On Getting Low

By |2012-07-07T08:42:59+00:00Jul 7th, 2012|

One of the earliest lessons that I remember learning as I started my journey down the road of photography was to take simple steps to aid in adding more impact to my images.

If there is one tip that I would share with you on how to help accomplish this, it is to just get low. Or, in a more general term, change your perspective. I think it’s safe to say that the de facto stance a lot of photographers take when they begin shooting is the Tourist Stance. You stand up straight, hold the camera at eye level and shoot. Now mind you, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this stance. However, it doesn’t do much when you’re trying to differentiate yourself and your images.

A very simple way to further engage your viewers and add impact to your shots is to change the height and angle that your camera is facing with respect to your subject. In the case with this beautiful train engine, I splayed out my tripod legs so that the camera was about 10 inches above the ground and pivoted the camera upward slightly. This instantly gave the shot more impact because of the angle. The train took on a menacing and foreboding presence.

So next time you’re out on a shoot, take a moment or two and think about how you position your camera for the shot. Ask yourself, Is there any other way that I can position my camera to add more impact? I promise that this will be one of the best exercises that you can train yourself on as a photographer.

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

Stylization was done in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. The base effect is one of my go-to’s for these types of #UrbEx  scenes and is called Urban Sickness. I simply love it. I applied Havana to the yellow part of the train and some Blue Dawn to the blue part. Tiny amounts of Tonal Contrast and Deep Forest Glow were added globally, as well.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  1. Allen Harkleroad July 7, 2012 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Nice work. I hope +Gene Bowker saw this!

  2. Brad Sloan July 7, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Watch out. Photographers rank second to plumbers in exposing crack for this very reason. Long t-shirts people. Crack is whack. 

  3. Lauri Novak July 7, 2012 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Love the shot and excellent advice!  I was in the grass in my backyard this morning!

  4. Jillene Arrington July 7, 2012 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Thanks +Brian Matiash excellent advice!! It makes so much sense, but I guess I never thought about it before!

  5. Lorne Thomas Leufvén July 7, 2012 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Love trains.

  6. Lise Rubarth July 7, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Everything changes once you change your perspective.  Thanks for the reminder..  :)

  7. Michael Sheehan July 7, 2012 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Inspiring as usual. Thank you Brian.

  8. Somendra Singh July 7, 2012 at 9:18 am - Reply

    A beautiful image and an inspiring look into the workings of an artist's mind. Thanks Brian.

  9. Zachary Stephens July 7, 2012 at 9:49 am - Reply

    +Brian Matiash I can't agree more. I tell my students all the time that to make dynamic images you need to present the viewer with something that they don't normally see and the easiest way to start that type of thinking is to shoot from angles that we don't normally see when we are walking around.

  10. Dave Veffer July 7, 2012 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Love the color treatment here.  Feels very nuclear winter.  Awesome subject and photo!

  11. Richard July 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Wow.. stunning image. I love those colors and the overall feel. Great subject doesn’t hurt and the super low angle works perfectly.

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