the largest 80m – 90m superyachts. That is before we even look at crane pendants lifting the largest offshore oil rig components or the dynamic loads on composite helicopter blades, all of which are also engineered and manufactured by Carbo-Link.
I felt like a kid in a candy store having the chance to photograph their state-of-the-art solutions in the studio and inside the factory. It was a privilege to experience the Aerospace Certified factory, and to be involved in some of the working processes, to really capture the quality and knowledge found within Carbo-Link.

The composite solutions are perfect for photography with my unique #velvetlight. A light soft enough to reflect so smoothly on a shiny surface, resulting in beautiful images revealing all the smallest details of a structure and its high-quality finish.

Spherical Bearing Termination
Lashing Termination

Carbo-Link’s solutions feature Aerospace grade Titanium terminations, all of which are machined in-house with the most up to date 5-axis CNC machines and highly skilled technicians. I really enjoyed capturing these terminations close-up to show the intricate details and surface finishing.

Lashing Termination
CL TORQUE Pin Termination

Production floor – where science becomes reality. All of Carbo-Link’s machines are designed and build in-house to optimise the production processes.

Automated Filament Winding, Tape Laying & Consolidation machine. (with screen in foreground)

State-of-the-art 5 axis CNC machines.

5-axis CNC machines, laser cutters, FARO 3D measurement arm and more
Large bed and multi-head 5-axis CNC machine for quality machining of oversized parts.

Links and information about this project:

More photos: https://bit.ly/carbolink

Carbo-Link webpage: http://www.carbo-link.com

Reference from Carbo-Link:
‘Juerg was a pleasure to work with. He has a very artistic eye and creatively approached both the product and factory photos to bring things to life perfectly. We look forward to working with Jürg again on a number of location-based projects in the near future.’
James Wilkinson

A Moment with Shirley Robertson

Shirley Robertson, a British sailor who won two Olympic Gold medals, mother of two and presenter at CNN TV Series Mainsail.

Portrait shooting has a magical element which I enjoy every time from the first to the last moment, having the privilege to spend a private moment lasting from a few minutes up to one day or more with a personality.

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Shirley, in my view, is an exception. I always ask myself who that person is, what makes her different and capable of winning two Olympic Gold medals in a row?

I know there are plenty of athletes who have more than two gold medals, but in my view sailing is unique as the complexity of this sport is superior than in many other Olympic disciplines.

The world today is superficial. I see the tendency of running after the quick win, the low hanging fruits. Competing and winning two Olympic Gold medals requires the complete opposite, long term commitment, dedication, the energy to get up again and again after a defeat, isn’t that incredibly inspiring?

Will I be able to see and experience this during the shooting with here?

The portrait project with Shirley was not a short one. We have been talking about it since months; soon we realized we need many different photos, we need a series of images, each of them for a different purpose. It clearly would take a day to get this done.

It would be an intense day, and at the same time, I felt the weight on my shoulders: responsibility and a privilege. I cannot only spend a day working with her, ultimately what I see through my lens is what the people, who do not have the chance to meet here in person, will see of her.

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We all know the expression: A picture says more than a 1’000 words…So let’s get this x-thousand words right.

At the end of the project, we selected 20 different photos, each showing Shirley with here many facets, each with a different message.

It turned out to be an intense day, a potpourri of colors, ideas, a combination of clothes, expressions, lights, coffee breaks and much more. It’s tough to stay focused for so long in front of the camera, but she did it, and how she did, was terrific.

Not only is she a good sailor, but no wonder why she works at CNN, BBC and much more. One set after the other, she always came back on the set with outstanding positive energy, motivation, and commitment.

Even more, we could guide each other, she trusted me, and then we executed those ideas one by one, until the end of a long and intense day.

Is that one of the secrets and reasons why she can win two gold medals in a row? Did I had the chance to experience what makes the difference of losing or winning? Probably yes!

I have not experienced this with many people such a persistent focus and commitment over a long time in front of the camera.

Thank you, Shirley, it was more than a moment, it was a precious time with you and your partner Tim.

Look at the photos with this link.

A few days after the shooting I got an email from Shirley:

I know I have said it ten times already – but I’m chuffed with the images, they show oodles of personality.”

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Reflections Act 2

Blu26 Schweizermeisterschaft 2018 Zug

I’ve been looking at the reflection on the water for quite a few years, and as more I think about them, they become more interesting for me – the reflections are abstract and provide a wide space for imagination. I find something new in it every time when looking at the photos.

Last weekend I was photographing the Blu26 regatta in Switzerland on a lake which is known for not being the windiest place on earth, and yes, we had flat water for three days (sigh).

Time to be creative with the reflections, what do you see in them?

These and more images are now available as Fine Art Prints. Click here or on one of the photos to see the complete selection.

Blu26 Schweizermeisterschaft 2018 Zug

Blu26 Schweizermeisterschaft 2018 Zug

What is the world’s best yacht racing photograph of the year 2013 ?

What is the world’s best yacht racing photograph of the year 2013 ?

Up in the sky

77 Bombay Street, “Up in the sky” this is one of the songs which I will always keep in mind for the 2013 summer, same for the shooting of last week.
At the heliport near Saint-Tropez after the normal preparation for an aerial shooting such as removing the seats, fixing the harness etc. we took off, the legs out in the fresh air under the rotor and Gilles sitting next to me, he is just back from the cup in San Francisco. A quick photo from us to document this moment and we are already high up over the bay from Saint-Tropez. The bay is almost white so many boats are out there. We are heading to the “other side” the beaches area with the legendary Club 55 the race course of Wally’s and the J Class yachts. My legs are a bit freezing and I’m going again trough my camera settings again, once we are on the spot all goes very fast.

Below my feet’s I can see the beach and the clubs and here are the big boats. From up here they look like normal sailing boats, a main sail a Jib and Spinnaker noting special but when you see the size of the crew you get a feeling how big this boats are.
Every time I’m up in the air I feel this freedom to move around fast, you talk to the pilot with the headset and you just go. I also feel a pressure you want..no you must do great shots now..the airtime is quite expensive. We look each other and smile it’s an great moment..the light is perfect the waves are there:  “la vertical la”  we say to the pilot via the headset and we are right on the top of a big wally yacht as they are dropping their massive spinnaker. I start to make on amazing photo after the other, it’s like being in a flow, you cant stop it it just comes, we move to the next boat, I even don’t feel .the cold air on my legs….and here is the song, “up in the sky you are just fine” ….enjoy the photos.