“Warra Grain Silos”

The place

Warra is a small town located in the Western Downs region of Queensland, Australia. You pass through it when travelling the Warrego Highway about 250 kms north west of Brisbane.

I’ve travelled this route many times and these silos are the stand-out in the area. Most of the silos along the highway are grey concrete, smaller, and generally just uninteresting. Large and painted white I always thought they’d make a great subject.

They were a fantastic canvas to get the golden light of a low sun I knew it had to be either a sunrise or sunset shoot.

The prep

Checking sunset and sunrise times along with the position of the sun at these time told me that a sunrise photo would be the best option. The morning light would hit the whole northern side.

With a 5:20 sunrise and a 90 minute drive from home, it was an early start.

It was dark when I got there. With about 30 mins until dawn, I spent time finding a place to setup my camera. The fields to the north of the silos had a crop of corn that was about 45 cms (18 in) high and would normally be easy to walk though. Recent rains, however, had turned the local black soil into a sticky quagmire. One set of runners ruined and gum boots are now part of my camera kit.

The ground was grassy and wet but not muddy. With a good view of the silos I could already tell the background sky was going to make a fantastic backdrop. Once the sky started to get some nice colour, I took some photos. I kept going until the light started turning a bit ordinary. Then, I headed home.

I chose a photo that gave me the best image and started processing it. I bought out the sunrise light that you can see on the white silo walls. I also bought out the purple and magenta in the background sky.

My thoughts

I’m pleased how the photo turned out. The colours you can see are what I imagined the photo would look like. I think it turns what most people would consider a mundane subject into something that you might take notice of the next time you’re passing through Warra.

Framing suggestion

The bright colours framed using a simple off-white matte and plain black frame would make a great addition to any modern home or office.