Rodney Campbell's Blog


by on Jul.25, 2016, under Life, Photography

These firetubes were one aspect of this oil shale refinery at Glen Davis that I was aware of before coming. I was keen to photograph these firetubes from below (and had even thought of from above using the drone :)).



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/60 sec at f/9, ISO 100

Apparently the building these chimney like tubes are in, was where shale was fed through tubes and heated. I believe they were called the retort towers.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images below.

Underneath the building you can easily get underneath these firetubes which go all the way up to the sky above.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/30 sec at f/9, ISO 100

Thus if you plant yourself directly underneath the middle of where each of these four sets of tubes are you can look directly up through them. Do be careful however and keep a careful eye out lest you want a brick to the head.

There’s actually not just one set of four chimney tubes. Based on my aerial image I’d say there were around 18 sets in this building alone. At the bottom of this building however you can only gain access to about half a dozen of the sets. The images taken in this blog post show you a few of the different quad sets.

Falling Up

Falling Up

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/6 sec at f/11, ISO 100

One of this trickiest parts (besides not being killed by falling debris) of this is setting up your camera and tripod to be perfectly centred. It requires finessing your tripod and camera. You aim to get the sensor plane level (or perpendicular to the tubes). At the same time aiming to get your camera lens perfectly centred between the four tubes.

It’s painstaking work – and in fact sometimes when you do get it all centred the image looks wrong.

As it was with the very first image above. Because with this spot the remaining portions of the tubes varied in height with that top left one being much closer to the camera. So for this one to look “right” I had to shift off centre :).

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