Fuel Station Typologies

I couldn’t decide what to do for the second part of my typologies assignment so I took some inspiration from Ed Ruscha and his book ’26 Gasoline Stations’. Ruscha photographed all the fuel stations along the route from his home to his mother’s home but as I was not planning to visit my mother or take any other long journey I chose to photograph all of the fuel stations in Scunthorpe.

I set myself some fairly simple rules about how I would approach this. I planned to walk to each fuel station and photograph them from across the road, straight on, keeping the roof parallel to my camera. This meant that I was standing on public land and legally able to take photographs without needing permission. I would use my Fuji MX1 camera with the lens initially on 16mm but may zoom in a little further depending on how wide the road was in front of the garage. I would not be using a flash.

The first time I went out it was an overcast day and the sky was a fairly flat white, but as I walked around the sky turned darker and eventually I had to return home when the rain came. The next time I went out I used the car and was able to photograph the fuel stations much quicker and keep more consistency in the look of the sky. I chose not to photograph the fuel station at Asda as this is situated away from the road and would have meant that I needed to stand on private land to take the shot.

I chose to leave the images in colour as it is important in differentiating the branding of one fuel station from another. In post production I enhanced the colour by applying a camera profile in Lightroom that mimics Fuji Velvia film, I also spent a little time adjusting the highlights and shadows as each image was initially quite dark under the fuel station roof.

This is my final image:

Fuel Stations

As with my chocolate typologies I layered the fuel station images together in Photoshop, used the transform tool to align them as I wanted and adjusted the opacity of each layer to create this final layered image.

Fuel Stations merged

Although I have no particular interest in fuel stations, I’m really happy with this final image and pleased that I kept it all in colour.

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