On Co-opting Your Neighborhood Parking Garage

By |2012-05-28T23:33:20+00:00May 27th, 2012|

I got together with some fantastic local people on Friday night to shoot the fireworks display kicking off the Rose Festival here in PDX. Eyes looking at +Brian Bonham, +Christopher Germano, +Kelly-Shane Fuller, +Lars Gustafson, and +Arno Jenkins. We had originally found ourselves a nice spot right along the river’s edge facing downtown. Aside from the loose rock, the area would have been perfect to shoot the fireworks.. and then the lightning storm and heavy rain came.

An audible was made and we hustled over the Hawthorne Bridge to a parking garage overlooking the Willamette River. The parking garage was situated close to the river and we aimed to get as high up as possible, giving us a better vantage point while also helping us stay dry. We managed to secure ourselves a great spot on the top floor (because, right on queue, the rain totally stopped just before the fireworks show began) and got some great shots with an awesome foreground made up of the Hawthorne Bridge.

Parking Garages are some of my favorite areas to shoot from mostly because you can usually just walk through them for free (if you aren’t parking within) and they are scattered all over major cities, giving you some rather unprecedented views from above. So next time you’re visiting a city (or are jaunting around your home town), give an extra minute of thought as to where you garages are. You never know what you’ll see from the top!

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped HDR image taken with my 5D Mark III and Canon 24-105mm lens, ran through Photomatix.

Stylization was done in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. I applied the Hollywood Glow, Enter The Dragon, and custom Tonal Contrast effects to give it this particular look.

Next, I did a transform warp in Photoshop CS6 to straighten the horizon line a bit along with some selective content aware fills of distracting areas.

Final touches were applied in Adobe Lightroom 4.1RC2

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  1. Lloyd Fellon May 27, 2012 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Nice Pic!

  2. Joe Frazee May 27, 2012 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Very cool shot and love the processing.

  3. Dad Davis May 27, 2012 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Did you enjoy the downpour later in the evening?

  4. Peter Sorrell May 27, 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply


  5. Joseph Fanvu May 27, 2012 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Great idea! I've got some exploring to do now. Loved seeing you present at the conference this week

  6. Mark McDonald May 27, 2012 at 11:27 am - Reply


  7. Kelly-Shane Fuller May 27, 2012 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Very nice Brian!

  8. Matt Austin May 27, 2012 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Great shot. When doing multiple exposures like this – do you wait for the traffic lights to change so they're always the same?

  9. Lars Gustafson May 27, 2012 at 11:44 am - Reply

    like the warm glow of the lights under cold dark skies, here. Nicely done!

  10. Brian Matiash May 27, 2012 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Glad you caught that, +Lars Gustafson. I applied a graduated warming WB filter on the lower half and a graduated cooling WB filter on the top half – all in LR.

  11. Alexandre Fagundes de Fagundes May 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    I specially liked the green light on the route going towards the bridge, what was that, a vehicle like a bus or a truck with a green light?
    It gives the whole scene a touch of color, nicely done!

  12. Aaron Hockley May 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Glad it worked out for you. I've been kicked out of that garage in the past while doing photography. :(

  13. Aaron Reed May 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Nice blue hour shot here sir! Nice to meet you!

  14. Brian Bonham May 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    That looks like one angry sky my friend. I wouldn't be surprised to see The Dark Mark appear any minute.

  15. Darlene Hildebrandt May 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    do you live in PDX +Brian Matiash ? I'll be there for July 4th weekend, where is a good place to shoot those fireworks? I'm there for the World Domination Summit, heard of it? I also may lead a photo walk but I've never been to the city, any ideas for location?

  16. Micah Grigonis May 28, 2012 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hey Matiash, if you're gonna work at onOne you need to know that an audible is called not made :-)

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