Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Industrial Photography: Shooting the Wind Turbines

Last week I had a great assignment at the wind turbine farms in Eastern Oregon. I sure love shooting this type of stuff with the blue collar workers out in the field. We shot a ton of imagery with this guy positioned around the wind turbines and from high angles and low angles, telephoto and wide angle. The image will be used for a trade ad. For lighting I used a Norman 400B on a stand with sandbag and Pocket Wizard.

There is nothing scientific here as far as lighting, rather its the look that I wanted to achieve. I could have used the flash as a flash fill letting the sun be the main light, but I really like the look of underexposing the ambient light and using the flash as the key light. I set the strobe at 1/2 power and chose the fstop that provided a normal flash exposure and then set the shutter speed at a -1 stop below normal exposure. This really makes the guy pop out against the background. Read on for a few more examples.
This first image I like a lot as well because the sun is behind and does not splash across his face. The strobe is the main light on him.
This next one I like the stacked look of a telephoto lens but not so much the sunlight splashing across his face. Another thing I had to fix was his filthy pants. I did that by opening Photoshop and adding an empty layer and then using the color picker and sampling from a clean part of his pants. Using a soft brush I painted on the layer where the dirt was then switched the blending mode to color and it changed the brown dirt to blue dirt and makes the pants look cleaner. The stains are still there but the color looks much better.What was interesting is the project manager said these towers are much taller than the Statue of LIberty and on the large end of each blade, you could drive a car into. I was offered the chance to go up inside one to the top but he warned me that it is climbing a ladder for 45 minutes. No thanks!

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