My efforts at recovering a relevant image…

Ok, the story behind the image first ๐Ÿ™‚

In the area where I live, one of the functioning Power Stations has been put onto standby effective the 31st March 2014.ย  This means we’ll no longer see any steam coming from the stacks.

In this post, I don’t want to go into the politics of the Power Station, but I’d like to share a small bit of info about it’s history and it’s importance to the community…. and why I want to recover the image I’ll share.

For as long as I’ve been coming up this way… and long before that, Wallerawang Power Station has been a working power station.ย  I believe the original station began in the 1950s?

Wang recovered landscape full_RGosby2014
A recovered image.

Of course many coal fired power stations are closing down and being decommissioned these days.ย  This one is not decommissioned…yet… but now it’s on stand by.

It’s been a very important part of the surrounding area and communities, providing work for families and will still continue to do so for the time being… for some… You can read more about the Station in the local paper here.

We knew the Station’s days for operation were numbered, so I really wanted to get some ‘working images’ before it closed…. but I had no idea it was closing so soon!

We tried.ย  On the way home on a rainy weekend, we decided to try for some images in spite of the awful flat grey day and misty rain.ย  We never went back again… at least in time, or with suitable weather for photos.ย  There seems to be a theme here with me… oh dear!ย  Must amend that!

The result was many awful images taken from the car on the way home. Well, that’s the truth of it!

So… the originalย  image.

For a while, I’ve been wondering if I could ‘make something’ of one of the photos, because it will be a real rarity (if ever) to be able to take this photo again. Certainly wouldn’t hurt to try, so I chose this one.

Wang original landscape SP_RGosby2014
~ using shutter priority @ 1/100 sec | f18 | ISO ? 100? ~

Today I thought I’d see what I could do. I wanted to keep the image fairly true to colour without effects as such.ย  Tone mapping might be classed as an effect… not sure?

Just want to say up front, I am no expert at this, just thought I’d share this for anyone who might be interested and I’m very sure…. there are probably many better ways, than how I decided to go about it.

For the purpose of recovering this image I used Paint Shop Pro and 2 Topaz plugins.

My steps were:

1. Crop first, this time

2. Topaz Detail (my first time trying this plugin – must say I like it) to bring out lost detail

3. Topaz DeNoise

4. Tone Mapped in PSP

5. Adjust levels in PSP

6. De-saturate a little using Hue Saturation Lightness In PSP

7. Selective focus to foreground – PSP

8.ย  Another crop for a closer view

Below are images that I finished with.ย  There was quite a bit of work done to these images.ย  They are certainly not gallery quality, but they are definitely recognisable as the Power Station.

I’m much happier with the end results, compared to what I started with. I’m still unsure as to whether I think the ‘full’ colour image is a bit bright…ย  I’ll ponder on that ๐Ÿ™‚

15 thoughts on “My efforts at recovering a relevant image…

    1. Thank you Derrick. Yes I do agree.
      To be honest I hadnt thought of it that way.
      I was more seeking to find clarity where there was very little, as the image only presented the station on a rainy day.
      I appreciate your thoughtful comment and point of view!
      Good luck working through your older images ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. The black and white is powerful, especially with the clouds! And, I personally like the full color image, I don’t think it is too much. Thanks for sharing your process with these images. I it is amazing what color gets lost on a rainy day. Glad to see you could recover some of it and capture a moment you wanted too.


    1. Thanks for your input and perspective on this Carrie.
      Im glad you like the colour image and that you don’t think its too much. I think its relevant to today in the 2010s.
      So much info was lost. It was very misty rainy day. Good to try these things ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Sometimes we all get “stuck” with images that are not the best we could do and that is when the post-processing comes in to play – good effect on the final image. I’d be curious if you could do anything more with Photoshop, but I like to read about how other folks work.


    1. Hi Robert. Yes, definitely one of those instances here.
      I will definitely have another try in Photoshop at some time too.
      Thought this would be an interesting experiment.
      Be interesting to ‘see’ what I think about them today with fresh eyes.
      Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Driven past many times didn’t know it was going on standby. Great recovery of a distant image, good one Robyn.


    1. Hello Robyn and thank you!
      I do so agree. Im very interested in documenting places, especially historical….or places that will be one day ๐Ÿ™‚


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