On using elements within your scene to frame your frame

By | 2012-03-04T11:18:08+00:00 Mar 4th, 2012|

I cannot get enough of this burnt out place located near where I live in Portland. It offers so much groovy material for photographers, allowing for a wide variety of exercises to train the mind and the eye. You just need to keep yourself open to experimentation.

One such experiment I tried was to use elements within my scene to serve as a frame. This shot below is a perfect illustration of that. The first round of shots from this very narrow room were taken well within the doorframe. I had the upper and lower lines of the outer walls terminate in the corners of my frame and, while it was a fun shot, it didn’t prove to be nearly as compelling as when I took a few steps back and included this charred doorframe into the mix.

I feel that by doing so, I introduced extra dimension to the image. The eye has a reference point of where I was standing and can begin to generate ideas of how deep this room may be.

Also, we shouldn’t discount the aesthetic quality of using this element to create a frame within a frame, as it were. I love seeing applications of this, whether it be by using tree branches or creatively arranged buildings – it all works really nicely when the intent is made clear.

In terms of processing
It’s pretty straight forward here. This is a tone-mapped HDR image taken with my Canon 5D Mark II (using Magic Lantern) and the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens. I shifted the lens to achieve those nice rectilinear lines throughout the frame. Tone-mapping was achieved using Photomatix.

Stylization was totally premeditated in the field. I used Urban Sickness as my foundation effect and a custom Tone Enhancer to bring out some of the texture in the walls. All of this was achieved in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software.

I used FocalPoint 2 in a very slight way to drop focus in the outer areas of the frame. I finished things off by using an adjustment brush in Lightroom 3 to dodge selective areas with bright graffiti and the reflection in the puddle on the ground.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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6 Comments

  1. Dave Cox March 4, 2012 at 10:28 am - Reply

    "You just need to keep yourself open to experimentation."
    Heard that in college one too many times…

  2. Brad Sloan March 4, 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Great mood and tone +Brian Matiash. I've been giving Perfect Effects another try while I'm up here in Portland and on my mother's computer. I don't think her three year old mac is really doing it justice speed wise but I may be headed in the direction of using it as well as phototools.

  3. Nate Parker March 4, 2012 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Yow~! What a crazy scene, at first I was thinking some kind of ode to CBGB's. Society should have more "art buildings" like this for visual artists to enjoy!

    Question: How have you found the dependability and usability of the new MLantern for your 5d2? Didn't know I could get that as last I had heard it was still beta or whatever.

  4. Reflexions Photography March 5, 2012 at 2:23 am - Reply

    Just love your work Brian and would love a quick discretion on how you active this look. Brilliant.

  5. Hamish Carpenter March 5, 2012 at 4:24 am - Reply

    Nice shot!!! Love the vibrant colors and detailed textures. I need to find some areas near my home to try this out.

  6. Hamish Carpenter March 5, 2012 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Nice shot!!! Love the vibrant colors and detailed textures. I need to look for some urbex!!

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