Photographing a Wind Turbine Technician

Today’s Post by Matt Staver

I was commissioned to photograph wind turbine technicians at a remote site in Colorado. For the first portion of the shoot I worked to create available light photographs up on top of the nacelle and inside the tube leading up using a Canon DSLR and lenses. After climbing the internal ladder 300 feet back down, we set out to make a portrait on the ground. Putting away my Canons, I used my Fujifilm X100s to create this portrait. I selected this camera to make use of the leaf shutter allowing me faster flash sync speeds and because I love the tones the camera captures in outdoor portrait settings like this.

How this portrait was made:

We drove around on the roads that are part of this wind farm hunting for a spot with the sun in the right direction, several turbines in the background and minimal distracting elements (power lines, out buildings, etc.) Once we found this spot I hauled out gear that included a lightstand, sand bag, Elinchrom Ranger 1200 RX Speed AS, a Chimera Softbox and two PocketWizard MultiMax Transceivers.

It was very windy there (some smart folks selected a good spot for a wind farm) and I had no assistant. So part of my set-up involved using camping stakes and rope as guylines to secure the soft box and keep it pointed in the right direction. That’s right, I carry rope and stakes as part of my lighting kit. Once I found the angle and spot that looked ideal I set up and secured the soft box. The technician got into place and we began taking photographs. This portrait was captured at f/8 and 1/500 sec.

Matthew Staver is a commercial, industrial and portrait photographer living in Denver, Colorado.