On Looking Where Others Aren’t

On Looking Where Others Aren’t

By |2012-03-29T09:20:37+00:00Mar 29th, 2012|

Yesterday, I posted an image with an accompanying anecdote about wanting to get shots that you won’t. It struck a chord with a number of people and this is a good thing because if it gets you thinking about how you can separate yourself from the massive pool of your contemporaries, then that is a good thing. Believe me.

Now, one of the ways that you can surely help achieve this goal is to simply spend time focusing on the exact opposite of what others are. This shot here is a good example, I think. On this wonderful evening, a group of hilarious and talented photographers got together to shoot along the National Mall. Amongst the crew were +Scott Kublin, +Jacob Lucas, Dave Veffer, +Dustin Bess, +Nick Wrzesinski, +Christina Dale and +Matt Kloskowski (who felt strongly that cameras would be totally optional on this walk).

We got to the Lincoln Memorial late in the evening and it was decided that this would be our last stop before taking a cab over to gorge our faces with pizza and wings. For the most part, everyone that I saw in our group ran inside the memorial to get shots that they had in mind.

It was for this exact reason that I opted to walk the outside perimeter of the memorial. I had shot inside the memorial a few days prior and felt that I’d be doing myself a disservice by not zigging while everyone else was zagging. So, I jumped down onto one of the lower levels of the memorial and found this nice, quiet corner overlooking the National Mall. I had my Fisheye lens on the entire shoot so I composed a shot that was intentionally skewed and nabbed what I thought would make for something fun to look at.

In the end, I’m sure we all walked away with shots that we were excited about but I was really pleased with having an opportunity to challenge myself to focus on things other than the intended draw. It’s certainly something to consider whenever you go to a major landmark. Put your signature on your images as often as you can.

In terms of processing
First up was tone-mapping in Photomatix to recover the highlights and shadows of this image. Next, I took the image into Photoshop CS5 and used the warp tool to straighten the horizon out a bit (but not totally). Stylization was achieved in Perfect Effects 3 by onOne Software.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  1. Scott Kublin March 29, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Geesh, no wonder we couldn't find you for 3 hours. :)

    Great post and great shot!

  2. Dave Sanderling March 29, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Very cool! I love your writeup.

  3. Shelly Gunderson March 29, 2012 at 9:41 am - Reply


  4. Lisa Bach March 29, 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Love it! +Brian Matiash

  5. Greg Smith March 29, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Awesome image, and that would have been one awesome walk to be part of. Thanks as always for sharing.

  6. Travis Putman March 29, 2012 at 11:36 am - Reply

    I do the exact same thing. My favorite is when everyone around is taking pictures of the sunset, I spin around and look at that beautiful golden light on the landscape behind them. I have gotten some pretty neat shots doing this. None of them posted on G+ yet though…

  7. Mark Neal March 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Very nice Brian. Been just where you were standing but didn’t see it the same way. Beautiful composition and processing.

  8. Toni Vaughan March 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Nice shot Brian. i agree with your ideas. When I go out with groups to do photowalks I make an effort to shoot in the opposite direction of everyone else.

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