A Hush Falls Over PDX

As I was driving home this afternoon from onOne, I could immediately tell that tonight would be an epic sunset just based on how gorgeous the sky was at that moment. And sure enough, as I was sitting in my office taking care of some work, my spidey sense started tingling. I swiveled my head to see what was going on from my balcony and immediately started grabbing gear from my bag. I grabbed my Canon 5D Mark II (my Mark III is in with Canon for some TLC – gotta love Platinum CPS!) and slapped on my Canon 70-200 lens. Given the shift in tonal range, I knew that I’d have to bracket but my new Really Right Stuff tripod was in the car! No worries, though. I happened to have Nicole S. Young‘s Joby Gorillapod Focus and Ballhead X right next to me (she graciously let me borrow it when I went down to Death Valley).

With the gear all set and sitting comfortably on the rail of my balcony, I was able to nab the brackets I needed (courtesy of the amazing Magic Lantern firmware hack – http://www.magiclantern.fm/). I immediately imported the brackets, processed the image and am uploading it now. :)

In terms of processing
This is a nine exposure tone-mapped HDR image using Photomatix Pro. I applied a tiny bit of Magic Sunset and Radiance in Perfect Effects 4 by onOne Software. I also added a warming graduated filter on the upper half of the frame and a cooling filter on the lower half using Lightroom 4.3.

  • https://plus.google.com/114022681604601201189 Broderick Smylie


  • https://plus.google.com/117066079889716695993 Pter McLean

    So many layers of fantastic. In the negative cloud space, I see the underside of a shark swimming in from the left… 

    tl;dr da clouds look like a shark, eh?

  • https://plus.google.com/104590118055887471601 Anatoliy Urbanskiy

    wow! stunning picture!

  • https://plus.google.com/115467667302577578644 Keisha Alexander

    Great composition!

  • https://plus.google.com/102962267818624367518 Eric Bass

    Just a good balance, a wonderful view of Downtown PDX with those fiery clouds:)

  • https://plus.google.com/101562955251430717448 Gary Brain

    some of my fav things-
    1 how trees layer the foreground adding depth and a mystery for me- also love how sharp their silhouettes are
    2 I kind of identified with the story – how often do I find myself in photo/light ecstasy in the everyday crowd, commute, walking along – just busting at the seams in a photographic reverie dreaming of trying for the exposure – and then getting it.

    PS: I want to take a chainsaw to the trees on the left next time this happens ;-)

  • https://plus.google.com/101947050653241028257 Willy Aona

    How do you like Magic Lantern? I'm tempted to try it but my camera is still under warranty. Let me know what you think about it +Brian Matiash

  • https://plus.google.com/114916027369039287434 Andrea Boyle

    Beautiful! I don't like living in a city of lights, but I love shooting in one!

  • https://plus.google.com/108705174211639807508 Brian Matiash

    +Willy Aona I've used it for years (until switching to the 5D3) and cannot praise it enough. Of course, use it with a grain of salt but as long as you have the proper canon firmware installed first, you should be just fine. It blasts open the flexibility of that camera.

    Honestly, Canon should be embarrassed and slapped around for limiting the camera like that. The fact that some pioneering developers wrote the hack firmware is amazing and just illuminates how much Canon actually cripples its cameras. The again, it also shows just how much our cameras are actually capable of.

  • https://plus.google.com/106453531239987697809 Brian Bonham

    I think we need to roam your neighborhood late at night with a chainsaw or two.

  • https://plus.google.com/112357503170500546402 Anita I Jones


  • https://plus.google.com/112357503170500546402 Anita I Jones

    I luv it

  • https://plus.google.com/114049105904377157954 Tazein Mirza Saad

    Stunning! +Brian Matiash

  • https://plus.google.com/102303770522782919762 afrin ara islam

    nice pic

  • https://plus.google.com/104789870302915500915 Boris Manic


  • https://plus.google.com/105861092957412656585 me maarab


  • https://plus.google.com/107729504093879913764 Ajay Gill

    Very nice pic

  • https://plus.google.com/103186513987956833579 Lesley Unwin

    fabulous photo Brian

  • https://plus.google.com/108177389614539858676 Jeeny Baran


  • https://plus.google.com/114146891954237329747 Juana Reascos

    This is one of the most wonderful photos I have ever seen, congratulations

  • https://plus.google.com/115418450916013777533 Taylor Diep

    Simply artistic.

  • https://plus.google.com/118020647756205880389 Scott Moore

    Thank you +Brian Matiash for clueing me in to Magic Lantern! I just downloaded it today and I'm already amazed. Agree with you 100%!