All posts by Thomas Kirby

About Thomas Kirby

Thomas Kirby, professional photographer for more than 20 years, shoots product, Industrial, automotive and more.

Small Product Photographer

Small Product Photography

I was photographing jewelry for a catalog with my friend Richard when he slid some small rings onto a bit of rolled up paper. It didn’t work for the catalog we were shooting, but I thought it looked pretty cool. I enjoy spontaneous moments like that one. Because Richard created the jewelry, he has ideas about what it should look like in 2 dimensions. Collaborating on projects like this one is a highlight of my job.

Macro Industrial Photography

Detroit Macro Industrial Photographer

Photographing very small things can be challenging. The product in this photograph is an abrasive, but to be honest, I don’t know how it is used. I imagine that it’s similar to sand blasting. The largest of the stainless steel balls is about one millimeter in diameter. For comparison, a BB is about 4.5 millimeters in diameter. So these are pretty small. As always, I am interested in your thoughts and comments.

Large Product Photography

Detroit Fork Truck Photography

Every now and then we need to photograph large products. Fork trucks are not the largest product we’ve had in the studio. We’ve had large trucks, turf maintenance vehicles, salt spreading equipment and truck bed liners in the studio too. These fork trucks are fun to photograph because of their excellent industrial design. Please, let me know what you think!

Aerospace Industrial Photography

Detroit Industrial Photographer

They’re not jewelry, they’re far more functional. The only outward similarity is that they’re shiny metal. They nonetheless, feel kinda like jewelry, or at least that’s one of my goals. Despite the need for rigorous functionality they are surprisingly beautiful objects. Whatever their purpose, they’re fun to shoot. As always I am interested in your thoughts and comments.

Detroit Aerospace Photographer

Detroit Industrial Photographer

Detroit Industrial Photographer

Circles are delightful design elements. The fact that these are functional is a bonus. The trick to images like this one is to make it feel like you just grabbed a snapshot of some parts in a barrel. The reality is quite different: cleaning tiny parts, moving them around with tweezers and carefully adjusting the lighting takes hours.

Product Photographer

Detroit Product photographer

Product photography is a ceaseless joy in my life. I just really enjoy doing it. You would think that photographing wine bottles would be more fun than industrial parts… It really depends on the industrial part. Still, shooting this project was fun as well as challenging and rewarding. Finessing the lighting and bringing life to all of the disparate textures and shapes. The most challenging part of the shot was the highlights – I had to play with them a little to get the contrast I wanted, but I think it turned out well. Let me know what you think.

Industrial Photographer

Detroit Industrial Photographer Tom Kirby Industrial Parts Photography

There are thousands of parts in every car. These photographs are of parts from a major automotive supplier. The immediate use of these of photographs is to decorate their offices, but I’m sure they’ll find other uses for them too. The parts have an intrinsic beauty that is undeniable. My goal was to keep it simple, and let the lines, shapes and textures speak for themselves.

Commercial Photographer

Commercial Photographer

Automotive parts are really important around Detroit. Statuesque is what I was going for. Big. Important. Grand. This part is cutaway so we can see inside. I like shooting industrial parts. You can see them for their functionality or you can see them as circles, rods or trapezoids; light and shadow giving them volume and shape. My job as a commercial photographer is to transform my client’s vision into a photograph, that is visually impressive and tells a story. As always let me know what you think.

Detroit Automotive Photographer

Detroit Automotive PhotographerI shot this Ford GT a couple of weeks ago using a technique called light painting. Basically, we just walk around the car shining a light at it. There is a lot of trial and error, as well as a fair bit of serendipity. Frankly, it would be difficult to get a really bad photograph of this amazing car.  It has a tricked out 800 horse power engine, custom wheels, bumper kit and an awesome paint job. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Detroit Commercial Photographer

Detroit Commercial Photographer Tom Kirby

Motown is a fantastic place to photograph the industrial truck. There are lots of names for this indispensable industrial workhorse: hi-lo, fork truck, forklift, lift truck. This is a relatively simple one. It was nonetheless a blast to shoot. Personally, I like the red and black together; it’s awesome! A great client and crew make it easier to take interesting pictures. I am interested in your thoughts and comments.