On Branching Out (Pun Partially Intended)

By |2012-06-15T09:00:19+00:00Jun 15th, 2012|

I am amazed as I scroll through the last few months of images in my LR catalog. I’ve never consistently photographed landscape images this much in my life – I guess it’s a testament to the lack of mountain ranges in Brooklyn. :)

But this recent foray into landscape photography is such an interesting one because it is another avenue for me to learn and grow into. Lessons learned that work well in an urban scene may not very well apply when you’re looking down the massive vista of Yosemite Valley. Everything from focal length to achieving compelling compositions to processing styles seems to be different.

I’ve stumbled a bunch, both literally and figuratively – and I love it! The opportunity to keep adding little morsels of knowledge around photography is a great gift – it keeps my passion for this art fresh. It is also fun to escape from shooting what you’re comfortable with and trying on something new. Every time I go out on a landscape shoot, I usually mess up a bunch but I also seem to gleam some new knowledge that helps me grow for the next go-round.

So let this little ditty serve as a call-to-action for those of you who may be in a creative rut. Sometimes, the best way to break out of it is to dive into an area of photography that you’re simply unfamiliar and uncomfortable with. Your wits and instincts will kick in and I promise good things will happen.

In terms of processing
Because I shot this vista during some of the harshest light you could imagine, I decided to tone-map via Photomatix, using seven brackets from my Canon 5D Mark III. The tone-mapping applied was subtle, but enough to give me a more even exposure to start stylizing on top of.

I brought the image into Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software and applied the Magic Forest effect, but only in a small amount. I wasn’t looking to drastically change much of the color or tone. I did add a Tonal Contrast effect and masked it onto the rockface so that it would pop more. I also added a touch of Green Enhancer on the tree line for color contrast.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  1. Randall Hutchison June 15, 2012 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Looks like parts of Colorado Today. Thousands of acres Burned.

  2. Bob Lussier June 15, 2012 at 9:05 am - Reply

    I like this very much, Brian! layered textures pull me into the image. Looks like it was a great trip.

  3. Ron Comstock June 15, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Nice shot of Yosemite

  4. Dave Morrow June 15, 2012 at 9:15 am - Reply

    cool Brain!

  5. Matt Hernandez June 15, 2012 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Good work, +Brian Matiash. I was amazed at all the wonderful landscape photography I saw at the +Google+ Photographer's Conference, and it's made me very interested in trying it. I may have to take a trip to Montana soon to visit some family and try this type of photography myself. Doing the same thing all the time can get you in a rut! 

  6. Kelly Morgan June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Those damn perfectly blue skies are the biggest challenge for me in processing Yosemite shots — you made the best of it, as always. Thanks for sharing shots of the trip.

  7. Ben Tucker June 15, 2012 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Beautiful shot Brian, What a stunning view!

  8. Matthew Lewis June 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Very nice. I agree about the blue skies. Not that I'm complaining about the 300+ days of sunshine that we get here in Colorado.

  9. Dave Krugman June 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Puns are never partially intended. Nice shot!

  10. Chris Bagley June 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Incredible image! I know what your talking about when it comes to photography when your in a rut. I just bought my first speed lite and talk about diving into something I know absolutely nothing about but I'm so up for the challenge! Can't wait to see more awesomeness from your trip :)

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