It’s being towed through the air like a giant silver cross flying across mountain tops, glinting as its steel struts turn and catch the sun. A team of linemen wait on the ground.
They are dressed like modern day gladiators – hard hats buckled under their chins, protective glasses tied to their helmets. The men always looking up. The chopper starts to lower its gleaming load, the chopper blades roar, and the back wash from its blades is so intense it rips up moss and picks up small trees and turns them into spears. The men are doubled over to resist the wind, their hands shielding their eyes, their clothes flapping like wings. The end of the tower swings like a huge pendulum making the team of ten men seem puny by comparison. The men take turns grabbing and guiding the lethal tower and letting it go when its weight is too impossible. Back and forth they dance – the men and the tower.
We are shooting with an 800mm lens and in slow motion. The long lens keeps our camera and lens away from the flying shrapnel of debris and compresses the image into an extraordinary frame of slow motion choreography. It is a huge feat of engineering and brawn that leaves the linemen exhausted at the end of the day….and a long line of transmission towers marching through the northwest.