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Warped

(yo…the image gets bigger if you click on it…try it out)

Last month about 20 of us got together for a little downtown Phoenix photowalk and it was simply a blast. Especially when we all stopped to eat at Five Guys…holy moley that place is good.

I owe this shot to one of the other photographers with us that night. I wish I could remember her name, but I suck. I saw her standing by a fence looking into this place, so I wandered over to see what was up. What an amazing spot. The first thing I thought of was that I wanted a bride and groom standing in the middle of these warped tiles with that fantastic old windowed-wall behind them.

Of course, that wasn’t going to happen on such short notice, not to mention the chain link fence surrounding this wide open area. So I tossed that idea away and concentrated on getting something sans models.

The 50mm was perfect for shooting through this fence, so I got low to the ground and tried to pull in the amazing shadows going on from some off-camera street lights.

Now I gotta send some love to my boy Brian Matiash. He *hearts* a filter called “Cyberpunk” in Phototools. He uses it a lot, it’s kind of his signature style. It doesn’t always work for me with my landscape/stormy subject matter anyways, but I tend to stay away from it because…well…I don’t like stealing someone else’s mojo.

Of course, when I do, I like to give credit. I loved this image when I was processing it, but it just lacked something special. For some reason I thought “Cyberpunk” and splashed that dude on there and bam, it was right. I masked out a bit of it around the tiles, but wow I loved what it did to the pavement and background building.

Two final things on this beautiful Friday with me heading home early from Vegas:

1. If you get inspired by someone or borrow heavily from stuff they do…be a man (or woMAN) and give some friggin’ credit. There is nothing worse than passing off something as your own when you deep down inside know you saw it on some guy’s website, or a webinar, or whatever. Make your momma proud.

2. It’s Follow Friday on Twitter, so in the spirit of that, you guys should follow Sarah Fisch because…holy crap I LOVE her landscape work.

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, iso 400, f/2.5)

The Lobby

This is the lobby of the dog track in Black Canyon City, part of the series I’ve been posting for the last few weeks. Broken glass, debris, dust, discarded items and this cushion litter the floor in every direction. The surface is made up of tiles, but they are warped, fragile and almost every step seems to result in loud, cracking noises. For this young urban explorer, it was the only time in my entire life I can remember being in a place as degraded as the dog track.

And it was awesome…of course.

Never having been on a shoot of a place like this before, I was kind of just wandering and shooting randomly when I started…almost like a kid in a candy store who has no idea what he wants. I felt like the longer I was there, the better my composition and framing became. I relaxed, started “seeing” better and was much more happy with the stuff I ended up with later in the tour.

The goal with this shot should be pretty obvious. Focus on something up close in the foreground, but use the wide angle to give an idea of the vastness of the space. I loved all the minute details of the floor and I kind of just scoured it for awhile before settling on this cushion to be my main element.

More to come…oh boy…lots more to come from the dog track *grin*

(exif: canon xsi, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, ISO 100, F5)