On Aggressive Compositions

On Aggressive Compositions

By |2012-07-19T10:08:23+00:00Jul 19th, 2012|

During one of our Let’s Get Lost drives around Nebraska, +Nicole S. Young and I noticed the sky explode with these beautiful crepuscular rays from the sun (aka God Light). It was gorgeous the way these beams filled the sky and shimmered across the plains. The sight demanded we pull off to the side on the country road that we were barreling down on. For this particular image, though, I wanted to make sure that I had as high of a vantage point as possible so that I could get the road curving upward.

Now, in my mind, the main character in this story is the light. Those beams are just amazing. So, I figured that if I aggressively pivot the camera upward and leave only a sliver of the ground visible, I’d add some more drama to the shot. I also intentionally positioned the road on the far right of the frame to counterbalance the angle of the crepuscular rays. I felt that by putting the road in the lower right corner, it gave the image the right weight.

It’s this sort of aggressive framing and composition that I live for and I’m truly stoked to have had the opportunity to witness such a gorgeous scene in the middle of Nebraska.

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped #HDR  image. I used photomatix for the tone-mapping.

For stylization, I selectively applied the Magic Sunset effect onto the sky to give it the contrasty warmth that it has. I added some Vecchio and Green Enhancer to the grass and corn rows and some Thermopylae to the road. All done in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  1. Bj Bolender July 19, 2012 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Like that term "aggressive images".  Great catch here.

  2. Marilyn Benham July 19, 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

    wow very beautiful.. the road really adds the perfect touch! :)

  3. David Brookover July 19, 2012 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Nebraska is a perfect place to "get lost."  :)

  4. Ray Carter July 19, 2012 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Great capture! Lovely!

  5. Riley Combs July 19, 2012 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Can't you see all the way across Nebraska?  How does one get lost?

  6. Richard Swayze July 19, 2012 at 10:11 am - Reply

    The road and silos on the right add a nice little "story" to the composition. Nice!

  7. Megan McGuire July 19, 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing how you set this up +Brian Matiash, I'm slowly working on learning what exactly it is that makes a "good" image (yay for G+ mentorship program), so I enjoyed reading the thought process behind this great image. 

  8. Eva Kulhánková July 19, 2012 at 10:25 am - Reply

    that is so perfect ..!!!

  9. pamidi swathi July 19, 2012 at 10:46 am - Reply

    too good

  10. Klaus Noergaard July 19, 2012 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Great shot! Great composition!

  11. Nicole S. Young July 19, 2012 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Beautiful Nebraska! :)

  12. Brett Sivits July 19, 2012 at 11:41 am - Reply

    All of these Nebraska images make me miss home.  It's very strange because I spent the first 18 years trying to get out of the state and for the first time since I want to visit for another reason than seeing family.  Beautiful images.

  13. Brad Sloan July 19, 2012 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Sky rays FTW

  14. Dave Veffer July 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm - Reply


  15. Stephen VanHerpen July 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Crepuscular sounds so un-God Light Like.  But thanks for the new vocabulary word.

  16. Brian Matiash July 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm - Reply
  17. Chrysta Rae July 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    I think if you stood right in one of those beams you would get sucked up. cue Close Encounters of the Third Kind music

  18. Yusuf Ocak July 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    such as the film shows the way from darkness to light, such as

  19. Christopher Germano July 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    I still remember the first time as a kid when I saw these types of sun rays, every time I see them it reminds me of that time.  _goes off to look up crepuscular since it was mentioned twice and thus must be important_

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