On a recent trip to Pembrokeshire one landscape feature really stood out. It was the Valero oil refinery at Pembroke. It was tempting, in a landscape that has fabulous coastal scenery, to ignore it as a photographic subject, but it’s such a prominent feature it’s worth a closer look.
Looking at it from the Angle peninsular the refinery stood out against a cloudy sky. It had nice directional lighting from the right hand top side. I isolated it using a 150mm telephoto lens, which has added some perpective compression. A bit of HDR treatment and a B&W conversion gave a moody look.
From the summit of the highest point in the Preseli Hills, Foel Cwmcerwyn, the refinery was silhouetted against a backlit sea, and there were good highlights coming from structures in the refinery complex. Once again I used my 150mm lens, but that was to try and make the refinery as big as possible; it was 20 miles away after all. I’ve darkened the sky down to make it moodier. Perhaps it shows “the sunset of big oil”?
On the road from Pembroke to Angle there is an incongruously sited Telephone Exchange. It’s sat in the corner of a field all by itself, but does have a fine view of the refinery. Here I’ve used a wide angle lens to make the refinery look a bit smaller relative to the small brick building. I liked how the fence posts leading to the Telephone Exchange mimic the chimneys and stacks of the refinery.
Not so much a blot on the landscape, more a photographic highlight of my trip.
by Derek Gale