Inside the Belly of the Beast – Shell’s Polar Pioneer comes to Seattle

Earlier this month I got a tour of Shell Oil’s controversial Polar Pioneer, an exploratory oil drilling platform berthed at the Port of Seattle before heading to the Arctic to search for potential oil reserves. The rig was met by protests when it arrived and departed Seattle and helped coin a whole new word – “kayaktivists” – for the protestors who met the rig in their kayaks. If Shell plans on bringing these rigs back to Seattle, judging by the determination of protestors, this story will go on for years.

These kinds of shoots are always tough because besides being constantly guided, there’s really not much happening as you walk around. A lot folks sitting at computers all day just like an office! All you can do is constantly search for an interesting, but quick image. A ideal shoot would be a few weeks on the rig but few clients have those kind of budgets anymore.