Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of having a foreground element within a landscape/seascape photo. This anchor serves as a start and end point for the viewer’s eyes and gives them a place to rest. The same principle is held true for this sort of UrbEx scene. When Amy Heiden and I broke off to make our images here, it became immediately apparent that there would be a lot of chaos going on.

Now, chaos without rhyme or reason is exactly that – chaotic. However, when there is methodology and intent, controlled chaos can be represented beautifully in photo. This loo is a perfect example. There is oh-so-much going on here and it’d be supremely easy to get lost in everything. However, I noticed the frowny face on the center stall door and used it as my focal point, placing it dead center in the frame. Couple that with appropriate stylization/vignetting and you now have a point of focus. Your eye will naturally go to the sharpest and brightest part of the frame and then explore beyond that.

So next time you find yourself photographing chaos,
remain calm and find your methodology.

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped HDR image using Photomatix Pro. I stylized using a split-tone in Lightroom 4.3’s Develop module and then refined to taste.