Grab the mop ‘n bucket

I decided to reprocess an oldie but goodie from 2010 and change things up with a grungy UrbEx scene. I nabbed this shot on my first visit to this mill with my friend back east, Bob Lussier. I do miss my outings with him very much.

The important lesson about this point is that it’s ok to interact with your environment to make your shot. Originally, this image was framed without the bucket. As I looked through the viewfinder, I liked the overall composition but it was missing a focal point. I needed and anchor for your eye to start and end at. I saw a bucket behind me, arranged it as you see it, and took the shot. In my opinion, the bucket is what makes the shot mine.

I know photographers who have this odd code where they won’t allow themselves to interact with their environment. Outside of photojournalism, I’m not sure why that invisible deterrent should be placed on oneself. It’s akin to photographers who feel that the only worthy photo is the one that is SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera). The bottom line is that you’re the photographer creating your photo. If you’re not journaling an event or being paid by someone else for that particular image, do whatever you want to make it yours.

In terms of processing
This is a mildly tone-mapped HDR image using nine brackets and Photomatix Pro.

Stylization was done in Perfect Effects 4 by onOne Software. I combined a Soft Light blend of Blue Dawn and a touch of Urban Sickness to give it that blue/green cross processed look. I also masked in some Tonal Contrast on the floor.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3.

  • nice still guy

  • Cool! Love hearing your thoughts on this.

  • Love the reboot of this one. I have very fond memories of that day, and the many that followed.

  • Interesting point made about interacting with the scene. I've felt this way about shots that I've made, feeling like I need to "preserve" the scene. Maybe I should look into forensic photography. ;)

    Now, I think I will be looking at my scenes differently.

  • +Brian Matiash at his best! These are my favorite shots of yours bud – taking a somewhat uninteresting scene and making it awesome! Great redo!

  • thanks a lot for the mention of photo effects..;)

  • Gorgeous shot, and such great depth.  I am all for setting up a scene in an urbex location, though often find that whoever visited for me have already done just that so I simply get to photograph and interpret the story in the scene instead of having to create one myself.

  • I like the end result, good job.

  • As long as nobody was hurt in the moving of the bucket, I say "rules be damned".

  • BTW. That bucket is still in the Stone Mill.

  • That ladder is still in the exact same place too – 3 years later.

  • Some things never change.

  • An odd request: can you post some of the details about the shot?  (aperture, F-stop, etc)  I downloaded the pic but the info is missing.  I'm personally always interested in the details behind the great photos.

  • +Douglas Boehme If you click open the image, click on the tiny 'Options' dropdown at the bottom and click 'Photo Details', you'll see the EXIF. But for convenience, I'm pasting those details here:

    Aperture: f/4
    Focal Length: 17 mm (Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L)
    ISO Speed: 100

    No shutter speed because it is an tone-mapped image comprised of multiple bracketed images with varying shutter speeds.

  • I came to look at the great photo and came away learning something cool about Google+.  My day is complete!!! :)

  • so true Brian…you definitely "made it yours". Nice job!

  • Good point and a very nice image.

  • great use of the 17 T-se!

  • Great image !!

  • Nice shot, Brian! Interestingly enough, I spent some time last night processing some of the Stone Mill shots I took with Bob last October. What an excellent location that place is!

  • One of my fav pic