Of Sheep And Solar Panels

Back in mid-July, when the air was still and dry and the sun was still hot, I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot for the company I work that included a few interesting elements: People, solar panels…and sheep.

The elements of people and solar panels was interesting enough. But to throw in the added feature of sheep…well, that made it for me.

The shoot would be for the website I oversee, with the story running on the homepage. We have some specific guidelines for the photography we use on the homepage, first and foremost being: Images need enough headroom to accommodate the red navigational bar that drops, and images have to have enough environment on the left side of the frame so that text could be added.

In short: No tight verticals.

The main focus of the story is one of my colleagues, Jed. Jed oversaw the development of this solar panel array, one of the largest in the state of New Jersey. He was going to be the central point of my main photo. Of course, the solar panels would figure into this image too.

Something like this would have worked:

The other element of this picture that I wanted – no, needed – to include were the sheep. They were the kicker to this whole story, and the odd, fun, playful thing that would make this photo. At least to me.

So, the next step was to shoot the panels, Jed…and include the sheep.

Here sheepy, sheepy, sheepy…

We were doing the shoot in early morning, around 7 a.m. Breakfast time. These little guys were hard to corral correctly for the shot. They like to feed on the clover that dot the meadow the array sits in. But to help engage them for the photo, we had to spread some pellets around.

Once we had them where we wanted them, back up the ladder I went. Yeah, that was the other part. Jed is about 6’6″ or so, and for me to get a shot that didn’t look like he was looking down, or the camera was pointed up, plus to get the depth of the panel rows, I climbed up an 8 foot ladder for a better vantage point.

This frame was the one that would work for what I wanted: The spotlight on the person that oversaw the whole development of the solar panel array field; the breadth and depth of the array field; and the kicker to the story, the natural landscapers.

I was ready to push this to production…then noticed I forgot something when I took the shot.

See, I forgot to ask Jed to take the Blackberry off of his hip. It glared at me like a black eye. So, aside from some other normal clean up in post, I removed that as well.

Overall, I like how the final image looks on the website:

After I was sure that I got the shot I wanted for the homepage, and Jed had to get back to work, I stayed back to get some details shots to be used in a slideshow. That’s being worked on now. Here, though, are a few of those images.

You can read the full story about Jed, the solar panels and the sheep here.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2011 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS4 or PSE6 and Nik Software.

4 thoughts on “Of Sheep And Solar Panels

  1. Really nice work Mark. It’s a nice story on J and J’s energy production/consumption too. Love natural landscaping touch too!

  2. Pingback: Tearsheet: JNJ.com Homepage | Timorama

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