“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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“Harnessing the Wind”

I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the Archive Collections of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art!

01_080812432Spring Valley, Nevada

My portfolio “Harnessing the Wind” consists of 21 – 14” x 21” color digital photographs, printed on 17” x 22” Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright White 301 gsm smooth paper on an Epson 7890 printer using Epson’s Ultrachrome K3 inkset. I made 15 in depth visits to three 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.

02_080812436Spring Valley, Nevada

I was contacted by a San Francisco advertising agency in 2011 to document construction of Nevada’s first utility grade wind farm, and was excited to work on an assignment incorporating a gorgeous landscape with an industrial scale renewable energy project.

03_080812591Spring Valley, Nevada

Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind is situated on 7,680 acres of BLM administered land, thirty miles east of Ely, Nevada in White Pine County near US-50. Spring Valley Wind consists of 66 2.3 megawatt Siemens wind turbine generators. The 152 megawatt facility started selling electricity to NV Energy in August of 2012.

12/17/2012 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

After negotiations, planning meetings and scheduling, I finally had the opportunity to explore the Spring Valley construction site in October of 2011. I located the lay down yard covered with pick up trucks, heavy equipment and temporary office trailers and checked in with the staff of Mortenson Construction. Site specific safety training and personal safety equipment are a prerequisite prior to entering the construction site. We were escorted by a safety officer for a tour of the site while working out the best way to accomplish an extensive shot list.

121912 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

We scouted locations the day before for early light and arrived the next day about an hour before sunrise. Provided we followed strict safety rules, stay out of active construction zones and wore our safety gear, we were free to roam the site making photographs of the largely unfinished wind farm. Shortly after sunrise, crews began arriving for their daily safety briefing. We met our safety officer, who escorted us to the individual construction sites. He introduced us to each site’s foreman, who in turn would go over site specific safety concerns and then had us sign in.

121912 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

My wife, Trish, who is also my producer and assistant, would set me up with equipment for the particular scene. Sometimes, she would need to stay back while I went into the active construction site with the safety officer watching my back enabling me to get close to the action without getting hurt or impeding construction. At sites that were less hectic or dangerous, she’d assist by holding a radio controlled strobe or fill card to help with lighting.

121912 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

Because Spring Valley is located on BLM public lands, excavation was done with archeologists observing for artifacts. The BLM also required the areas around the turbines to be restored to its natural state upon completion to have as little impact as possible on the fragile desert ecosystem. At this early point in construction, other than the grid of access roads, most of the landscape was undisturbed. I documented workers using heavy equipment excavating, setting rebar and then pouring concrete foundations. After those tasks, more earthwork was done to back fill the foundations.

08_130619090Ocotillo, California

We returned to Spring Valley in April of 2012 to photograph a much more evolved construction site. Although far from it, the site looked largely complete. This time, we photographed tower erections and 174’ blades being connected to the hub. The lift involves picking up a complete rotor assembly, lifting it to the top of the 262’ tower with a giant site-built crane while workers inside connect the two pieces.

09_130619134Ocotillo, California

Returning in August 2012 we photographed the grand opening for Pattern Energy which was preempted by stormy weather. It was spectacular weather for me though, so I was busy until it was too dark to shoot creating many of the images found in this portfolio.

10_130619229Ocotillo, California

Our last photo shoot at Spring Valley Wind was to document the entire wind farm in the winter. The snow finally flew in December and we spent a couple of beautiful, but very cold, (-18˚C / 0˚F) days photographing.

11_130620309Ocotillo, California

The success at Spring Valley Wind led to an invitation to photograph Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind facility located on 12,500 acres of BLM land, northwest of Ocotillo, California in Imperial County. This site consists of 112 – 2.3 megawatt Siemens turbines. The 265 megawatt facility started selling electricity in July of 2013.

12_130621036Ocotillo, California

On our first trip to Ocotillo, we arrived at the mostly completed wind farm in mid June. Ocotillo is just 12 miles from the US Mexico border and it was very hot. For our three-day photo shoot the lowest temperate was 28˚C (83˚F) and the high was 46˚C (114˚F).

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This photo shoot was very different from Spring Valley. My shot list was primarily to create beautiful landscape images of the facility and to make it look like it was functioning when it was not.

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I was also charged with documenting this facility’s unique feature, the “Bird Tower”, an observation tower staffed by an ornithologist to watch for avian activity. The ornithologist has the ability to shut down the entire facility to reduce bird mortality. The facility was also stocked with equipment to respond to any wild animal event. I spent three days photographing Ocotillo Wind. We returned one last time to document the grand opening event and to photograph the fully functioning power generating facility.

15_140617185Panhandle, Texas

The next invitation from Pattern was to the Panhandle of Texas for a three day photo shoot in June of 2014.

