July 21

Sunset behind the wind turbines

They stand silhouetted against the dying light of North Dakota’s prairies. The giant wind turbines are today’s version of the 1950 electric poles that broke up the horizon when the REA brought electricity to the plains.

For me as a photographer, they give depth and perspective the horizon, though I can see why some people think they are a detraction to the landscape.

They are giants rising above everything nearby.  It’s not just their size, but notice the coloring. I’m intrigued by the surface and the paint of the turbines.  Notice the pink glow on the column?  It reflect the ambient light of the sunset.  So even though their silhouette breaks the lines of the horizon, their coloring causes them to almost (but not quite) blend in to the light of the moment.

You don’t have to go far, though to see something that remains of the silhouettes on the horizon of sunset — the image that pioneers must have seen.  A dead tree stands frozen against the last streaks of light just a mile or two from the turbines.

So, though the turbines disturb some views of the prairie, you can still catch a reminder of what it once looked like here.

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