On Sucking It Up

By |2011-12-30T09:48:35+00:00Dec 30th, 2011|

Look. If it’s all the same, I’d prefer to shoot landscpaes that are devoid of people. It’s not that I’m anti-social or don’t like shooting with other photographers. Not at all. Rather, I know what I like to shoot and people don’t really fit into the equation very often. I love landscapes – both urban and natural. I love soaking it all in and contending with what is in front of me rather than who is in front of me. There are certainly times and places where I enjoy having people in my scene, but those are far and few between.

So, in order for me to afford myself such opportunities to shoot with minimal human distractions, I have to shoot during the times of year when most people are probably indoors, keeping warm. It’s like a reverse commute for photographers. It was cold yesterday morning when I arrived at the boardwalk on Coney Island. It was one of those mornings when I wished that my Tilt Shift lens had auto focus just so I wouldn’t have to use my bare extremities to achieve proper focus.

But, as you could see, the efforts paid off. There were barely any pedestrians on the boardwalk which, in more comfortable temps, would normally be flooded with people.

And this is simply one example of having to suck it up. Last year, after the WPPI Expo in Las Vegas, a few of us traveled to Red Rocks Canyon to shoot some of the upper water pools in the park. It required some rock climbing and scaling of rock walls – two things which I really am not too comfortable with. But, hell, it was either suck it up or not get the shots. And really, that latter option really isn’t a viable one if you want to make it as a prolific photographer.

You simply need to do what you need to do to get the shot. No?

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (100 photos)

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  1. Shelly Gunderson December 30, 2011 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Yes! Including also taking people out in post processing. :-)
    Nice image!

  2. Andreas Kaspar December 30, 2011 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Awesome shot.

  3. Kellianne Hutchinson December 30, 2011 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Absolutely! Nearly froze bits off yesterday getting some winter shots!
    This image is fabulous!

  4. Aaron Hockley December 30, 2011 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Exactly. If that means bringing thugs to remove all of the people from an image, so be it. A guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do, right?

  5. Brian Matiash December 30, 2011 at 9:49 am - Reply

    +Aaron Hockley Hells. Yes.

  6. Joe Ercoli December 30, 2011 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Some of my favorite images were " ruined " as someone ran into the frame, but when I reviewed them for processing, I realized that the dynamic of a person interacting with the environment strengthens the image.

    To each his own…. ;-)

  7. Rachel Houghton December 30, 2011 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Good thing I have a husband who is used to me waiting until that pesky person is out of my shot. :) But yes, I understand the need to have photos without people…and like +Joe Ercoli said, sometimes the accidental inclusion makes for interesting depth.

    But I mostly prefer my landscape photos to not have people… :)

  8. Scott Davenport December 30, 2011 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Wow…kindred spirits here. I too generally prefer landscapes without people. Conveys calmness, serenity.

  9. Sandra Parlow December 30, 2011 at 10:13 am - Reply

    I prefer to be alone shooting 99% of the time. For me it's the experience of being alone and enjoying what's in front of me and not having to deal with people around. Luckily for me, most of the time when I'm shooting, where I live, no one's there anyway. Small populations and wide open spaces are perfect for that! LOL!

  10. Brian Matiash December 30, 2011 at 10:29 am - Reply

    +Joe Ercoli Absolutely. One of the core lessons that I've learned is to keep what the camera grabs. If someone walks through my frame, I'll keep the shot and wait until they clear to get an empty version. I never delete images off of the card. It's just not worth the 20mb or so that I'd gain.

    When I get home, I can evaluate both versions and decide which serves my vision better.

  11. Philip Venable December 30, 2011 at 11:01 am - Reply

    +Brian Matiash I'm with on that. I don't shoot people very often and I much prefer to keep them out of my landscape photos, both urban and rural.

  12. Gene Malymeik December 30, 2011 at 11:15 am - Reply

    I'm with you on landscapes devoid of people. After doing weddings and portraits for years, being a military photographer for 20 years and now a corporate photographer I thoroughly enjoy leaving behind the people telling me what they need/want and going out on my own and photographing what I want. Landscapes, scenics, etc. fit that to a "t"

    I don't mind occasionally photographing with another person but prefer the solo act. Spend as much time as you want photographing something or just setting the camera down and enjoying the view! Or experimenting and not having to explain everything that I try to someone and why it might or might not work.

    Like Scott Davenport said the "calmness, and serenity" it is just what I need sometimes after a heavy period of "have to photo shoots" out on my own enjoying mother nature and her artistic brush!

  13. Dominick Aurisano December 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Wonderful shot Brian, I too agree, pics more often than not,have a different feel to them,more focus on the landscape, without the distraction of peds. P.S I'm a Brooklyn born guy,and pic brings back many memories of traversing the belt pkwy and looking over at the parachute ride.P.S.S – Love the OnOne Software and your webinars,keep up the great work.

  14. Kathy Fouche December 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    I can totally relate, Brian. I was at Millennium Park in Chicago, when it opened at 6:00 this morning, to grab a photo of Cloud Gate (the Bean) sans the people. Oh, did I mention it was pouring rain?

  15. Sean Galbraith December 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Today was tough for me, too.

    I took a nice drive out into the Everglades, enduring pleasant 70F weather, with nothing but climate control to keep me from dying. Well, we had the windows open, but if it got more than 20 degrees cooler, we might have had to use the a/c.

    But I got the shots I was hoping for, so it was worth the hardships.

  16. murphyz December 31, 2011 at 2:22 am - Reply

    I much prefer shots without people in them, unless it’s myself posing in some way for a few of the urbex shots. I guess that’s one of the reasons I quite like night photography and can just have moving people ghosted out during the exposure.

    All the best for 2012 Brian, I wish you lots of success and look forwarding to seeing the work you share.

  17. Brian Matiash December 31, 2011 at 7:50 am - Reply

    +Sean Galbraith Your herculean efforts will be passed on down through the generations in the form of prose and song.

  18. Sean Galbraith December 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Seems appropriate.

  19. Dave Cox January 1, 2012 at 12:47 am - Reply

    I'm with ya B – I hate people too. LOL!

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