Refined – 36/365

A brief detour on the way home tonight, and I think the third time I’ve felt like I might get my ear pulled for being somewhere I maybe shouldn’t.

Tonight I wanted to take a picture of Stanlow Refinery. Commissioned in 1924, the refinery has a capacity of 12 million tonnes per year, that’s 296,000 barrels a day! It’s the second largest refinery in the UK, and refines a sixth of the UK’s petrol, along with jet fuels and diesel, manned by almost a thousand people.

As interesting as that is, that’s not the reason I stopped (at three different locations around it) to take pictures of it. The reason I stopped is because, despite whatever ethos you or I may hold regarding fossil fuels, the structure itself is in my opinion, very pretty.

I’ve passed it loads of times, especially if the M56 is busy, and at night I have always thought it looked really impressive.

So tonight I drove a little slower down the road, and kept a look out for any spots I could stop at. There weren’t many good spots, but eventually I found a couple, and trudging through a hedge or two I eventually found some spots where I could press up against the mesh, have a decent view and take some pictures.

With the gentle drone of industry in front of me, power lines buzzing over head and traffic whizzing by behind me, I got some shots. The sounds and smells at a location are, sadly the only thing I can’t convey through an image. At the time for me it was part of the moment.

As usual, I took different frames, from different angles and various focus shots.

Some through the mesh fence, some close up to it so as to exclude it.

I love the way the pipes and lights lead you into the shot in this one, with the brighter lights peppering the frame.

This one was a little experiment with a mixture of focus/blur levels.

I actually took about 30 shots, but only kept and edited these “few” you see here in this post.

As busy as the images are, the bokeh shots I really like, and I’m really torn between them, and the sharper focused images, as to which I like best. Hence I am sharing them all!

I particularly like these shots through the fence, because it looks kind of Si-Fi, and really interesting.

In the end though, the header pic today was my favourite; the framing worked well, it has movement in the smoke, interesting light formations, a draw from the lines of pipes and rows of lights and some really cool light reflections. I’m pleased with it.

Learnings – beauty can be found everywhere, if you think about it. The subjects function doesn’t have to be beautiful, but it’s form still can be.


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