Clean energy inspiration

Last fall I started working on a new project based in eastern Washington. The Puget Sound Energy company has installed a couple of very large wind farms. On a drive back from the palouse region, I stopped in with a good friend to see if we could get access to photograph the wind turbines.

As it turns out, if you are willing to watch a safety video, stay approximately 100 yards away, and agree to not shoot with a projectile weapon of any kind at the equipment, you can get a pass that will let you drive back into the wind farm. I was a kid in a candy store, these massive machines are impressive to say the least. They look cool. They sound cool. And, they generate a huge amount of clean, safe and renewable energy.

Standing in the fields photographing, it got me thinking about the decisions we have made about our societies power generation choices over the last 150 or so years. From that point,  I started to think about how I could photographical capture a what if scenario. What if the photographic images from 100 years ago showed our industrial revolution as clean, renewable and green. What would that mean for us today if those choices had been made. So I have started to process and print my images as if they were taken 100 years ago when platinum, van dykes, and ambrotype where the way photographs were printed.

This image is one of the first that I started to play with in an effort to give it a look of the historical printing processes. I am now starting to shoot these images and creating digital contact printing negatives or shooting with my 8×10 film camera in hopes of creating a book of images depicting a what if examination of our energy choices using the printing processes that were common 100 years ago. You can see some of my platinum landscape work here as an example of how these images might look in their final form.

April 28, 2011

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