On Having Plan B Ready Whenever Plan A Screws The Pooch

By | 2011-12-15T09:38:44+00:00 Dec 14th, 2011|

This past weekend, I found myself back in Seattle with my sister, +greta matiash, and some of my Seattle cohorts, +Nicole S. Young, +Jacob Lucas, +Michael Riffle, and +dene’ miles. Our timing was great because there was a previously scheduled Google+ photowalk that Saturday afternoon. We met at a point on Alki Beach to photograph the moon as it served itself as a nice backdrop behind the city skyline. That was Plan A. It was a good plan.

Mother Nature was not without her own sick brand of humor that day and graced us with heaping amounts of overcast, cold, and wet weather. There would be no moon to see this evening and I knew it pretty quickly as we were pulling up to park my car.

Having a Plan A is great. It’s even better when Plan A goes according to… well… plan! But, what is just as important, if not a skosh more, is having a Plan B. This lesson parallels quite nicely with real life situations.

As I parked, I noticed this boat launch and immediately started thinking of ideas for potential shots based on the lenses I had on me at the time. In fact, I got so excited over the possibilities, I pretty much forgot all about any lingering disappointments over the Plan A debacle.

After a brief mingle session, everyone naturally dispersed to get their shots and I made my way over. I had plenty of time to scout for the shot I wanted and knew right away that the Canon 15mm Fisheye was the lens to use here. I got my brackets, tone-mapped them when I got home, and then stylized in +onOne Software Perfect Effects 3 and simulated a shallow depth of field in FocalPoint 2.

In the end, I walked away with a shot that not only salvaged the night, but actually made it!

#HDR #Photography #Seattle

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15 Comments

  1. Steve Harlow December 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you for recounting your process and the software tools you used.

  2. Michael Riffle December 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post, Brian–much wisdom. It's hard not to get discouraged when Mother Nature deals you a card you weren't hoping for. Staying positive can make all the difference.

    Love this shot, too. Really dig the symmetry of your composition and symmetry of the colors in the sky and the water. Really sweet.

  3. tim dalton December 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Cool!

  4. Jacob Lucas December 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    All I remember from this part of the shoot is the look on your face when you were standing on the pier to camera right and the wake from a passing ferry came ashore… Great times mate. Oh, great shot, too :)

  5. Zachery Jensen December 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    I had an eerily similar experience on Saturday myself. I wrote about it here:

    http://www.obliviousalgorithm.com/2011/12/not-according-to-plan.html

    I didn't go out with a plan B, but, if there was a lesson that day it was one about the importance of improvisation to make the best of failed plans. I came home with a couple of really satisfying images that I wouldn't have even tried to make if my original plan panned out.

  6. Brian Matiash December 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    +Jacob Lucas HA! Yeah, that was a tragedy 10 seconds away from happening. Good times for sure. More to come, I reckon.

  7. Melissa Grover December 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    ^^ now I can say… Welcome to NW Washington Brian!

  8. Brian Matiash December 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    +Melissa Grover W00t!!!

  9. Jim Clark December 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    too bad I couldn't make it

  10. dene' miles December 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Damn, i just knew you were nailing something good over there. Wicked cool +Brian Matiash and great to see ya again!

  11. Jared Knutzen December 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Love the blue of the sky, and the composition rocks. Great capture.

  12. Paul Howard December 15, 2011 at 7:17 am - Reply

    The photos are awesome +Brian Matiash (really awesome!), but any guy who can use "screw the pooch" and "skosh" in the same post deserves to be followed regardless of his photographic skills!!

  13. Jim Denham December 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Excellent tips for planning Brian, and a pretty cool image ta boot!

  14. Mandy December 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    flexible and resourceful should be added to a photographers trait’s list!

    Nice image – love the colours!

  15. kelly morgan December 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    I think the lesson here is Plan A should always be: get off your butt and shoot something. This shot proves every opportunity with your camera (+ tripod) is an opportunity for magic. You deftly prove this image-to-image, Brian Matiash. Welcome to the Pacific Wonderland.

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