Hydraulic evacuation short film

The two minute hydro-excavation methodology video

In support of the Trenchless Technologies print documents and the Case Studies section of the TruLine Civil website I was also commissioned to shoot and edit a two minute video clip of the resources and methods used for Hydo-Excavation in Christchurch city when installing the ultra-fast fibre network to businesses downtown.


Shooting: MagentaDot Brands
Director / editor: Thomas Rands

©magentadot brands

Entering the 5m entry pit, Horizontal Directional Drilling, Tru-Line Civil, documentary photography, Parklands West, Christchurch, New Zealand, Gravity Wastewater Replacement, HDD

Horizontal Drilling: Parklands

TruLine_Civil_logo_radiused_256pxContinuing the ongoing project to photograph TruLine Civil’s range of work methodologies and then follow through by writing them up as Case Studies on their website. I was contracted to document the span of a day on location in Akaroa. The brief is to record a fine-grained record of TLC’s capability in the relatively new Civil Engineering field of “Trenchless Technology”, in this case specifically Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD). This fast and highly accurate “Horizontal Infrastructure” laying technique is achieved by way of a synchronised deployment of highly skilled and experienced operators, high tech machinery and tight coordination between the project team members. From skilled labourers and drivers up the chain to the site engineer—close communication is maintained between the project team members via modern telecommunications.

The brief was to document the highly accurate and technically difficult drilling required to install new Parklands West Area Infrastructure Gravity Wastewater line at over 4m depth in very challenging, “running sand” or water saturated sandy ground, and all achieved within 2m of an existing, “pumping” half metre diameter wastewater pipeline from the Belfast Freezing Work. I used the novel approach with this case study of interviewing the site foreman as he walked me around the job site and explained the HDD project in overview, and the specific characteristics of the sub-task I was there to photograph.

Client: TruLine
Photographer: Shaun Waugh

©magentadot brands

Box Culvert install methodology 1/5

Tru-Line Civil Logo. Brands for New Zealand companies, Greymouth, New Zealand.First of five galleries documenting the install of a 10.5m reinforced concrete box culvert beneath the Christchurch—Greymouth “Tranzalpine” railway shot on the night of Sunday July 3, 2016 for client TruLine Civil’s website case study portfolio project. The shoot documents the methodology for installing one of six under-rail culverts on the Otira riverbed just to the east of Arthur’s Pass township. The task is part of a package of civil works on the road & rail network TruLine is contributing to the Mingha Bluff road realignment project.

This documentary photography major archive project for TruLine began in 2004 and since 2008 the chronicling of significant Civil Works events has been an ongoing, consistent project for MagentaDot Brands’ professional photographer Shaun Waugh, who observes:

“The client brief is to shoot photos that accurately document their civil works methodologies. By document I mean to photograph to accurately describe otherwise forbidden, difficult to access places or sets of circumstances that are hidden in plain sight. The photos range from dry records of excavation to photojournalistic, more personal evocative images of men collaborating or immersed in their work. The documentary photography of men and machines at work in the Civil Engineering field is building TruLine an archive of historical significance which was intended, from the outset, to be distributed primarily to the narrow audience of their customer base via the TruLine website case study portfolio.”

By following through with research and then writing the case studies, creating custom maps as required, the case study portfolio Shaun is developing is partly an educational in-house resource, partly a business-to-business marketing communications web platform, and with the slideshow feature and the inclusion of videos, a capabilities brochure sales tool used by TruLine’s marketing and sales team, and in competitive tender bid documents. Shaun adds:

“To the extent that students, media and the public are interested, the case studies also have a role in changing public perceptions of the work experience of modernity, of workers, their works, and the conditions of work for people, mostly men, such as drainlayers, road workers, earthmoving and other heavy machinery operators, truck drivers, and civil engineers.

Inevitably because the photography is documenting “the way we do things” in Civil Works today, it intersects with the prevalent complex of organisational culture that is good workplace Safety Culture. The photography documents that adequate attention is being paid to safety issues by capturing workers’ realistic practices for handling hazards as well as compliance to standards, rules and procedures by the workforce. It is also aimed to contribute to sharing critical information within TruLine’s workforce and management that powers the “engine” of ideal safety culture, being a constant high level of respect for anything that might defeat safety systems.”

