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Wind farms and the Landscape Photographer

CliffGreen 8 8 2 Scotland
1 Jun 2015 7:40PM
I live in the Scottish highlands and often hear Scottish politicians claim that there is no evidence that wind turbines will impact on tourism. There are now over 500 turbines planned for the area around Loch Ness alone. They may not be allowed to locate the turbines in Assynt or around the Cuillin Hills on Skye because these are designated "wild land". The trouble is, the views from those areas of "wild land" will soon be impacted by turbines in neighbouring zones.

I was wondering whether fellow landscape photographers would be put off coming to the Highlands by the proliferation of turbines?
justin c 16 5.1k 36 England
1 Jun 2015 7:44PM
It could be worse. Wait till they start building a bloody Tesco Express on every available corner TongueWink
Cymrucwtch 5 55 Wales
1 Jun 2015 8:06PM
I live in Wales and we seem to have our far share of the things here.

They change the look of the landscape, but the jury might out on the effects on tourism in general.

For the landscape photographer they are not welcome but for the family on holiday I'm not so sure if they are noticed.

I personally wouldn't be put off by them, but some might.
779HOB 8 1.2k United Kingdom
1 Jun 2015 9:20PM
I might even be tempted to go and photograph them. They will after all be part of the landscape when they are built.
adrian_w 13 3.8k 4 England
1 Jun 2015 10:58PM
A blight on the landscape. See how they've ruined the hills around Moffat as you drive along the M74.
matmonty 16 136 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2015 11:23PM
Agree with you there Adrian, it looks a mess.Smile Also when driving along the M74 where these are situated I would say more than 50% are not generating at all.

pink Plus
17 6.5k 8 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2015 7:04AM
I dont think I'd be put off goinf to Scotland or elsewhere that has turbines, maybe we will have to find locations that dont include them?
I think its a shame that many landscapes/views will be altered but it shows how important it is as photographers to record the 'before and after'.
I have many images now going back 40 odd years and the landscape is always evolving, maybe we should embrace it and either work around them or make an effort to include them as artistically as possible?
ikky 6 88 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2015 8:05AM
If you dislike the wind farms so much we could go back to the "good old days"of the coal fired power stations and the endless rows of factory chimneys belching out clouds of toxic smoke. At least with wind farms you can see the landscapes.
Steppenwolf 9 1.2k
2 Jun 2015 8:21AM

Quote:If you dislike the wind farms so much we could go back to the "good old days"of the coal fired power stations and the endless rows of factory chimneys belching out clouds of toxic smoke. At least with wind farms you can see the landscapes.

WInd turbines have to be backed up 100% by conventional power stations anyway because the wind can't be relied on to blow all the time. Their time is virtually over though because they're only viable when heavily subsidised by the govt - and the govt's winding down the subsidies. It's already unviable to build them off-shore because of the vast building costs and the current govt is opposed to any more being built on land, so they're basically dead in the water. Unlike solar power, which developing technology has made more efficient and cheaper (8 times cheaper in 4 years), wind turbines just get more costly to build and no more efficient. It's a ridiculous dead end and the probability is that, when the subsidy for the existing turbines ends in 20 years or so, they'll just be left to fall into disrepair - when they'll be an even bigger blot on the landscape.
JohnParminter 13 1.3k 14 England
2 Jun 2015 8:37AM

Quote:I was wondering whether fellow landscape photographers would be put off coming to the Highlands by the proliferation of turbines?

No, not at all. I've never even considered wind farms when deciding whether to visit the Highlands or Scotland for that matter.

Belleyeteres 10 264 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2015 10:14AM
I used to drive home up the M1 towards Nottingham. It could be sunny till I got near to the power station then it just went cloudy. It was sunny everywhere else but not where we lived because of it.
I would rather have wind turbines.
rhol2 9 369 1 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2015 11:05AM
I first posted this photo some time ago, it shows the massive size of the things viewed from fairly close (from about 3/4 of a mile ). since then they have proliferated in this area (East Lancashire) and are seemingly sited without regard for the environment and noise problems for those who live close to them.
hwatt 17 22 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2015 11:37AM
I rarely get involved in these matters preferring to leave politics out of my photography if possible, but I am afraid I can't because it is already adversely affecting my own photography, both personal and the business side of it. I tend to try and remove as much obvious modern man-made intrusion as possible from the landscapes I choose to photograph, but shooting film means I tend to do this at source rather than in software afterwards. I am a professional and I run landscape photography courses in Scotland and I am already getting folk from abroad asking me if there are likely to be wind turbines visible in the scenery they are visiting. It is getting increasingly difficult to say no. There seems to be endless plans to add more of these things to our landscape, another load of 400 foot high turbines with an estimated visibility of 20 miles is about to be established in my backyard at Dava Moor south of Forres, the wild lung of Moray. Nobody I know wants them, except the land owner who stands to gain financially from purchase in government grants, there is active condemnation of these things locally, there seems to be little to no energy producing benefits, in that they aren't expected to make enough energy to pay for themselves over their predicted lifetime, massive installation cost and local upheaval and an environmental impact on the scenery, from a photographic viewpoint, that makes an oil slick seem un-intrusive, and of course every time a wind farm goes up you need someway of connecting the bl**dy things to the grid so a that means a gorgeous string of pylons marching out of the landscape winking in the glowing embers of another glorious Moray sunset, charming it is not. I still recall the thunderous applause and the immense popularity of a You tube video showing a wind turbine, (one of the few that was actually in motion, generating something), in Caithness or Lewis, which apparently couldn't be turned off when the wind dared to blow a little more boisterously than usual, the blades rotated so fast that the main bearing overheated, burst into flames and set fire to the dam**d thing, smoke pouring from the stricken giant. About a million quid to replace the bearing, deep joy and annual moan over..
dcash29 15 2.4k England
2 Jun 2015 6:16PM
Here's a picture referring to the same wind turbines Roger has mentioned

It's not fantastic when they are on your doorstep. And yes it would affect on where I photograph.

antonoat 13 6
2 Jun 2015 8:44PM
I guess it won't be long before Photoshop offers a wind turbine one click removal tool Smile
Seriously it is annoying, but in reality we're all to blame.
The world's ever increasing population creates demand for energy, who knows what the answer is I don't that's for sure.

To see our countryside littered with these things is a real shame, but then again man is great at destroying what
nature has given us!

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