Windfarm Visualisation: Perspective or Perception?

1st Edition

Alan Macdonald

Whittles Publishing
Published October 10, 2012
Reference - 128 Pages
ISBN 9781466555945 - CAT# N10592

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As windfarms proliferate across the UK, visualisation as a means of predicting the scale and impacts of wind turbines has become a highly controversial subject. The purpose of visualisation is to inform so that judgements can be made by the general public and non-landscape professionals alike. After nearly two decades, post-construction shocks are still common and the public demand for comprehensible and reliable pre-planning visuals increases. The author draws together a blend of knowledge and experience to explain the many scientific disciplines involved. He gives an overview of how some simple fixed standards will allow proper validation and testing to restore confidence in visualisations which will allow realistic prediction and effective planning.

Photography is both an art and a science which, if used scientifically, must be capable of being tested. Current practice is found at best to be impractical and at worst an artifice to diminish potential impacts. Under scrutiny, flaws in the adopted methodology are exposed and wideranging problems for the public, planners and decision-makers are explored and explained. The assumption that perspective geometry equates to what we see is challenged and the case is made that visual representation must take full account of human visual perception.

This simple subject has been subverted by complexity. In Windfarm Visualisation this complexity is stripped away to provide a text which returns to the fundamentals of photomontage visualisation, discarding pseudo-science and concluding with simple recommendations to relay the foundations for fixed photographic standards to underpin the production of comprehensible and verifiable visuals for use within the planning process. It is a scientific detective story into what we see, how it can be misrepresented and manipulated by self-interested parties and how standards, ethics and validation can easily be established for all wind energy proposals to reliably inform the planning system and the public.


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