4:00–5:00 pm. Site overview, start excavating the 5m under-rail trench

From the time the Tranzalpine train passed over the culvert installation site the TruLine Civil crew had 17 hours in which to install the 10.5 m reinforced concrete box culvert and reinstate the railway.



Project name: Tru-Line Civil Website case studies portfolio
Client (Industry):
TruLine Civil (Construction/Contracting)
Discipline: Documentary photography / Corporate communications design / Infographics  / Technical writing / Web content management
Format: Website / Case Studies / Methodologies
Location: Mingha Bluffs SH73, Arthurs Pass, New Zealand
Date: July 2016


Design firm: MagentaDot Brands
Photographer: Shaun Waugh
Client: Tru-Line Civil

Horizontal Directional Drilling, Tru-Line Civil, Akaroa, documentary, photography, Akaroa Water Supply Stage 3, Reticulation Upgrade, Vermeer HDD,

Horizontal Drilling Akaroa methodology

TruLine_Civil_logo_radiused_256pxDocumentary location photography chronicling Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) construction method practiced by client, Tru-Line Civil. This “trenchless technology” slideshow documents the drilling of a pilot bore and the subsequent back-reaming of a 120m long drinking water supply pipeline up to the summit of Coachmans Road, Akaroa—a small very busy tourist destination located on scenic Banks Peninsula in the South Island of New Zealand.

Horizontal Directional Drilling, Tru-Line Civil, Akaroa, documentary, photography, Akaroa Water Supply Stage 3, Reticulation Upgrade, Vermeer HDD,

Summit of Coachmans Road Akaroa. The HDD drilling unit operator Grant Senior, with the the pilot bore entry trench to the left. Akaroa Harbour basin and the township form the backdrop..

Background to the HDD drilling event

The HDD drilling and back-reaming was a sub-task of the Akaroa Water Supply Stage 3, Reticulation Upgrade carried out in 2014 by Tru-Line Civil for the Christchurch City Council (sub-contracting to Hawkins Infrastructure). The 180mm ø pipeline is designed to carry treated drinking water pumped up from a new water treatment plant and pump booster station on the slopes of Coachman’s Road to a new 500 m³ reservoir situated on the ridge between Akaroa and Takamatua.

The big picture

This day of shooting is part of a larger, long term project which I commenced for the client in 2008, to produce a high quality image archive of their construction methods and completed projects—the photos are both of historical significance to Tru-Line Civil and for immediate use to illustrate the civil engineering case studies, like the Akaroa HDD case study I researched and co-wrote on their website and the competitive tender bid documents that are produced as part of their day-to-day operations.

Horizontal Directional Drilling, Tru-Line Civil, Akaroa, documentary, photography, Akaroa Water Supply Stage 3, Reticulation Upgrade, Vermeer HDD,

The crew detach the back reaming head from the drill stem and remove it from the entry trench prior to relocating the HDD drilling rig to the next drill site for the day.

The photojournalistic objective is always to produce a series of truthful, descriptive, and candid photos of two broad subjects; Tru-Line’s Civil Engineering projects and the disciplines and methodologies used to complete them. The work is objective, I learn about the subject so I may anticipate and flow with the action on the day. Due to the nature of the Civil Engineering and Drainlaying industries, documenting their methods most often involves pictures of people, specifically men, at work, using tools and skilfully operating vehicles and heavy equipment.

Civil engineers build…

Civil Engineering will always involve moving dirt, the design, planning and building of structures like bridges, infrastructure, water supply systems and roads. Modern, affordable earthmoving plant and new technologies like HDD are revolutionising the industry in ways most engagingly shown via photography and video. Combined with modern methods, materials and large civil works programmes such as the Christcurch post-quake rebuild, involve water and sewage reticulation networks and the roll-out of Ultra-Fast Broadband. Civil engineering is a very engaging and rewarding subject to document as a photographer.


Project name: Tru-Line Civil Website case studies portfolio
 Photography / Technical writing / Typographic design / Web design / Web content management
Client (Industry): Tru-Line Civil (Construction / Contracting)
Format:  Website / Case Studies / Methodologies
Location: Akaroa
Date: June 2014


Design firm: MagentaDot Brands
Photographer: Shaun Waugh
Client: Tru-Line Civil

©magentadot brands