230 kV

Yesterday during lunch, I stopped at the BPA Keeler Substation to take some pictures of the transmission line tower on its front lawn. I used my cell phone’s camera because that’s all I had with me. Surprise — Transmission towers are huge! I couldn’t get enough of the tower in view.

I returned today with my Canon S100 point and shoot with its 24mm (equivalent) lens. Much better! :-)

When the sky is cloudless, I’ll try this again.


I wasn’t looking for another shot of wires and pole … honest. I took a detour on the way home to shoot a stand of trees on the far side of a field. It looked good, but only in my mind. The scene’s dynamic range was too great and I didn’t have a tripod with me to make a good HDR shot. So I looked up. This is what I saw. Sort of… ;-)

One of my goals this year is to get better at editing photos and maybe take you along for the ride. When I took this picture, I had a specific goal in mind: I wanted the posts to be angled and the wires to be parallel.

My first shot sort of got there but I couldn’t get the composition I wanted. The second shot had a lot of potential, but wow, I sure didn’t point the camera straight up. I used GIMP to perform a perspective transform and get the wires on the right side parallel and maintain (correct?) the vertical orientation of the cross beam. Although I normally crop in Picasa, GIMP provides “rule of thirds” guidelines for selections that I used to position the cross beam and the top ends of the poles.

I could have left it there, but the variations in the sky and the posts distracted from the picture’s graphical power. So, I brought it back to Picasa, adjusted levels, posterized, and “duo-toned.” I like the final result a lot better.

I wasn’t happy with the first sky color, so I changed it. The purple tone was a best guess/stab using Picasa’s duotone feature trying to click the appropriate spot in color space. It’s not easy to do. This final sky color was more mechanized. I had a picture analyzer find the original photo’s dominant colors, chose the one I thought represented the bulk of the sky, and use GIMP to do a color selection then fill using the exact color.

Next time, I want get enough length in the wires for a 16:9 format. I might have to lie on the ground to simplify the editing. That, or use a tripod. Hmm…


No, it’s not Haystack Rock, or trees, or a sunrise.

It’s a power pole.

And I like it.1As I was driving with Ashley, I looked through the sunroof and said I wanted to come back and take a picture of this pole, though I’d need to stand in the middle of the street to get the perspective I wanted. Ashley reached up and opened the sunroof. Ah! Problem solved. Grabbing my camera, I took a couple of quick shots while we waited for a green light.