Ok, the story behind the image first 🙂
In the area where I live, one of the functioning Power Stations has been put onto standby effective the 31st March 2014. 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. I believe the original station began in the 1950s?
Of course many coal fired power stations are closing down and being decommissioned these days. 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. 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. We never went back again… at least in time, or with suitable weather for photos. There seems to be a theme here with me… oh dear! 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 original 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.
Today I thought I’d see what I could do. I wanted to keep the image fairly true to colour without effects as such. 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. Another crop for a closer view
Below are images that I finished with. There was quite a bit of work done to these images. 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… I’ll ponder on that 🙂