On Saturday, I was fully ok with sitting in my apartment and letting whatever demon virus that I caught in Vegas last week work its way through my system. That’s just how it goes when you partake in Sin City, I guess. However, all of that changed when my friend and +onOne Software colleague, +Amy Chan, told me about the Urban Iditarod that was happening in Portland. That was enough to get me showered up, dressed, and armed with some gear to shoot.

The long and the short of it was that the event was just not for me. If anything, I would say that I was overwhelmed with this dense congregation of fully-baked yet happy-go-lucky horde. I just didn’t jive with the scene and Amy saw that, so we decided to roam around Southeast Portland and I am so glad that we did because we eventually stumbled onto this gem.

As soon as I saw it, I started cursing at Amy for letting me leave my tripod at home. Clearly, this scene is ripe for bracketing and tone-mapping, especially with the crazy amount of dynamic range in the scene. And here is where the lesson of this post lies…

The first mental note I took was that I would be returning here the next day (yesterday) to get proper shots in with a tripod. The second note I took was that I would use the time effectively to scout. I wandered around this area, snapping some concept shots with my 50mm lens and making notes about what would work best with a long lens and what would work best with a wide lens. I also took a bunch of shots using my iPhone camera and my +Evernote app. The goal of this exercise was to help me use my time effectively when I returned and was ready to shoot.

When I got home that Saturday evening, I imported the images and reviewed my Evernotes. The scene was still fresh in my mind so I started building shots in my head that could work. This shot was the very first one I took when I returned the next day. I knew exactly what I was going for here and I got it. The rest of the shoot progressed in a similar fashion. There was far less meandering around and much more calculated shooting. It was fantastic and efficient and I cannot wait to return here with different glass.

In terms of processing
As mentioned, this is a nine exposure tone-mapped #HDR #UrbEx image using Photomatix. There was way too much tonal range to capture all of the highlight and shadow details in one exposure, especially with the bright clouds. I got these shots with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens using the Magic Lantern firmware. The camera was set on my +Really Right Stuff TVC-23 sticks and BH-40 ballhead.

I stylized the image exclusively in Perfect Effects 3 by onOne Software. I don’t remember the specific effects applied but not to worry because I saved it as a preset that we’ll be giving away on our site soon. I went intentionally strong with the vibrancy of color and overal tonal contrast because I felt the scene warranted it.

Thanks to +Cynthia Pyunfor the tip to add this to #panopoker Theme: Urban Decay !

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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