“The Power Station” by Jon Higham

I love wondering around with my camera.

There is a large power station in the countryside surrounded by woods a short car journey from where we where we live which we discovered once on a dog walk. I have taken photos there but still haven’t got ‘the one’ I wanted. Yesterday I grabbed my Nikon on the way out to walk the dog there thinking about this photogenic place. The light has been a bit flat this autumn but it was a moody day so I thought I would give it another go.

The Power Station is a substantial structure surrounded by electrified security fences with pylons peeling off into the distance. It hums and crackles with electrical noise. It’s a strange place to walk around but hard to capture in a photo due to it’s scale, and because it’s in such a beautiful location, it has a vaguely dystopian and ominous atmosphere. I thought the best photos would probably only be got by drone, but failing that I stuck my lens through the electrified fence and began shooting.

Once back home I decided that this was my favorite shot, my daughter and partner were both looking at the pictures too and unanimously felt I needed to crop the left hand side, which I agreed. But I spent a long time with slightly varying crops trying to find the best one. I was also torn with some other shots but they nearly all had that certain something missing, that ‘thing’ you can’t always put your finger or define as to why something is or isn’t quite working.

It’s also taken in JPEG and RAW so I could fiddle with the settings more, but in truth it didn’t need much tweaking except for the crop.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

Sounds obvious, but composition first and lighting a close second! If possible I always endeavour to get the best shot I can in the camera. I personally don’t think you can make a photo ‘great’ in post production if the essentials aren’t there in the first place.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

The one thing that could improve it is actual access to the site – it’s very photogenic in an industrial way. I could contact National Power but somehow I doubt they’d want people taking photos of all the equipment. Possibly a drone shot of the power station too but for that I’d need a drone and also a bit of luck not be arrested whilst taking the pictures!! Although nowhere does it say ‘No Photography’.

Jon Higham shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Jon Higham, Ninfield, Near Battle, East Sussex, UK


Equipment and Settings

Nikon D5300 + Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm VR
ISO 1000, f/5.6 1/2000 sec

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Comments (6):

  1. Steve Rolfe

    October 31, 2020 at 10:53

    Wonderful image a story of how the shot happened. I too love industrial and power stations and they have a beauty all of their own. I especially love the pylons that stretch as far as the eye can see.

  2. Malin Ellisdotter

    October 31, 2020 at 11:09

    Lovely story and image. “It hums and crackles with electrical noise” – I’m a fan of these sounds too, something strange about it.

  3. Ernie Nitka

    October 31, 2020 at 23:29

    Jon love the photo – my one critique is to crop on the right – there is a structure there that to me is distracting. I shoot mostly film and I’m always looking for the part of the scan that needs to be cropped out.

    • Jon Higham

      November 1, 2020 at 13:05

      Thank you Ernie, yes I kept fiddling with the crop that side too, never sure if I got that right in the end, but I shall probably revisit and reshoot. Love film too and have a small dark room and that really focuses the crop!


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