On Being A Social Photographer

By |2012-02-01T11:44:10+00:00Feb 1st, 2012|

It sure does look like I had free reign of the Williamsburg Bridge after looking at this shot, right? In actuality, I just caught a very lucky break of empty space in between waves of bicyclists and pedestrians making their way to or from Manhattan. What you also don’t see are two other photographers getting their own style and brand of images to my right.

I had the pleasure of shooting with +Scott Wyden Kivowitz and +Chris Robins along this bridge. The point here is that we were a small community of photographers who fell in line with each other quite nicely. And that is an important point to make.

Engaging in a photowalk with other photographers comes with some etiquette and decorum. We look out for each other – we do what we can to help minimize external distractions in the frame and we keep vigilant eyes open to ensure we are all safe and all the while, we still keep true to our own unique styles and brands – and these are not mutually exclusive events.

So when you’re out and about with fellow photographers, keep this in mind. We are contemporaries, not competitors, of each other. It’s a very big world out there and I’m so happy and lucky to be able to share it with so many other talented artists.

In terms of exposure & processing
I used my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L prime lens to get this image.

This is a nine exposure tone-mapped HDR image. There was simply too much of a tonal variance to capture everything in one exposure. I tone-mapped with Photomatix and stylized in +onOne SoftwarePerfect Effects 3. I went heavier than normal with the punchiness of the color because I felt that it served my agenda of conveying a particular mood – upbeat but tense.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (121 photos)

[map w=”745″ h=”130″ lat=”40.71454″ lon=”-73.97494″ marker=”yes” z=”18″ maptype=”SATELLITE” 680 /]

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  1. Scott Wyden Kivowitz February 1, 2012 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Fantastic result dude. The colors pop, the shadows and details are incredible!

  2. Bill Killillay February 1, 2012 at 11:25 am - Reply

    +Brian Matiash – while punchier than I normally prefer, I do think that you accomplished your stated goal of upbeat but tense. Great write up too. Good points to ponder. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ian Good February 1, 2012 at 11:30 am - Reply

    I think heavier than normal suits the scene here Brian – I like this a lot. I'm liking Perfect Effects 3 a lot too. :)

  4. Brian Matiash February 1, 2012 at 11:30 am - Reply

    +Bill Killillay yeah, I was going back and forth on the saturation levels and in the end, I went with my gut and let them pop. I thought that the heavy blues played nicely against the surrounding colors of the concrete and metal framework of the bridge. Those clouds were pretty sweet, too.

  5. Marvin Hemme February 1, 2012 at 11:31 am - Reply

    That's incredible! It feels like I'm in a movie and the camera is taking me to the subject! :) Love the sky!

  6. Andrew Marston February 1, 2012 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Overall, very nice color sceme… very Captain America but with a grungy overtone. Maybe it's just me, but I can't take my eyes off the gap between the curve of the white line and the edge of the frame. Not a big deal though, and likely it's just me.
    "We are contemporaries, not competitors, of each other." – +Brian Matiash.
    Great point.

  7. Mark Gvazdinskas February 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Love this, Brian!! That sky is so sick.

  8. Howard Jackman February 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I love photowalks even if it's just you and one other person it always beats going out alone, I feel more inspired having another 'eye' along.

  9. Chris Robins February 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    as always, you nailed it in the image, and in your commentary. i love that the title of your post is about social photography, yet on one of the busiest bridges in the country, at a very busy time of the day, there is not one person to be seen. outstanding.

  10. Nate Parker February 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Wicked nice one!

  11. Jared Knutzen February 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Really awesome photo. Digging the words about contemporaries rather than competitors :) especially as a newer photographer!

  12. Adam Olson February 2, 2012 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Wonderful shot Brian! Love the colors. You really feel that “upbeat but tense” mood you were going for.

  13. Robert McMillan February 3, 2012 at 6:20 am - Reply

    Great image and description. I love what the combo of HDR and perfect effects can do to metal or stone surfaces as shown in your image. Check out my photo stream and you'll know what I'm talking about. It would also be great if you would post a set of images next Tuesday on #twotimestuesday curated by +Robert McMillan (hey that's me!) where you can share your before and after processing images. Thanks +Brian Matiash – looking forward to the next OnOne webinar.

  14. Scott Wyden Kivowitz February 4, 2012 at 4:50 am - Reply

    FYI – Here is my iPhone shot from when you were shooting this – http://500px.com/scottwyden/blog/22814

  15. Jim Denham February 9, 2012 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Love this image and think the extra punchiness is well suited! Great advise and post all around Brian!

  16. […] 9, 2012Walking to WilliamsburgThe other day my friend Brian posted a photo and article On Being A Social Photographer.  After realizing that I had taken a photo of Brian during his shooting process for that photo, I […]

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