“Harnessing the Wind” Construction

The construction portfolio of “Harnessing the Wind” consists of 21 – 6 1/2” x 10” color digital photographs, printed on 8 1/2” x 11” Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright White 301 gsm smooth paper on an Epson 7890 printer using Epson’s Ultrachrome K3 inkset. I made five behind the scenes visits to document the construction of two utility grade commercial wind energy projects in the United States. The photographs were created between 2012 and 2014, printed by myself in Eureka, Nevada in November of 2015.

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A large hole is excavated for the base of the wind turbine. Since this wind farm was built on Bureau of Land Management land, BLM archeologist contractors oversee the excavation watching for archeological artifacts. The painted diagram on the first layer of concrete is a template for the rebar. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Rebar is put into place. A crane moves the rebar for the workers to assemble. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Once the rebar is put into place, workers build the concrete forms. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Workers pour concrete over the rebar contained by the forms. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Ground wires are placed over the finished concrete base. It is now ready for backfilling with earth. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Once the backfilling is complete, cranes built on site erect the tower. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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A painter prepares the surface on a tower section prior to assembly. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

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Tower sections are assembled by site built cranes. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

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A nacelle is lifted off the truck trailer and prepped for lift. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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A worker atop the tower awaits the arrival of the nacelle. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Two workers place a lift strap around a blade in preparation for assembly to the hub. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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The blade is lifted by crane for assembly to the hub. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Workers maneuver the blade for proper alignment to the hub. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Workers hook up the blade assembly to the crane. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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A site built crane begins to lift the blade and hub assembly to the nacelle. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

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Hub and blade assembly lift. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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The crane positions the blade and hub assembly for attachment to the nacelle. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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A worker attaches the blade and hub assembly. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

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An electrical substation is built on site to connect to the power grid. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

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Power transmission lines carry power from the wind farm to the electrical grid. Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind, California.

Here is a link to the “Harnessing the Wind” portfolio.

Special thanks to NV Energy, Pattern Energy and Mortenson Construction for their generous contributions that helped to make this portfolio possible!

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Digital Disaster

Earlier this year cleaning up in the studio, I accidentally knocked a 3TB hard drive off my desk and it crashed to the floor ceasing to function. When I plugged it back in, it briefly made a grinding/buzzing noise then nothing… It does not show up on the desktop, nor does it show up in disk utilities, making disk recovery impossible. This hard drive contained every single image ever shot with both Canon 5D MkII digital cameras spanning a five year period. Fortunately, I also back up to DVD and jobs get backed up twice, once as delivered, usually full sized tiff’s and as unedited dng files. The problem here is that when I started to back up from the DVD’s to a new hard drive most of the DVD’s wouldn’t play. I installed a second optical drive into my MacPro. Now most of the DVD’s do play, but not all of them (insert expletive here)! Also, I had not backed up to DVD for several months. So, every image created between August and January is gone forever (except jobs), along with those random DVD’s that still will not play (insert very loud expletive here)! I ordered several new internal and external hard drives for the MacPro and one more portable hard drive for the MacBook Pro so, this way I can create multiple back ups while on the road as well and even more back ups once I return to the studio.

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Storm chasing near Eureka, Nevada May 17th, 2015.

All this digital turmoil has made me rethink how I feel about and deal with digital photography. Don’t get me wrong, I like digital as much as I like analog photography. I think of the two as tools, not a preference, not unlike a painter would chose a different paint brush to create a different look. I pick up a different camera to create the effect I’m after. Many of my photographer friends would throw a major wobbler about now, shouting and screaming to defend how much better digital or analog is from the other. I think you’re all very funny! Over the last decade I have been shooting most of my personal color work with digital. All of my black & white has been on film. But lately, for my personal color work I have been returning to film and my Hasselblad. I don’t think it is as much about whether or not it’s digital or analog, but rather how much I really like designing within the square format over a rectangle.

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Lower Columbia River, Washington

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Tahoe, California

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Ibex Dunes, California

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Immigrant Road, Nevada

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Columbia River Gorge, Oregon