“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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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Nevada Museum of Art’s Barrio Block Party

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Trish and I will have a booth set up selling our fine art photography at the

Nevada Museum of Art’s Barrio Block Party. Hope to see you there!

Saturday June 13th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Nevada Museum of Art

160 W Liberty St, Reno, NV 89501

(775) 329-3333

Join us for a blowout summer kick-off block party! Enjoy a free day at the Museum, live performances, food and craft vendors and hands-on art projects. Watch as we create original woodblock prints using an industrial asphalt roller. Make colorful tissue paper flowers and papel picado and enjoy the sounds of live music! Activities run from 10 am – 4 pm. FREE admission to the Museum continues until 6 pm.

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

Wild Woman Artists

Are you going to the 31st Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada? If so, Trish (A Wild Woman Artist) and myself (Guest Artist) will be part of an amazing show and sale at Duncan LittleCreek Gallery right across the parking lot from the Western Folklife Center.

This event is free and open to the public.

Support the arts, buy art for your Valentine!

Hope to see you there!

WW unbridled 2 FLAT

Artist Reception: Thursday January 29th, 2015 – 5 – 8 pm

Show hours: Friday January 30th, 2015 – Noon to 8 pm

Saturday January 31st, 2015 10 am – 6 pm

Kathleen Durham’s Underwood Story Hour Saturday January 31st, 2015 – 11 am

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Duncan LittleCreek Gallery & Bar

518 Commercial Street

Elko, Nevada 89801

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Artists:

Susan Church – Metal sculpture

Kathleen Durham – Stories in cloth and clay

Kristen Frantzen-Orr – Art Glass beads and jewelry

Barbara Prodaniuk – Clay

Gail Rappa – Jewelry

Trish Reynolds – Photography

Sidne Teske – Paintings

Guest Artists:

Marti Bein – Paintings

Teresa Jordan – Artist and Author

Deon Reynolds – Photography

Renown Healing Arts

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“Stillwater Windmill”, photographed on film with a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera, is one of 15 framed prints from my “Where Cowboys Roam” portfolio purchased by the Renown Healing Arts Program in Reno, Nevada. I am thrilled to have my limited edition photographs in the largest art collection in Nevada! As a board member of the Nevada Arts Council, we were given a tour of the amazing art found within the walls of Renown Health. Truly, a hidden gem of art in Reno and well worth the time to explore.

Find out more about the Renown Healing Arts HERE. Renown has just added my work to their website. The website shows all of the artists in the program and where you can find the art within the facility. Click HERE to view all of the artist in the Renown Healing Arts Program.

Renown Medical Center – Reno, Nevada

Earlier this year I was contacted by Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada to purchase 15 framed prints. Renown Medical Center has an amazing collection of art hanging on the walls the their medical center. My works are hanging in a hallway just after the “Emergency” entrance. I recently got back to Reno to photograph the installed prints. All of the prints are photographed using  Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable cameras reloaded with Kodak Tri-X black and white film. I hope you have no other reason to come here except to view art!

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Blackbird Ranch

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Hamilton Corral

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Jiggs House

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Toiyabe Cattle Company

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Diamond Windmill

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Blue Mass Corral

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Green Springs Fence

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Toiyabe Range

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Diamond Mountains

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Stillwater Windmill

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Walter’s Ranch

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Potts Shed

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Horses at Potts

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Blue Mass Canyon

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Blue Mass Corral

Canteen Magazine: Naked Judging

I was very intrigued with Canteen Magazine’s Naked Judging: The 2012 Canteen Awards in Photography. So, I entered eight images from my “Where the Cowboys Roam” body of work, all created using a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera. Their contest featured some very different ways of looking at a competition. Mainly their transparent partnership with all of the photographers entering the contest, every entrant receives an open critique, a live, longer form critique for the finalists, and a non-profit model for entry fees. Sounds good…

There were 230 submissions, of these entrants, it was narrowed down to 26. I did not make it past this point…

This is what the judge had to say about my submission:

“There’s a nice old Western vibe here. It’s meticulously crafted–skillful work. But if you’re going to use panorama, I think that it should be more provocatively used. In at least some of the shots there should be an activity, or something of note, happening on each end that requires you to use it. Otherwise, I don’t bother looking at 50% of each photo, and only regard what’s in the center. Also, I’m not a fan of the book-ended edges, which negate the panoramic view for me.”

In my opinion the comments by the judge were clever and flippant. Although the judge starts out with positive words, I disagree with the remainder of what the judge said, not because they were negative, but rather because they didn’t give me a good enough reason why. My guess is that the judge is young, or not experienced in the arts. I would also venture to say the judge didn’t look at my submission fully, as I see lots of “activity” in the images. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion… And I very much respect that! This is precisely why I made the judges comments public (I wanted to continue the transparency). I have had this body of work before industry professionals at Photolucida, FotoFest, and Review LA. They have been overwhelmingly positive in their response. I have had two scathing negative critiques in my life, both by photographers and not by curators or gallery owners. A few of them didn’t like the rebate edge, but virtually every reviewer stated I utilize the panoramic frame exceptionally well. I don’t expect everyone to love my work. If this were true, my art would be nothing short of mediocre.

What do you think?

Here are the images I submitted:

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Spring Valley Wind Farm

Back in June of 2011 I was contacted by an advertising agency in San Francisco to document, start to finish the construction process of Nevada’s first commercial wind farm. The Spring Valley Wind Farm is located 26 miles east of Ely, Nevada along US-50.  It’s situated in spectacular country surrounded by majestic mountain ranges. After the wind farm was completed I was asked to create beauty shots of the project, including some with snow. Here are the results…

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12/17/2012 Spring Valley Wind Park

12/17/2012 Spring Valley Wind Park

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121912 Spring Valley Wind Park

Yerington Theatre for the Arts

I am pleased to announce my show “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed” is now hanging at The Yerington Theatre for the Arts through April 27th, 2012.

Please join me for an Artist Reception Thursday April 19th from 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Yerington Theatre for the Arts
Jeanne Dini Center
120 N. California Street
Yerington, Nevada 89447
775-463-1783
http://yeringtonarts.com

Fence at Potts Ranch

All of my black and white panoramic images are photographed using a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X film.

The entire show is available to view on-line at www.deonreynolds.com. Look under “portfolios” – “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed”.

Green Springs Ranch

Mau Ranch

Blue Mass Corral

Newark Ranch

Stillwater Windmill

Hamilton Corral