Running A Photography Course for An Offshore Wind Farm

© Andrew Newson

© Andrew Newson

I was recently comissioned to write and deliver a 2 day bespoke photogrpahy course for a wind farm company.

This is was something really different to what I normally do with my photography training but something I really loved doing.

The company wanted to be able to take very detailed photographs of the wind turbine blades to aid the inspection process. The blades can get damaged over time with lightening strikes, bird strike or just general wear and tear. Being able to take high quality and high resolution images of the blade makes that inspection process easier and can also act as a record of their condition for digital reports.

© Andrew Newson

© Andrew Newson

Although they already owned an amount of photography equipment they asked if I could provide a proposal of some new equipment that would make things easier for them. I was happy to do that and they have now purchased the equipment which is already making a difference.

The technicians had no previous experience with photography so we were starting form scratch but they all picked it up very quickly, I was really impressed. I suppose being technical people they found it easy to follow along.

After 1 full day of training the following morning started with a re-cap and then a trip offshore to put what they had learnt in to practice. This was challenging as at this point I wasn't able to be with them on the platform of the turbine as I don't have the correct training. I hope to gain this training that if such work comes up again I could indeed be with them. They did find it challenging to get the shots in fairly strong winds and very cold conditions but actually when we got back and looked at the images they had done really well.

© Andrew Newson

© Andrew Newson

We imported the images in to Lightroom and I was able to offer some advice to improve upon the results for future shoots.

This method of inspection and recording the condition of the turbines is fairly inexpensive given the other options available. Each equipment set up could cost as little as around £2k-£4k. Obviously if you have more than one set up then more than one team can be photographing turbines at the same time.

I really enjoyed my time there and the guys I was teaching were a really nice bunch.