Mind The Third Rail

Mind The Third Rail

By |2013-01-23T07:44:34+00:00Jan 23rd, 2013|

Without a doubt, one of my favorite things to photograph when visiting my family in New York City is the subway system. Each station offers its own character and has its own soul. They’re also so target rich and have such bold colors and textures. This shot was taken at the 59th & 5th Ave station, by Central Park and the 5th Ave Apple Store. It was kind of late on that Sunday evening and the station itself was fairly empty. It was easy to get my tripod set up and ready to bracket. I waited for a subway to come through on the opposing track to help break up the scene. I love the pattern that is made with subway cars in motion. Man, it’s good to visit home.

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

Stylization was achieved by combining custom Tone and Color Enhancers along with masking Cyperpunk onto the subway cars using Perfect Effects 4 by onOne Software.

Next, I sent the image to FocalPoint 2 to render the vanishing point slightly out of focus.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3

[map w=”745″ h=”185″ lat=”40.766341″ lon=”-73.977441″ marker=”yes” z=”17″ maptype=”SATELLITE”]


  1. Amy Heiden January 23, 2013 at 7:41 am - Reply

    I like it. The fish eye works really well here. That curved line of the platform is awesome.

  2. Adam Hoke January 23, 2013 at 7:45 am - Reply

    This proves it, along with +Nicole S. Young's recent shot from the Empire State Building.  I need a fisheye lens!

  3. Brian Matiash January 23, 2013 at 7:46 am - Reply

    +Adam Hoke You can't go wrong with The Funk Buster

  4. Miroslaw Gliwa January 23, 2013 at 7:48 am - Reply

    very nice, I guess I need to learn the one one software suit 7 I have but did not play with it yet :)

  5. Jeff Hirsch January 23, 2013 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Totally agree! Can't get enough of shooting the NYC subways. Was there earlier in the month to see my daughter and shot every station I passed through. Would love to do a long term project of shooting at every station in the system. (Including the abandoned ones!) Something different at every stop.


  6. Ness Flores January 23, 2013 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Beautiful, this is awesome.

  7. Lesley Unwin January 23, 2013 at 8:04 am - Reply

    briliant photo brian

  8. Tai Mi January 23, 2013 at 8:05 am - Reply

    really like what you did here! that curve is really cool and i love the colours!

  9. Ricardo Lagos January 23, 2013 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Pretty sick Matiash

  10. Bradlee Poohl-Jensen January 23, 2013 at 8:08 am - Reply

    I love the depth and color.

  11. Fatna RACHEDI January 23, 2013 at 8:12 am - Reply

    very nice picture baye

  12. Adam Hoke January 23, 2013 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I had to Google The Funk Buster and low and behold Google delivered one of your past posts describing your love of the 15mm. I have a 1.5 crop factor NEX camera, so I guess a 10mm would be comparable for me…

  13. Brian Matiash January 23, 2013 at 8:24 am - Reply

    +Ricardo Lagos Burro.

  14. Ricardo Lagos January 23, 2013 at 8:28 am - Reply

    +Brian Matiash .. i swear if you do that enough when someone google's burro they are going to get a hit on all your posts.

  15. Brian Matiash January 23, 2013 at 8:35 am - Reply

    +Ricardo Lagos Then my plan is working…

  16. Mark Gvazdinskas January 23, 2013 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Rad shot +Brian Matiash ! The texture in that foreground plays well with the fisheye.

  17. onnie hull January 23, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply

    love it! i almost hear the screeching roar of the train as it goes through the station!!

  18. Paul Murphy January 23, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply

    +Brain Matiash at 7 exposures, would it be safe to assume that you masked the subway trains back into the image?

  19. Brian Matiash January 23, 2013 at 9:51 am - Reply

    +Paul Murphy Great question – and actually, no! I was fully intending on having to do that but I always give Photomatix a shot to see how well it renders that sort of static motion. In this case, it rendered the train quite beautifully. There were a few small spots that I had to heal because of gaps in the light but it was so negligible and took a few seconds.

  20. Bob Lussier January 23, 2013 at 10:39 am - Reply

    This is a classic +Brian Matiash shot. Nice job, my friend.

  21. Jim Denham January 23, 2013 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Pretty darn cool +Brian Matiash!

  22. William Z. January 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I love urban shots.  The city just never seems to be still.

  23. Simos Xenakis January 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm - Reply


  24. Rich Williams January 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Subways and fisheye: two things I love in one photo.

  25. Susan LaDuke February 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Love this perspective! And the NYC subway is just ideal to use for this shot! Also find the expressions seen on faces of subway riders, can be so delightful and inspirational.

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