Wind Tower Failure

I have cut down on the amount of landscape photography that I am doing as I have found myself returning to the same locations too often.

I like to think this keeps me from getting bored and prevents similar images being captured over and over again.

However on this shoot things never went as hoped which does happen, and I’m classing this as a fail.

Change of Routine

Last night I decided to head out and for a change not to head to the shore. Everything was looking good when I checked the forecast, cloud cover and wind so I decided to head up to a local wind turbine farm to get an image I’ve had in my mind.

I had never been up there before so I suppose trying to visualise and image in your head without knowing the layout of the ground is a bit optimistic to say the least.

Anyway, if anything it would count as a recce if an image didn’t materialise.

Tangy Wind Farm

I had chosen to head up to Tangy Wind Farm and I was hoping to capture a silhouette of the wind farm whilst looking out to the setting sun.

On the way up it was looking good, I could see Islay and Jura out on the horizon but this optimism was short lived. After driving up into the hills the wind farm finally came into view and I was starting to assess the height of the wind towers against the trees that were surrounding it and started to doubt if I would be able to see the horizon from the farm.

On arrival at the wind farm my thoughts were right, I couldn’t see the horizon which really frustrated me. Well, there was some of the horizon but not in the direction I was looking for.

Composition Scouting

I parked the car and decided to get out on foot to scout for a possible composition. There were a few ideas in my mind but they just didn’t do it for me.

Simple little things were not working for me to create a good image. A grande vista of the wind farm would have meant me shooting in a south westerly direction, which wasn’t a major issue as the view out in the distance was ok, what was nagging at me was the wind towers were pointing westerly.

I wanted the direction of the wind towers to match where the viewer was to look within the image. Pernickety I know but it’s small details like this that I’m choosing these days that makes a good shot or an average shot. So, that image got binned.

On further scouting I walked up towards wind tower 1. It had potential, the track leading up to it acting as a leading line and Tangy Loch in the background. The only thing that was going against it was the image was being scot in an easterly direction and there was a large bank of marine cloud on the western horizon which looked as though it was going to snuff out any decent light.

So, this was my image. Although I did continue to scout for an image looking out to the west for my silhouette. I singled out 3 of the towers but the composition wasn’t right, so I walked into the grass for some foreground interest and found some wild flowers that had potential.

At this point I think I disturbed an army of midges.


Wow, in an instant I realised why I prefer to shoot at the coast. Just kneeling down to check the composition I was swarmed by an army of midges, these little buggers completely ruin everything.

So, I quickly don the midge net and zip up the jacket before I get munched. However there seems to be a design flaw with my net, the holes are too big for the Scottish midge, the little b******s were getting in, and even worse I think it was a one way system as when in they weren’t going back out…nightmare!!!

So, yes I got bit quite a few times and yes I took the rage quite a few times having to rip the net off and shake it off.

Image Composition

Anyway, back to the photography. I headed back to setup for my tower 1 image. Intentions were to position the tripod right in the middle of the track for symmetry and using it as a lead in line to the tower.

I set up and the light was still bright for the sun breaking through the clouds so fired on my 2 stop nd grad and my 10 stop nd filter to get a longer shutter speed to capture some motion on the blades.

1st test shot fail – I couldn’t see the motion in the blades due to too long an exposure.

2nd and 3rd test shots fails also but improving. I reduced the exposure time to 1/5th of a second and this seemed to be good enough, 1/8th was also acceptable.

That being said what I noted whilst here was that the turbines seem to take turns at which one operates at a faster speed than others ( makes sense I suppose if an area of the farm is getting more wind or for maintenance programmes ).

The light failed me also, I was hoping that the sun would have broken through the marine layer before setting to give me some colour but there was very little which this image was desperately needing to give it something.

The image I captured below the turbine had increased in speed giving me better motion but still not what I was hoping for, I was hoping for full motion but the wind was too calm for that.

Wind Tower Failure

Another thing that annoys me about the image above is the tower isn’t in the middle of the track which puts it off symmetry and knocks the balance off a little, another pernickety point but all these small points add up.

Despite being a fail I’ll put this into Cee Nuner’s Which Way Photo Challenge this week.

Alternative Image

Before I captured this image I went back to try and capture the image I selected earlier before the light disappeared.

Again I’m putting down as fail but the attack of the midges really put me off spending time on this image as they were too intense and I couldn’t concentrate on focusing and exposure for long enough to try a different approach.

This is two images blended together, one for the foreground and another for the background due to the difference in dynamic range between the two. So, basically I exposed for the sky in one image and exposed for the foreground in the other and merged them together in photoshop.

Wind Tower Failure


It was nice to do something different rather than head to the coast as per usual, however the midges did put me off, they drove me nuts. I think their is a good image here so I’ll probably return at some point. I do have an image in mind using the Loch at sunrise  but I’ll put that off until sunrise is at a decent time lol.


4 thoughts on “Wind Tower Failure

Add yours

  1. Going to a location and not getting the image I hoped often happens to me too. But I guess, it’s all about the experience in the end. I really like your shot by the way. It’s always good to try something different.


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