Shooting Industrial Climbing on Wind Turbines

Hanging Out with Wind Turbine Engineers

This shoot was quite extraordinary as it required me to abseil down a 65m high wind turbine in order to shoot industrial climbers. These guys perform technical exams on rotor blades all day every day. They abseil down one blade, climb back up, turn the blades, abseil down the next, and so forth. There is no other way to shoot than to hang in the ropes beside them.

The wind posed a bit of a problem at first. When you’re this high up the wind turbine sways in the wind. I’m not the heaviest, therefore it kept blowing me sideways away from the technician. We soon figured out if we tied a rope between us I could control the distance between the camera and its subject quite well. It also required a lot of communication, as there was suddenly a new dimension added – from above and below. I could suddenly easily change my perspective.

In the end I tried a little free-fall – just to see what would happen and how fast I could go. Who needs rollercoasters when you have a job like mine?

Industrial climber abseiling down a wind turbine with a magnificent view behind him.

Industrial Climber setting the ropes ontop of a windturbine near Stettin, Germany.
Rotor blade mechanic abseiling down a wind turbine with a view of the wind park on Fehmarn behind him.
Close-up portrait of an industrial climber hanging in the ropes on a rotor blade, pulling the photographer who is hanging in the ropes beside him closer.
Portrait of industrial climber writting his protocol on top of a wind turbine on Fehmarn.
Industrial climbing shoot, here the mechanic is hanging at the bottom of a rotor blade which he has just abseiled down to check it for damages.