Martin Newland, QPSA  

Torrens Island Power Station by Martin Newland, QPSA

September 2021 - Torrens Island Power Station

September 2021 - Martin Newland, QPSA


About the Image(s)

This is a gas fired power station and it supplies much of the electricity to the city of Adelaide. Despite the ominous looking fumes emanating from the two chimney stacks it is only steam. A quirk of Photoshop gave it this dramatic look.
The weather conditions have to be just right for the steam to condense close to the Power station like this, so it is a matter of hit and miss if there is a photo opportunity or not.
The power station is located on Torrens Island (an old quarantine station last century) and is in the middle of mangrove swamps and the Port River in Adelaide, South Australia.
The image was taken just before sunset and has had a lot of work done on it to remove power lines, enhance the mangroves, the clouds and the steam etc.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark iv, 1/200 sec, f/11, ISO100
Lens: Canon EF 70 - 200, f/2.8 IS USM @ 200mm

12 comments posted

Jack Florence Jr   Jack Florence Jr
(Groups 66 & 86)
Very nicely done, Martin, in what could have been a busy scene. I like the way the smoke works with the cloudscape, and the mimicry of the distant smoke, it all comes together so well. The bonus is the foreground water, adding another interesting diagonal to the scene. Nice job on the lighting work done post.

I wonder if one of your colleagues will suggest a horizontal flip. It would produce the left to right flow of smoke, though I find the maker usually prefers the original orientation.   Posted: 09/03/2021 17:30:54
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Jack. I have just tried flipping the image as you suggested. It certainly changes the appearance!
My analysis of the original image is that the eye is led into the image from the lower left side by the foreground water, then up the chimney stacks and then out of the image by the steam. Unfortunately, there is nothing to keep the eye in the image, unless it goes back to the brightness of the foreground, which is the dominant part of the image.
  Posted: 09/03/2021 18:56:35
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Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Fascinating image and story. Yes - I agree with the flip. Did you try it in black and white?   Posted: 09/03/2021 23:09:50
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
I tried black and white but I didn't like the result so I didn't pursue that line of attack.   Posted: 09/04/2021 01:03:09

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
Martin, I pretty much use PS for cloning, and I wonder what tools you used for this, or was it actually Camera Raw that works a lot like Lightroom. Your editing, I feel, really gives it a dramatic feel. We have a nuclear power plant about 90 miles from us that continually has that steam billowing. Thanks for the inspiration for a photo!
  Posted: 09/04/2021 14:57:08

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Hi Shirley. As you can see from the original image the light was quite flat, but with a hint of sunlight on the foreground foliage.
I opened the image in Lightroom and adjusted the exposure, lifted the shadows, sharpened the image, did lens correction etc and then moved into Photoshop.
I cropped the image so I knew the extent of the powerlines that I had to remove. I did this removal with a combination of dragging Spot Healing Brush Tool along each power line and the Clone tool.
Then back into Camera Raw and used the Adjustment Brush to "sculpt" the light over the foreground foliage (increased exposure and shadows sliders) to paint in the "sunny" spots.
Then back into PS where I used the Polygonal Tool to separate the chimney stacks and the powerhouse from the sky on a curves layer and painted in the brightness.
I then took the inverse of my selection and worked on the sky, indiscriminately moving sliders until I fluked the combination to give the sky and steam that I have in the final image.
I then spent a lot of time removing any ghosting left by my masks around the chimney stacks and any artifacts that I came across with the clone tool.
I hope that helps!   Posted: 09/04/2021 18:19:20
Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
Thanks for the detail information on your editing. Most of that is beyond my knowledge but hoping to gain a little at a time. Unfortunately, the next time I go to use something in layers, I forget how I previously did it. Such is the process of age!
  Posted: 09/07/2021 14:55:11

Jaqueline Whalen   Jaqueline Whalen
Wow! I love what you did with the original. I especially love the colors of the mangroves in the foreground. It makes the tonal qualities of the Power Plant and sky become quite dramatic. I like the original best. I believe that flipping the image weakens the path through the image.   Posted: 09/07/2021 07:58:07

Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Martin, your final edits are suburb! Thank you for including the steps in your response to Shirley. I agree with you in that flipping it makes little difference. I wander into the frame from the bottom and up through the water to the power plant and finally the smoke stacks. You've shone an excellent example of what can be done in the world of editing. Wonderful job!   Posted: 09/07/2021 12:55:43

Stuart Caine   Stuart Caine
(Group 42)
You did a nice job, working on this image. Since you title is the power plant, I would suggest that you crop some off each side. This would make the power plant stand out a little more.   Posted: 09/08/2021 13:12:49
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Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Stuart. It looks good with the square aspect ratio.   Posted: 09/09/2021 18:03:46

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
At first glance, this looks like it could be a poster child image for Global Warming. The ominous clouds are mirroring the dark smoke (we know that it is steam) that might have contributed to them being that ominous.
Great story. Great edits. I'm envious of your editing skills.   Posted: 09/17/2021 05:28:45


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