Toby Smith: The Renewables Project

Image: Toby Smith / Reportage by Getty Images

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Toby Smith is an award-winning contemporary reportage photographer specializing in environment and energy matters.

His feature stills and video work have been published by editorial clients such as National Geographic, GEO, Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Guardian, Fortune, TIME, New York Times, BBC, The New Yorker and Sky News.

With its raging seas, wind-swept hills and high rainfall, Britain has more potential kinetic energy for capture than any other landscape in Europe. Nowhere is this concentration of energy more intense than the rich Scottish landscape where hydroelectricity has been providing power from the glens for over 60 years. 

The Renewables Project photographed in Scotland was completed through partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy. The project was undertaken in the harsh winter of 2010, with Smith living and working from his converted 4x4 expedition vehicle. Much of the work is shot on large format film with night exposures lasting many hours.  Many of the sites were installed and continue to operate in the manner to which they were constructed in a gargantuan post-war labour effort. A living, breathing example of British heavy engineering at its finest that now unwittingly forms a crucial percentage of the larger sustainable energy portfolio of Britain.

The project was supported financially and exclusive access granted by Scottish Southern Energy (SSE) in 2010. Toby Smith worked closely with the communication and operations teams to research and safely access appropriate sites for the project based on aesthetic, scientific, cultural and historical significance.

Ross Easton, part of the Corporate Affairs team at SSE, explained: "We commissioned Toby to capture a selection of our renewable energy projects - from wind farms to hydroelectric power stations. The result was some stunning photography which showed off Scotland's natural beauty mixed with the majestic beauty of our hydroelectric schemes and wind farms. We have used these photos in a range of corporate communications, both internally and externally. The stunning photograph of an engineer working on top of a wind turbine was featured on the front cover of our 2012 Annual Report."

See more of Toby Smith's work here

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