I didn’t think I’d be able to top the wonderful afternoon I had this past Friday shooting around Hayden Island. The weather was perfect and my colleague, Rick, and I had the entire beach to ourselves. I’ve got some sweet shots to share from there in the coming days. But alas, my bud, +Jeffrey Yen, sought to top it by inviting me on a night shoot around North Portland.

We took a chance and drove through some heavy industrial areas, putting us in the proximity of the Fremont Bridge. When we first got there, our heads were on swivels. We thought that we surely be told to leave any minute. So, we started conservatively. We chose areas that may not have been totally opportune, but it gave us time to get the lay of the land.

After 10 or 15 minutes, we felt more confident and began branching out further. We did some more shooting, all the while scouting, and got more brazen. Eventually, we made our way directly onto the base of the Fremont Bridge and were greeted with such a stunning scene. All of that scouting paid off and here is why.

Let’s say that Jeff and I decided to go gangbusters and head straight to the base of the bridge without scouting, I can tell you that my concentration would be severely impacted. Instead of focusing on getting the best shots that I could, I’d be more preoccupied with looking for other people or cars. In essence, I wouldn’t be there 100% and that is simply something that I try to avoid whenever I’m shooting.

So, next time you’re out and find yourself shooting in areas that you are probably not supposed to be in, take a few minutes to scout. Dip your toe in the water first before doing a cannonball. Not only will it help you gauge your surroundings, but it will also free up your mind to concentrate fully on your shots.

In terms of processing
This is a single 30″ exposure taken with the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II. I chose that lens for the linear distortion that it gave me. I love how it makes the bridge look as it careens into the top right corner of the frame.

Processing was achieved with a custom combination of the Fashion Passion and Havana effects in +onOne Software Perfect Effects 3.

Final touches were applied in Adobe Lightroom 4.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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