On Becoming BFFs With Distortion

On Becoming BFFs With Distortion

By |2012-08-20T09:17:30+00:00Aug 20th, 2012|

It’s really hard to put into words just how massive this nuclear cooling tower really is. Unless you’ve actually had the chance to stand inside of one, words just won’t cut it… and images even fall a bit short. The echo that is produced from this concrete cylinder is every bit as amazing as its size and grandeur.

One of my main goals was to figure out how to convey the enormity of this structure in an image. The answer was via distortion and I had just the piece of glass for it – The Funk Buster – aka the Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens. This lens packs a punch like nobody’s business and it did exactly what I hoped it would when I placed it in between two of the main support beams holding up this concrete tube.

The only thing missing was an object to help convey a true sense of scale, but considering the severe amount of distortion already included, I felt it wasn’t very necessary. Suffice it to say that those two concrete slabs in the rear center of the chamber were massive in their own respect.

So there you have it – distortion. Something we work so hard to avoid, prevent and mitigate. It’s the one thing that truly made this shot special and helped me fit every bit of the cooling chamber into the frame. Maybe it’s time you made friends with poor, neglected Distortion, too. :)

A huge thanks again to my man, +Brian Bonham, for making this shoot possible.

Google Maps Location Info
46.95930, -123.47504

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped #HDR  image using Photomatix Pro.

Stylization was dominated by Urban Sickness, which contributed to the whole “nuclear” feel of the shot. I also masked in some Tonal Contrast onto the concrete slabs and added some Deep Forest Glow to boost the contrast.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.

In album UrbEx and RuralEx (1 photo)

Google+: Reshared 1 times
Google+: View post on Google+


  1. yeganeh salehi August 20, 2012 at 8:14 am - Reply

    : O

  2. Brian Bonham August 20, 2012 at 8:15 am - Reply

    You are welcome!  Great shot too!  I love that you can see the radioactive symbol on the pier to the left.

  3. yeganeh salehi August 20, 2012 at 8:17 am - Reply

    thank you for say me this.

  4. Lisa Bach August 20, 2012 at 8:17 am - Reply

    So many wonderful shots! Looks like you guys had way to much fun.Loved the post as well +Brian Matiash 

  5. Michael Stuart August 20, 2012 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Great shot and as usual an excellent write up to accompany it!

  6. Ajit Grewal August 20, 2012 at 8:19 am - Reply

    You can easyely

  7. Swee Oh August 20, 2012 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Amazing shot

  8. Sandra Parlow August 20, 2012 at 8:23 am - Reply

    wow!  love this shot Brian!!!

  9. David Ross August 20, 2012 at 8:24 am - Reply

    These images are just amazing, It must be a hugh structure because your images have so much impact, most are shot on a very wide angle lens. Great photos from a great photographer.

  10. Al Dee Sollinger August 20, 2012 at 8:25 am - Reply

    This is wonderful. Now I want to visit. Were there a lot of hoops to jump for access?

  11. Imran Hassan Emon August 20, 2012 at 8:32 am - Reply


  12. Shelly Gunderson August 20, 2012 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Great post as always.  Very cool image!

  13. Eric Bass August 20, 2012 at 8:41 am - Reply

    And they never even finished these babies…Awesome shooting +Brian Matiash:)

  14. Paul Johnston August 20, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Great shot !  I wonder what kind of sound and echoes you would hear if you were standing inside the tower and it were raining?

  15. Klaus Herrmann August 20, 2012 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Very cool shot, Brian! The symmetry is perfect and the fisheye distortion works great here. Keep em coming!

  16. Brian Matiash August 20, 2012 at 9:18 am - Reply

    A sincere Thank You, everyone! I really appreciate all of the kind words.

  17. Dave Veffer August 20, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Pure awesomesauce!

  18. Brendan Dalziel August 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    beautiful photo and great the composition.   

  19. Johnny Dahlén August 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    I really like the tonality in this one.

  20. Kerry Murphy August 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    This is totally surreal!

  21. Darlene Hildebrandt August 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    are you guys glowing today?  Can you still have children?  LOL

  22. Richard August 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Oh that is nothing but sweet.

  23. kimberly pemberton August 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    ahhh… this is the spot where nightmares dreams are made.
    i wanna go here one day, sit in the middle and eat a Klondike Bar.

  24. Laurent Coppée August 21, 2012 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Really cool shot Bran, you rocked this one and yes the funk buster was the right thing to choose :-)

  25. Keith Morgan August 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    really cool shot – the distortion really does make it

  26. Joe August 23, 2012 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Great shot Brian…like your images and technique..one suggestion maybe a point of reference (person, thing) would help illustrate size of tower…just a thought…thanks for all your images and keep posting, I look forward to them.

Please share your thoughts! (Markdown syntax is supported)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.