On Adapting To Circumstances Beyond Your Control

Yesterday afternoon, I received a message here on G+ from my friend, +Ben Canales, who wanted to see if I’d be up for a sunset shoot on Mt. Tabor. The whole plan itself vacillated a bunch throughout the day because the get-together was dependent on the notoriously fickle weather we’ve been having here in Portland.

Around 5:30PM, we gave ourselves the green light to meet up for a quick shoot at the peak of Mt. Tabor. Naturally, of all the days when I had to be somewhere at a certain time, there happened to be a three car accident on I5, causing a back-up for several miles. The long and the short of it was that I ended up getting to the park about 40 minutes beyond our meet up time – still enough time to prep for the sunset but not enough time to meet Ben at the summit.

As I was making my way up the path on foot (Mt. Tabor Park apparently closes all roads to auto traffic on Wednesdays), I got an MMS picture from Ben letting me know that there were all sorts of rays busting through cracks in the clouds, affectionately referred to as God Light.

This stopped me in my tracks. Options swirled. It was clear that if I decided to continue on my path to rendezvous with Ben, I’d miss this light. And, really, all is fair in love and photography, so I veered off and headed straight for the vista overlooking the reservoir and Southeast Portland (along with the downtown skyline).

It’s not surprise that plans always change. No one plans to take part in a 3-car accident that causes a major traffic jam nor do they plan to show up 40 minutes late to a shoot. But things happen. I always share my philosophy with my webinar attendees when a flub happens or an app crashes:

“Incidences will happen. Always. It’s not the incident itself that will mark your performance, but rather it is how you respond to it.”

Keep your wits about you at all times and just get the shot.

In terms of processing
Definite tone-mapping here via Photomatix. I needed to do this in order to bring out any sort of detail in the shadows and mid-tones because of how bright the sunlight was. Stylization was achieved by combining Golden Hour Enhancer, Green Enhancer, Hollywood Glow, and the Magic Sunset effects via Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. Final touches in Adobe Lightroom 4.1 RC.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

Google+: View post on Google+

  • https://plus.google.com/109471580126932348184 Yenni Vance


  • https://plus.google.com/101663349010333817817 Damian Jackson


  • https://plus.google.com/104958801117925132787 Kimberly Martz


  • https://plus.google.com/118199802290538749044 Benjamin Hudgens

    awesome photo

  • https://plus.google.com/111204757488124368395 Jacob Lucas

    The light onto the building is awesome, mate. I'm not sure what I'm looking at beyond the building though… Water & cloud cover?

  • https://plus.google.com/104731413562920608148 Chris Lazzery

    Such awesome light. Really rad atmosphere here.

  • https://plus.google.com/108705174211639807508 Brian Matiash

    Thanks everyone!

    +Jacob Lucas – Clouds.

  • https://plus.google.com/116743480428293422071 Charles Traupmann

    Thanks for the details, especially the Processing info. I have shot many thousands of photos, but never got very interested in the post-processing end. I know that I need to gain some in this area, so I particularly appreciate your explanations.

  • https://plus.google.com/115712247158562973058 Lisa Bach

    WOW!!!!! +Brian Matiash This is so amazing! I'm speechless!!!!

  • https://plus.google.com/115919766952475225499 Aaron Hockley

    Not bad for a plan B ;) Excellent execution.

  • https://plus.google.com/117721185060194890800 Cam Miller

    It's always about the light, and being in the right place at the right time (whether intended or not) helps, too! There are so many levels in this photo to look at. Great work!

  • https://plus.google.com/110051675187410491718 Brad Sloan

    Very cool rays +Brian Matiash

  • https://plus.google.com/105481930151094457307 Nick Nieto

    I think it was a wise choice to stop. that ray is awesome.

  • https://plus.google.com/105646458226420473639 Bob Harbison

    Wow! Wonderful "God Rays"!

  • https://plus.google.com/105646458226420473639 Bob Harbison

    > I think it was a wise choice to stop…

    Any true photographer would totally understand making that choice! Sometimes you just have to get the shot…

  • https://plus.google.com/110963869760728630712 Wesly Smith

    Suitable for an ad for the Wells Fargo tower. :)
    Nice one, Brian.

  • https://plus.google.com/115105884263826008695 Bob Lussier

    Sick shot.

  • https://plus.google.com/115634421508285661489 Keiko Sugiura


  • https://plus.google.com/109123727761757726835 Michelle Hedstrom

    I love the story, and love the shot, however the only thing going through my head right now is "Today…..is our….INDEPENDENCE DAY!" I think I've seen that movie too many times.

    But yeah, good call on stopping and getting the shot of the light. At least you made it eventually!

  • http://www.phogropathy.com john

    Nice little story and what an awesome shot! You made the right choice to abandoned the plans to meet at the summit and find your closest vista to shoot from! Nice one!