Denver Local 111
Nineteen-year journeyman lineman and foreman Nathan Mendoza said the job he was working in this shot was “pretty involved with lots of helicopter support.” Because what they do is so out-of-the-ordinary, he and his crewmates often take pictures with their phones or company-supplied GoPro cameras. In this remotely taken GoPro photo, Mendoza, journeymen linemen George Hollabaugh and Adam Boggio and apprentice Anthony Crane are working atop a transmission tower in the Rocky Mountains.
Eau Clair, Wisc., Local 14
Rodney Newmann, a journeyman wireman for nearly seven years, was serving as the foreman on a job at the Humbird Sand Plant last fall. After an early morning safety meeting, this 5:30 sunrise caught his eye as he headed to the job site.
Milwaukee Local 2150
Mark Perlewitz was part of a team of We Energies hydro electricians performing maintenance work at the Chalk Hill Hydroelectric Plant in Stevenson, Mich., when he took this picture with his iPhone. Fellow member Brian Bancroft is using dry ice to clean a generator that is clogged with oil and dust after decades of use. We Energies electricians often work in frigid conditions throughout northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to keep the electrical grid at peak performance.
Rockford, Ill., Local 196
Aaron Brooks, a superintendent for signatory contractor J.F. Edwards Construction, was working at the Ameren-owned High Prairie Wind Farm in northeast Missouri when he captured this Midwest sunset in the town of Greentop near the Iowa border. “I love old barns and I drove past this one almost every day,” said Brooks, who used his iPhone 11 to snap the photo. “I drove past this time with the sun setting and thought, ‘This would be such a beautiful picture,’ so I picked a spot and shot it.”
Salisbury, Md., Local 1307
Ray Roach, a communications technician for Exelon-owned Delmarva Power, loves photography but usually leaves his camera in his van while on the job. So, one day, he set up a studio in his house and took a self-portrait to symbolize what all utility workers are dealing with during the pandemic. He is wearing a flame-resistant facemask by Tyndale, an industry leader in protective gear for electrical workers. The company performs all its manufacturing work in the United States. “I was just trying to highlight the PPE and the gear that keeps us safe,” said Roach, who used a Sony Alpha A-58 to take the picture.
Butte, Mont., Local 44
The Mystic Lake Hydroelectric Project sits at the head of a narrow valley, 8,500 feet up in the Sawtooth Range of the Rocky Mountains. Most of the times that Local 44 member Daniel Walsh visits the site to test the accuracy of the intertie meters, he works 1,000 feet down from the dam lake at the generation station. But once in a while, he rides the 100-year-old, 1.6-mile funicular to the head house – just him, the sky and Custer National Forest.
Vancouver, B.C., Local 258
One year after a colossal landslide wiped out the 287kv transmission line that feeds Prince Rupert, B.C., Vancouver Local 258 member Brad Masse was part of the team tasked to replace the damaged section of line on the Skeena River. Access to the remote area was by helicopter alone and took 40 IBEW members from BC Hydro just over a week to haul out the old structure and install two new 220-foot steel monopoles and hang the wire. This picture of his brothers Steve Fyfe and Aaron Seaton preparing to reconductor the line tells the whole story of the job with helicopters, the Skeena and a rainbow to boot.
New York Local 3
New York Local 3 journeyman wireman Ron Keyser captured this stunning scene as he and journeyman Raymond Almestica, pictured, installed lights more than 1,000 feet above New York City’s Hudson Yards. The pair worked on the triangular outcropping called The Edge, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, for about six months. Keyser took the photo in February 2019, using an Android phone. “They were just building it, just putting in the big glass panes, so it was a clear view,” he said. Other days, “you’d be above the clouds. Some days you couldn’t see anything at all.” Both he and Almestica documented the progress. “We were partners up there,” Keyser said. “We were always taking pictures of each other.”
Los Angeles Local 18
Jason Cleanthes crawled into a tight bypass pipe to bring a unique perspective to the work of a Los Angeles Local 18 crew refurbishing the city’s century-old aqueduct cascades in February 2020. Cleanthes, a Local 18 AV technician for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, was documenting the historic project, which required diverting the overflow that normally roars through the pipe. Seeing an opportunity, Cleanthes asked if he could take some photos inside it, capturing the view as the water would see it. “Be careful,” the crew told him. Leaving his professional equipment behind, he “crouched down and crept back,” with his iPhone 11, moving 15 to 20 feet up the pipe to wait for a good shot. Fortunately, he was upright within a few minutes. “These guys were working like crazy,” he said.
Seattle Local 77
Shaena Sullivan can look at a worksite and see art. Even “the back of a dirty bucket truck,” said the groundman with Seattle Local 77. The copper dead ends and other materials amid debris and a dusting of snow caught her eye when she visited her husband’s jobsite last fall — an alley in Spokane where Jake Sullivan, a Local 77 journeyman lineman, was changing out poles. She captured the scene with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera. While still an active, dues-paying member, Shaena has been pursuing photography since being laid off from a utility company. A former firefighter, she said she especially enjoys making “artistic photos of professions that I’m passionate about.”
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Local 1620
When power line technician Steven Stewart got the call to restore power to the remote town of Lawn, Newfoundland and Labrador, he wasn’t planning on taking a photo of a picturesque view. A wind storm had torn through the day before and the Local 1620 vice president had to travel by ATV just to get to there. But when he and fellow member Jonathan McCarthy, pictured, arrived at the site, the sky cleared, practically begging him to take out his phone. The weather in the northeastern Canadian province can be pretty tough, but sometimes it’s also beautiful, and he wanted to capture that. “It’s nice to be able to show members in other parts of the continent what it looks like up here,” he said.
Boston Local 103
When Boston Local 103 member Timothy Mayer first got to his work site in Cambridge, Mass., he fell in love with the view of the Boston skyline outside the window. He even thought it would make a good photo. But the right moment didn’t appear until he noticed his coworker, Faustino Viera, up on a lift running switch legs for some lighting. That’s when he took out his phone, capturing the juxtaposition of the city skyline behind the horizontal lines of the windows, and a V-shaped Viera off to the left. “I think it came out so well because it’s a candid shot and captures a natural moment at work,” Mayer said.