12 Rigs of Christmas: Day 6: Precision Drilling Rig 120

10 12 2014

A little late in the day posting this to the blog, but here goes: Precision Drilling Rig 120 is the Day 6 rig of the 12 Rigs of Christmas. It was photographed on an extremely cold February day north of Macoun. I was happy to have fingers when I was done.
This photo shoot was very unique. The mineral rights owners, originally from around here, now live in BC. But they were getting a few holes drilled on their land, and they really wanted one, just one, very large canvas for their wall to remind them where the royalty cheques were coming from. The first hole was drilled by CanElson 21 that October, but I was not able to make it work out. The second hole was drilled towards the end of the winter drilling season, and that did indeed come to pass.
As for the AT-ATs attacking the rig, well, I’ve posted it a few times, because some days it feels damned appropriate.
Photos of this rig can be found here.
My other drilling rigs can be found here.
The photo lab suggested that all orders to Canada should be in by Dec. 8, or yesterday. So if you would like a print of one of these pictures, please contact me directly at brian.zinchuk@sasktel.net. I have the ability to do paper prints up to 16×20 ($75, need to be framed) or 16×32 here in Estevan, or canvas prints from 18×24 ($240), 24×36 ($500) to 36×96 ($1900). Canvas prints cost about $80 per square foot. Canvas prints especially take a fair bit of work, so you need to order early.
I also may be able to order other sizes of prints from my Canadian lab, but those would need to be ordered quickly.
Merry Christmas!

Biggest canvases yet

4 07 2014


It’s taken a lot longer than I had planned, but I was finally able to deliver the two largest canvases I have produced to date. Originally this was going to be one 8 foot by 2 foot canvas, but I eventually ended up making two 8 foot by 3 foot canvases, one highlighting Panther Drilling’s four rigs, and the second highlighting the men and the work that they do.


I had done several concepts a long time ago, but they weren’t so sure about them, and honestly, that was probably a good thing, because revisiting the whole project from a blank page ended up in a much better product.

The rig canvas was the biggest challenge – the four rigs were shot over the fall, before the snow, and winter, with entirely different lighting and weather conditions. How could I make it all work?

Finally I came up with the idea of one side being the fall, and then transitioning to winter. Rig 4, on the left, would provide much of the working material, and then Rig 3 and 2 would be painstakingly cut out and pasted onto the blue sky. Since I had to do Rig 3 twice, it ended up being about 10 hours of editing. That included going pixel by pixel through every wire and brace on the derrick, cutting away the white sky that it was shot against.

All of these photos figured prominently in the Panther album I did in time for the 2013 Weyburn Oil Show.

The canvases were a challenge to stretch, which has me strongly leaning towards a specialized 120 inch stretching machine in the near future.

Delivery meant using the ENTIRE back of my recently acquired Ford Expedition, with all the seats folded flat. I had built a special crate for such deliveries, but the SUV worked out well.

Printing canvases of this size turned out to be a proof-of-concept for another, even bigger, project I am working on. Details should be out in the coming months.

Panther was very patient in waiting for the delivery of these pieces, and they look amazing in their recently re-finished office.

As Panther’s office manager Nikki said, “It looks like a drilling company office now.”

Recent canvas sales

10 02 2013
Estevan mayor's office

Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig beside his new canvas print for his office. As a miner for 36 years, I am guessing he has been on every inch of territory seen in this photo.

It’s been a pretty exciting week, with several fine art canvases being delivered this week.

First up was one picture that is now hanging in Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig’s office in Estevan City Hall. It’s an aerial shot that was taken last fall while I was doing another shoot for Panther Drilling. The pilot was kind enough to take me over the Aquistore drilling site near Boundary Dam Power Station.

When I zoomed in on this shot, I was surprised at all that was in it. It basically has everything important to the Estevan economy in one shot.

  1. Boundary Dam Power Station
  2. The Boundary Dam Unit 3 carbon capture plant
  3. Shand Power Station
  4. The Bienfait charcoal facility
  5. Three draglines
  6. Coal haulers
  7. A large mining shovel
  8. A triple drilling rig
  9. The Aquistore injection well, which was the deepest well in Saskatchewan until…
  10. The Aquistore observation well was drilled next door. That’s the well the rig is on in this picture.
  11. Souris River Valley
  12. Farmland

The only thing it’s missing is a pumpjack. I’m sure there are some in the far background, but they are not visible.

