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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Kendal photographer Ben’s career is at an all-time high

KENDAL-BASED photographer Ben Barden, pictured left, has hit the heights thanks to the energy industry.

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NEW HEIGHTS: Ben scaled the 459ft West Tower in Liverpool with experienced rope access worker Alex Showell for a publicity shoot Picture by Ben Barden

Ben’s work has taken him from the top of a 40-storey skyscraper in Liverpool to the top of a turbine off the Cumbrian coast.

And he thanks Kendal firm heightec for helping him get there.

Ben has taken his IRATA (rope access) qualification, which means not only can he work at heights, but he can work in suspension on ropes, allowing him to get to places others can’t reach.

When he was doing his training heightec gave him more than a helping hand.

He said: “I was waiting for my son to be born when I was doing my training. They were very flexible around that, a very good company to deal with.

“Doing that training has certainly opened a lot of doors for me,” he said

Five years on, Ben can tell son Lenny his dad is an internet sensation. And he has a windfarm off the coast of Barrow, and Swedish firm Vattenfall, to thank for that.

He said: “That was my big breakthrough. I did video footage on a two-year project from 2010 to 2012 filming the entire construction of the Ormonde windfarm.

“It took me to Fife for the jacket assembly and to Belfast living on installation vessels and suspending cameras from the top of Harland and Wolff cranes.”

Finally it took him offshore to film the installation of the windfarm itself, charting world-first techniques. Ben’s film, using time-lapse sequences, featured in a BBC report.

He said: “It was the second most popular film on the BBC website that month!”

The opportunity has led to more work in the energy industry. He has teamed up with Signal Films to work on induction films for Danish-firm Dong Energy, has done induction films for Vattenfall, and has worked on Centrica’s Morecambe Bay gas field.

Onshore, he scaled the 459ft West Tower in Liverpool with experienced rope access worker Alex Showell for a publicity shoot.

Be said: “We were on a vertical face with the tripod perpendicular. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever done!”

Ben and Alex wanted to show what was possible. It took them two years to set up the stunt. They even did some publicity shots for heightec while they were hanging around.

And the opportunities don’t end there for Ben. There is more to come.

He said: “There are new projects I am working on, but I can’t say too much about those at the moment.”

l Ben launches his website this week. To contact him or find out more go to www.benbarden.co.uk

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