On Burning Light

By |2012-07-05T10:25:00+00:00Jul 5th, 2012|

One of the most anticipated shoot locations that I’ve had on my mind since landing in Nebraska last week was this abandoned church located alongside I-80, in Milford (A huge thanks to +Clark Crenshaw and all of the crowd-sourced people who let us know about this place). The location is not hard to spot at all, but it did require some creative parking to prevent us (me and +Nicole S. Young) from being seen. :)

We knew that most everyone would likely be preoccupied as they prepped for their 4th of July festivities, giving us exclusive access. However, what we didn’t really budget for was just how much light we still had when we arrived in the area. It was too flat with really ugly shadows. Sure, we could have just shot away but rather than settle, we decided to explore all of the farming and side roads around the town of Milford.

We had a luxury that, as photographers, we don’t normally have. Namely, time was on our side!. So, rather than just waste it at this location, we scouted other areas and actually found some gorgeous and picturesque fields of corn and hay bales that stretched out as far as the eye could see (those pictures will be hitting the stream in a few days).

After a few hours, we could tell that the light was getting to be just right and hustled back to this church. Sure enough, we arrived just as the beautiful golden hour light enveloped the side of the church, giving a sort of beauty to this dilapidated structure.

I chose to share the interior of the church first, though. I absolutely love UrbEx shooting and this location did not disappoint. I shot it with the Canon 15mm Fisheye lens on because it really embellished the curved wooden barrier that this broken piano sat on. I also like how the window portals and surrounding walls all bend towards the piano.

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure #HDR  tone-mapped image. I created the 32-bit intermediary file with Photomatix and did all tone-mapping in Lightroom 4.1.

Stylization was straightforward in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. I selectively masked Thermopylae onto the piano itself. I felt that it helps it pop off the otherwise busy background graffiti. For the exterior, I applied Urban Sickness and then I globally applied Return of the King and some Tonal Contrast.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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48 Comments

  1. Dave Veffer July 5, 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Interesting how you combined the circular railing with a fisheye to continue the roundness throughout the shot.  I especially like the shadows coming in at both angles.

  2. Daria Chymkowska July 5, 2012 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I like it! 

  3. Brian Bonham July 5, 2012 at 10:17 am - Reply

    So excellent!

  4. Nicole S. Young July 5, 2012 at 10:17 am - Reply

    This was awesome … it's so cool to run around my hometown and see things so differently! Also, thanks +Clark Crenshaw for the lead! :)

  5. Brad Sloan July 5, 2012 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Wicked.

  6. Brad Sloan July 5, 2012 at 10:18 am - Reply

    and ballsy, of course. 

  7. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 10:18 am - Reply

    +Brad Sloan Of course! ;)

  8. Matt Austin July 5, 2012 at 10:19 am - Reply

    The richness of the color inside is perfect. Love the blues and what appears to be the remains of a piano or organ?

  9. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 10:21 am - Reply

    +Matt Austin It must have been an organ of sorts – it was banged up pretty good. This part of the church was, by far, the most interesting. I'll share the other areas although the structure, as a whole, was pretty tiny.

  10. Chris Smith July 5, 2012 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Wow, are you kidding me? This is impossibly cool!

  11. Dave Veffer July 5, 2012 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Was there a "Nice Organ!" joke yet?

  12. Bob Lussier July 5, 2012 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Color me jealous! This is awesome!

  13. Marilyn Benham July 5, 2012 at 10:27 am - Reply

    What Fabulous Photoart! Can't believe there was still an organ there heh!heh!  I hear ya on the time issue, good thing time was on your side here.. :)

  14. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 10:28 am - Reply

    +Dave Veffer Not yet, but I'm glad you took that shot.

  15. Nicole S. Young July 5, 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

    +Dave Veffer … All of +Brian Matiash's organs are nice.

  16. Ian Leslie July 5, 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Very interesting – looking forward to more.  Can you share with us just how creative your parking was?