This was one of the largest prints I have ever made. It’s 36×48, or 12 square feet. It’s about as big as the door I hung it from to dry after printing. What’s even more remarkable is you need to blow up this picture that large to see all the details I just listed. That’s what amazed me – how much detail can be found in these photos now.

Western Star Stoughton

This is the second lobby I have decorated for the Western Star Inn & Suites Chain

The second sale is to Western Star Inn & Suites. I provided several prints, including canvas and metallic paper on gatorboard, for their Carlyle location last year. This is for their new Stoughton location, which just opened. The four prints are, from left to right, CanElson at Stoughton, Vortex 1 at Lake Alma, Panther 4 at Benson, and Betts 1 at Northgate.

The CanElson rig (I’m not sure which one) was photographed just half a mile from the hotel location, southwest of the intersection of Highways 13 and 47. You can see the resulting pumpjack from the breakfast area window.

The large blue print, Vortex 1, is the same size as the mayor’s print – 36×48. The remaining prints are 24×36.

Finally, one of my 24×60 Kisbey fenceposts and three rigs prints was delivered on the same day to a service rig hand who is working near Estevan but staying at the Carlyle Western Star. It’s a copy of the print hanging in that hotel’s lobby. Out of the roughly 400,000 photos I have taken since 2003, that photo has received more interest than any other. It’s my signature piece these days.

My prints were available at Estevan’s Pharmasave until this past Christmas. Watch for more to be available at Ron’s the Workwear Store in Estevan and Weyburn in March. There’s one of the Kisbey fenceposts and three rigs in Weyburn right now. Otherwise, you can contact me directly.




Fine Art Canvas Wrap Prints Now at Estevan Pharmasave

2 11 2012

It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point, but the first of my fine art canvas wrap prints are now available for sale

These are my first fine art canvas wrap prints, available for sale at Estevan’s Pharmasave. On the left is “Freestone,” and the right is “Vortex Rig 1 at Dusk.”

at Estevan’s Pharmasave. You can find them in the corner near the pharmacy counter.

I hung two canvases today. The first is  “Freestone,” a corral, a drilling rig, two service rigs and several pumpjacks. It was taken this past February halfway between Kisbey and Forget near the PetroBakken Freestone battery. It is really indicative of the intense activity of the Bakken play. If you work in the patch, there’s a good chance at some point you have seen this sight, some something very similar.

This is a  60×24 inch print (5 feet by 2 feet). Of the 400,000+ photos I have taken in the past 9 years, this picture has gotten the most attention. It was the print I had at the Estevan Chamber of Commerce Showcase in late September.

The second is “Vortex Rig 1 At Dusk.” It is Vortex Drilling’s first rig, built in Estevan at DoAll Industries, at work on its first hole. That took place southwest of Lake Alma in June 2011. There’s several things that I like about this print besides its aesthetic quality: it’s a locally owned-company, working in southeast Saskatchewan, and built in Estevan.

This is a high-dynamic range photo (HDR), which means it is actually a melding of five different photos taken at different exposures and combined into one. This allows you to see the dark and light areas of the image. This print is 48×36 inches (4 feet by 3 feet).

They are printed on Epson exhibition canvas with 200 year inks, laminated with archival laminate, and mounted on furniture-grade fir stretcher frames. Future prints will be on either fir or oak frames.

Both will retail for $999.99, and would look great over a couch, dining room table, or on an office wall.

I was pleasantly surprised to see people walking up to these canvases right away after they were hung.

I was really humbled by people’s reaction’s looking at them. As soon as they went up, three people came up and looked them over intently. Within an hour, one person had already asked about the price.

To answer one of their questions, yes, there will be smaller sizes, at a lower price. Expect them the third week of November. I will have some 60×24, 48×24, 36×24, 24×24 and possibly a few other sizes available over time.

If anyone has any requests for prints, click here to be take to a gallery of some other photos that will be available for sale.

Thanks to Brad Cooper at Pharmasave for displaying these canvases. I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I do. The Freestone canvas hangs above our couch at home.

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