Gas Storage Cylinders – by night

Port Botany – 18mm, ISO 100, 39sec, f16

These gas storage cylinders at Port Botany are massive, all the more because you’re so close you can almost touch them, but how to convey that in a photo.

By the time I had finished solving the problems of the world with my newly found security guard friend I had shot off about 20 frames. Most in landscape, some portrait, some facing up the other road but the one I kept returning to is this one. To try and get the best choice in Lightroom I took a number of exposures varying the time of the exposure and even the aperture.

I varied the exposure because the bright light which is off the right out of shot, would over expose some parts of the cylinders if I used a long exposure but leave some parts in the shadows if it was not long enough, so getting  the correct exposure was a bit of an experiment. The reason I varied the aperture was that I wanted the right amount of burst coming from the light down in the bottom left corner because I know a small aperture gives just that effect with points of light at night. The other problem I was battling was flaring which I did not completely get rid of but decided to leave in because its not too distracting.

White balance was a problem as it always it around industrial sites though I was lucky because it was mostly from one light. I did not try to adjust it in the camera but left it to deal with in Lightroom when I got home. I found that the most pleasing effect was by leaving it to LR to decide by selecting auto.

As to if I got the imposing nature I was after, well I think I did, and the key was in getting down low to take the shot the crane that happen to be there that night into the shot. Including it in the photo sets off the size of the cylinders better – to see what I mean, cover it with your hand and see the different impression you get of the cylinders. Having the first cylinder almost touch the edge of the top right hand side of the frame also helps give it that too big to fit in feel.

Until next time, bye for now.


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