  17. Dave Veffer July 5, 2012 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Aw yeah +Nicole S. Young.  Love his spleen! ;)  Although his pancreas could look a little smoother.

  18. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 10:36 am - Reply

    +Ian Leslie It required moving some barrier poles and ropes blocking a driveway. Once there, I had to maneuver the car into part of the field to minimize being able to see it from the main road and I-80. ;)

  19. Jake Johnson July 5, 2012 at 10:38 am - Reply

    I was wondering when this church would pop up in my stream.  Nice work +Brian Matiash Love the beat up organ

  20. Dave Veffer July 5, 2012 at 10:38 am - Reply

    +Jake Johnson just lobbed one up for someone!

  21. Jake Johnson July 5, 2012 at 10:39 am - Reply

    I saw that you were in a squeeze

  22. Brian Bonham July 5, 2012 at 10:41 am - Reply

    +Dave Veffer I don't get it.  All he said was that a beat up organ popped up in his stream.  Where's the joke?

  23. Jake Johnson July 5, 2012 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Oh boy…there goes Bonham screwing up my stream again.

  24. Kelly-Shane Fuller July 5, 2012 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Man, this is such an amazing shot +Brian Matiash . Love this location!

  25. Carlos Mora July 5, 2012 at 10:45 am - Reply

    This is awesome, what a beautiful shot. Do you mind sharing with us a bit about your post-processing?

  26. Ian Leslie July 5, 2012 at 10:46 am - Reply

    +Brian Matiash thanks for sharing your creativity – oh and your creative photos too:-)

  27. Brian Bonham July 5, 2012 at 10:47 am - Reply

    +Jake Johnson I'll make you a solemn swear raises right hand "I will never touch your stream".

  28. Brad Sloan July 5, 2012 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Don't cross the streams!

  29. Dave Veffer July 5, 2012 at 10:54 am - Reply

    HA! +Brian Bonham :)

  30. Mariana Juarez Cook July 5, 2012 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Art

  31. Nicole S. Young July 5, 2012 at 11:53 am - Reply

    +Carlos Mora It's in the post, +Brian Matiash always explains what he does to his images :)

  32. Christopher Germano July 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    +Brian Matiash – this is so awesome and so well composed, between the effect of fish-eye lens and the symmetry, so ]very well done.

  33. Clark Crenshaw July 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Neat shot from the church! Did you and +Nicole S. Young move  the organ or did the ghosts of the church do it? This is where it was a year ago when I was there. https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109940597696193991152/albums/5634873238297571489/5759859767629687778

  34. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    +Clark Crenshaw Nope, I typically like to leave UrbEx scenes be when I'm shooting them. This is where it was when we got there.

  35. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    +Christopher Germano Cheers, my friend, et al.!

  36. Clark Crenshaw July 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    I kinda figured the ghosts had done it!

  37. Carlos Mora July 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tip +Nicole S. Young , it's very well explained in the post.  I love the final result of this image +Brian Matiash 

  38. kimberly pemberton July 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    what the hell did you do to my house??

  39. Brad Sloan July 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Brian and Nicole SMASH

  40. Kelly-Shane Fuller July 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    +kimberly pemberton Looks like they cleaned it. Who knew there was a piano under all that??

  41. kimberly pemberton July 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    dammit.
    goes back to the dump to let the hoarding commence once again

  42. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    +kimberly pemberton THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!

  43. Brad Sloan July 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Danger Zone

  44. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    +Brad Sloan Call Kenny Loggins…

  45. Brad Sloan July 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Lanaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

  46. Edith levy July 6, 2012 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Awesome shot Brian. I can see why you were excited to shoot here…so many wonderful details. You’re processing is fantastic.

  47. Joe Dolister July 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Wow! Do you have the gift for finding your thing? — Even in the "boonies" Nice!

  48. Gatto NineNineNine July 7, 2012 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Very Strange Place !… =^.^=

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