Why I don’t like powerlines in my scenic photos.

Picture: Fall colors on trees in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire.

Image: Fall colors on trees in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

If you don’t like High Capacity Electrical Transmission Towers and Wires running through your scenic photos, or even just your view for that matter, I’d like to ask you to check out (and possibly help fund) a project started by friend and environmental photographer, Jerry Monkman. He’s launched a film project on Kickstarter called The Power of Place. The film:

“…explores the negative impacts of Northern Pass, a 180-mile long electricity transmission line project that has been proposed by Northeast Utilities in partnership with Hydro-Quebec. (He) will combine classically beautiful landscape cinematography with interviews of those intimately connected to the land to show how the wild and undisturbed character of the land has the power to fuel inspiration, imagination, and an interconnectedness with nature. The main question the film will ask is “Do we want to trade this power for electricity that most likely won’t even be needed in New Hampshire?”

Many years ago, my wife and I took a two week vacation to Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) and the nearby “Sunshine Coast” toward the resort town of Whistler. (The fact that it was gray and raining the entire trip, and the fact that I renamed the area “Sunshine Coast My A**!” will remain a subject for a future post.) This was very early in my photography days, and the one thing I remember most clearly as we drove the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Squamish and Pemberton was how ugly and scarred this beautiful landscape was by the electrical transmission towers and wires which snaked the entire length of the area.

Still to this day, I also remember taking an image that I thought would have been a great print image, except for the powerlines.

Picture: Fog at sunrise over hills below Fremont Peak, San Benito County, California

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California

Scenic Landscapes & Power Lines should be left apart. If you want to photograph powerlines, I’m sure that many will agree, there are far better places to do that than running through the heart of one of America’s most-scenic National Forests.

Picture: High Capacity Electrical Transmission Towers running through the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Sonoma County, California

Image: High Capacity Electrical Transmission Towers passing through the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Sonoma County, California

I’m sure Jerry will really appreciate your support.


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3 Comments on “Why I don’t like powerlines in my scenic photos.”

  1. Angela Says:

    I live in Vancouver and we are used to the unpredictable weather here. It rains a lot and that’s why we have such a lush rain forest. It’s been gorgeous here all week but last week was dull and grey. It’s a typical spring. I hope that you give BC another chance because it is very picturesque. Skip Whistler though and try the islands…

    As for the powerlines, that’s what Photoshop is for.

  2. Greg Russell Says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Gary–this is definitely a worthwhile project, and I know I can agree with your sentiments about power lines…

    Lovely images by the way.

  3. Charlie Says:

    I really like that picture with the power lines. I like it because of the power lines. It gives it a subject. But I agree that it be nice to have less Environmental impact or none at all from industry.



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