16_140617301Panhandle, Texas

Panhandle Wind is divided into two wind farms with both facilities located north of Panhandle, Texas in Carson County. Pan 1 is located on 52 privately held parcels of land with long-term lease agreements consisting of 118 – 1.85 megawatt General Electric turbines generating 218 megawatts. It began commercial operation in July of 2014. Pan 2 is located immediately west of Pan 1 on 40 privately held parcels of land with long-term lease agreements consisting of 79 – 2.3 megawatt Siemens turbines generating 182 megawatts. It started commercial operation in November of 2014.

17_140617414Panhandle, Texas

The Panhandle of Texas is so flat you can make out the curvature of the earth. I thought the location was going to be a challenge since all the other wind farms I’d previously documented were surrounded by dramatic geologic formations. Turns out, the flat landscape didn’t make the location any less interesting to photograph.

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Pan 1 was finished and producing power and Pan 2 was well into its construction phase. I was charged with a long shot list of specific construction images to be completed plus a few landscape shots of Pan 1 since it was finished, and any images I could get of Pan 2 that made it look like it was up and running.

19_141114239Panhandle, Texas

We returned to Panhandle, Texas in November of 2014 for a one-day photo shoot to document the grand opening event and create beauty images of the now fully functioning Pan 2. For several weeks prior to the grand opening the weather had been dull, gray and raining and it wasn’t looking promising for photographing anything outside.

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We had luck on our side though. Other than it was 10 degrees and windy, we had blue sky and sun. The turbines looked fantastic and were operating at peak capacity. I came prepared for any weather and donned my arctic parka and took to the wind farm once again to document it from before sun up to after sun down.

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Here is a link to the “Construction” 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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Annenberg Slideshow

It was truly great to have been selected by The Annenberg Space for Photography for their “Slideshow Night” as part of their show, “Country”. The Annenberg Space for Photography has put my slideshow on their website for all to view!

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Mustang Windmill

Click here to view the entire slideshow on the Annenberg Space for Photography’s website.

 

Annenberg Space for Photography

Last month, I was contacted by a photo curator at the Annenberg Space for Photography. She was seeking the work of photographers who have been creating exceptional photography that explores the world, its creatures, history and evolution and requested a submission of my plastic panoramic images for an upcoming slide show night. Once I returned home, it took me more than a day to edit, file prep and up-load the thirty images for the high resolution slide show. The theme for the slide show follows their current exhibit “Country: Portrait of an American Sound“. This special, one-night showcase at the Annenberg Space for Photography will feature work from 25 “Noted Photographers“. What a thrill to be on this list!

Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Location: Annenberg Space for Photography

2000 Ave of the Stars #10

Los Angeles, CA. 90067

The following images are but a small sampling from the slide show. They were all created using a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic” disposable camera re-loaded with black & white film.

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Mustang Windmill, Diamond Valley, Nevada

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Craft Ranch, New Mexico

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Martin Ranch, Nevada

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Coldwater, Texas

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Green Springs Ranch, Nevada

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Prospect Peak, Nevada

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Antelope Valley, Nevada

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Cow Camp Wells, Utah

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Newark Valley, Nevada

 

Nevada State Museum Show

Here it is, for those of you who could not attend the opening of my show “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed”. The folks at the museum did a fantastic job with the installation and I am very pleased with the results.

The show will be up through September 29th, 2012.

Nevada State Museum

in the Springs Preserve

309 S. Valley View Blvd.

Las Vegas, Nevada 89107

Friday – Monday 10:00 – 6:00

702-486-5205

 

Opening at the Nevada State Museum

Please join me for the opening night of “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed” at the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Friday June 15th  5:00 to 7:00 pm

Nevada State Museum

309 S. Valley View Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89107

RSVP (702) 822-8746 or sirvin@nevadaculture.org

Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas

I am thrilled to announce that I have a one man show at the new Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas. My exhibit, entitled “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed”, is a documentation of disappearing ranching activities across the Great Basin Desert. In this show I will be hanging 40 pieces in their 2,700 square foot gallery from the first of June through September.

We are going to have an opening on Friday June 15th 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

All of the black and white panoramic images for this show where created using Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable cameras. I reload these vintage disposables with Kodak Tri-X film. I process, print, matte, and frame all of my own images.

Nevada State Museum
309 S. Valley View Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89107
702-486-5205
Open Friday – Monday 10:00am – 6:00pm

Artist Reception at the Western Folklife Center

Please join us in Elko to celebrate Nevada Day, Saturday October 30th at the Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery for an Artists Reception from 4:00 – 6:00 pm for my “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed” show. Trish and I hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you there!  The Western Folklife Center has many activities throughout the day during their Community Open House and all are welcome.  Details below.

