Photographer: John Ripley
Submitted By: Jena Hanson, Senior Marketing Coordinator, Carollo Engineers Inc., Texas

Austin’s Water Treatment Plant No. 4 (WTP4) is capable of treating 50 million gallons a day—with expansion capability to 300 mgd. The project was completed, commissioned and started up in November 2014.

“This Austin plant is a beautiful place, inside and out,” says Ripley, the photographer. “As soon as I saw this room, I thought to myself, shoot it before someone changes something!”

WTP4 was honored in ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2015 Best Projects competition with an award of merit in the water/environment category.

“Photos are about light more than anything else—the direction and quality of the light, the sources and color of the light and the natural reaction the viewer will have to the way the light is working with everything around. If a location has harsh or inadequate lighting, viewers will have a hard time being inspired by the photo of that same space,” Ripley says. “Meanwhile, a corporate photographer’s job is to make information and imagery more accessible without necessarily being present in the room. That’s why most of our equipment has to do with lighting, because lighting is so important to getting the right shot that conveys the information and message.”

Ripley says the plant had so much going for it visually, including color, light, design and symmetry.

“It’s amazing how the whole plant is like that throughout. I’ve shot hundreds of water and wastewater plants across the U.S., and I have never experienced them to be so easy on the eyes like this one,” he says.