Taking pictures on an offshore oil rig is serious business. For starters, due to the risk of flammable gas coming up the oil well, normal electronics are banned outside the living quarters. Smartphones are strictly forbidden and regular cameras require “hot work permits” be opened prior to use.
When photographer Robert Johnson of Business Insider was denied so much as a tour of the Alberta Oil Sands, he could have given up. Instead he chose a more… aerial approach, renting a Cessna 172 to secretly photograph the secretive operation from just over 1,000 feet.
The Alberta Oil Sands are the second largest oil deposit in the world behind Saudi Arabia, and some of the pictures, all of which are now up on Flickr, go a long way in showing how huge an operation like this has to be. In fact, it’s a good thing they denied Business Insider access, photos from the ground probably wouldn’t have done the sands nearly as much justice.
The Canadian Oil Sand Mines Refused Us Access, So We Rented This Plane To See What They Were Up To (via Kottke)