Looking for a meaningful way to celebrate Nevada Day weekend with your family and friends? The Western Folklife Center and Utah State University’s Special Collections & Archives invites ranchers, cowboys, ranch hands and other Elko County residents to a Community Open House on Saturday, October 30, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. USU staff will be at the on hand to collect and preserve stories, photographs, diaries, letters and other documents reflecting ranch and rural life. The day will be dedicated to sharing everyday stories of life in northern Nevada so current and future generations may enjoy them.

Do you have photographs and documents you want to preserve and share with others? Bring 20 of your favorite images to the Open House. We will scan them, collect information and send you home with your originals plus digital copies to easily share and print. We are especially interested in photographs that depict the story of ranching today including people, buildings and activities. The scanned images will become part of the USU Special Collections & Archives’ Ranch Family Documentation Project. The USU librarians will also share some of the best ways to store your photographs and other valued documents so future generations can enjoy your images and stories.

The Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery will be open during the Open House with free admission all day. There are three exhibitions in the Gallery: Ranch Gates of the Southwest—a photographic look at one of the most recognizable cultural artifacts of Americana, representing the people and landscapes of the American West; Where the Cowboy Once Roamed—an exhibition of black and white panoramic images created by Nevada photographer Deon Reynolds using a Kodak Fun Saver Panoramic 35 disposable camera; and, A Tribute to the Brian Winter Will James Collection—an exhibition featuring original artwork and classic books by renowned artist and author Will James. Deon Reynolds, photographer for Where the Cowboy Once Roamed will be on hand to discuss his work during an exhibit reception scheduled from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Food and drinks will be served throughout the day.

Special thanks to Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library; Brad Cole, Associate Dean Special Collections and Archives; Dan Davis, Photograph Curator; and Randy Williams, Folklore Curator & Oral History Specialist. Thanks also to the Utah Humanities Council, Utah Division of State History and the Union Pacific Foundation. This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Union Pacific Foundation.

I began exploring ideas and images for ‘Where the Cowboys Once Roamed’ when I was creating scenic photos for the coffee table book ‘NEVADA’. Originally, I was captivated by the beautiful landscapes of the high desert. Though, during my travels through the state I found evidence of an era gone by and realized it was deteriorating rather quickly. Around that same time, I began playing with Kodak “Funsaver Panoramic 35” disposable cameras and found the format complimented the landscape while the low-fi camera quality evoked a sense of history creating the perfect look for my new found, disintegrating subject matter.

Western Folklife Center

501 Railroad Street, Elko, Nevada

Located in the Historic Pioneer Hotel

Open Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.

Open Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Closed Sundays and Holidays.

Artist Reception Saturday October 30th

You are invited to an artist reception at the Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery, Saturday October 30th 4:00 – 6:00 pm.

Photographers Deon Reynolds of the Where the Cowboy Once Roamed and Daniel Olsen and Henk Van Assen of the Ranch Gates of the Southwest exhibition will be present.

Also, join us Saturday, October 30th for a Ranching Community Open House as the Western Folklife Center and Utah State University’s Fife Folklife Archives co-host a free open house to share, collect and preserve the photographs and stories of ranching life today from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Following the open house will be a reception and tours of our Wiegand Gallery exhibitions, beginnning at 4:00 pm and concluding at 6:00 pm.

Western Folklife Center

501 Railroad Street, Elko, Nevada

Located in the Historic Pioneer Hotel

Open Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.

Open Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Closed Sundays and Holidays.

“Where the Cowboy Once Roamed” now hanging at the Western Folklife Center

My “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed” show is now hanging at the Wiegand Gallery at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. The show consists of 25 black and white panoramic images created with a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera. The plastic cameras are reloaded with Kodak Tri-X film over and over again. The Panoramic images are printed digitally using archival methods on Hahnemuhle fine art pearl paper. Also in the show is one Palladium print shot with a Holga 120N plastic camera. below: Potts Ranch House.

Please come to Elko and view the show! The show runs from from August 14th through mid December.

Western Folklife Center

501 Railroad Street

Elko, NV. 89801

Ph: 775-738-7508

The Western Folklife Center  Wiegand Gallery

Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

Tuesday: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Here is the show, but it looks so much better in person…

Blackbird Ranch

Potts Ranch Corral

Potts Gate

Jiggs House

Toiyabe Cattle Company

Diamond Windmill

Mau Ranch

Blue Mass Corral

Blue Mass Canyon

Horses at Potts Ranch

Huntington Valley

Steens Mountain

Newark Ranch

Buck Station

Stonehouse Ranch

Through Traffic Only

Valley of the Moon

Corral Detail

Walter’s Tree

Walter’s Ranch

Stillwater Windmill

Toiyabe Range

Stillwater Fence

Maggini Ranch in Snow