On Analyzing Your Images For Round 2

By |2012-07-01T12:21:16+00:00Jun 27th, 2012|

My first visit to Little Zig Zag Falls took place about six or so weeks ago with +Brian Bonham, +Lars Gustafson, and +Arno Jenkins. It was a fantastic time for many reasons and I walked away with a lot of shots that I was truly happy with.

However, one exercise that I’ve been practicing more often lately is really studying the shots I’ve taken so that when I return to that location, I’ll have more of a game plan set on how to approach things differently. Despite having such a massive amount of landscape options here in Oregon, I already find myself wanting to return back to some choice places – Zig Zag Falls being one of them.

So, when I returned to the falls the other week, I had this very specific shot in mind because I took the time to study what I had already done and how I would want to change things up. Everything from the focal length to the positioning to the processing style was pretty much premeditated and it felt great.

So, it’s something that I certainly recommend trying. Spend about an hour really looking through your most favorite images from a particular location. Think about what you’d want to change about them if you could and invoke those changes during your next visit.

In terms of processing
This is a two exposure blend – one for the bright water and one for the darker forest. Layering was done in Perfect Layers 2 by +onOne Software

Sort of a similar stylization MO here – Green Enhancer, Blue Filter, and some selective Tonal Contrast and Deep Forest Glow – all from Perfect Effects 3 (also by onOne).

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1

And isn’t it nice that this shot happens to fall on #waterfallwednesday , curated by +Eric Leslie. :)

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

Google+: View post on Google+


  1. Erika Thornes June 27, 2012 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Very nice. I have found here in San Diego, that the light and tide changes so much that I can't ever expect the same when I return. 

  2. Jasmina Kimova June 27, 2012 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Nice shot!

  3. Cynthia Pyun June 27, 2012 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Great thoughts, +Brian Matiash I have often looked at my shots and wondered how I could have created them to be more of what I 'saw' and hoped to bring out. While I don't do a tremendous amount of post processing yet, I do like to have a chance to go back after I've figured out what else I could have done. 
    There's a spot of water that has hundreds of birds in the morning…I just have to pick one that's not socked in by fog and actually 'be there' one of these days :)
    Thanks again for the writing. I certainly love the comp and the flow here.

  4. Sandra Parlow June 27, 2012 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Great advice, Brian!  and well worth a trip back!!!

  5. Brian Matiash June 27, 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

    +Erika Thornes I agree 100% that predicting the lighting conditions in advance can be very difficult but I wasn't really concerned as much with that at the time so much as I was concerned with the trying out different compositions using different lenses and filters. But a valid point nonetheless.

    Thank you for the kind words, +Cynthia Pyun, +Sandra Parlow and +Jasmina Kimova!

  6. Shelly Gunderson June 27, 2012 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Yes, very nice!  Beautiful shot!  I try to do that if I return to places as well.  Get what I missed before.

  7. Luca Gandolfo June 27, 2012 at 10:13 am - Reply

    I think is very useful and smart to think in this way, +Brian Matiash . In a sense, yes we are blessed with an amazing landscape here in Oregon, and there are still so many things I still need to see (and I'm here 4 years). But if I want to progress in my craft as well make the best out of my time in a certain location (to look at its picture five years from now and get back all of the feelings I had when I was there), reflecting on your shot and trying to make it count, with multiple trips, is really important. Thanks for sharing this, and for the continuous source of inspiration (images and thoughts) you are providing us.

  8. Rick Diffley June 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Ok, I'm going out on a limb here and being bold.

    I would have liked to see this composed a little different. (1) Lose the fallen tree in the left corner, or; make it more inclusive in the image. It feels half-in and half-out of the image. (2) I see a lot of water fall images and what I'm seeking is something that really sets a single image apart for others.

    I totally get the informational part of your post. Scott Kelby did a great presentation in the SF Confence on "How to work a scene" and I thinks your message here adds to that.

  9. Vincent McMillen June 28, 2012 at 10:00 am - Reply

    love this +Brian Matiash 

  10. Brian Matiash June 28, 2012 at 10:23 am - Reply

    +Vincent McMillen Cheers, dude! You two should come visit PDX and I'll take you there.

  11. Vincent McMillen June 28, 2012 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I certainly would love to. Planning multiple trips in the near future and later. I'll certainly have to add that to the list!

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