Gold Boxes

When I was in Mexico, all I could think about was how many great urbex opportunities there were down there and how I wasn’t going to be exploring any of them. Between the bus rides to and from the airport and the cab ride to the second resort we stayed at, I saw more great urbex locations than I can count on two hands. I would have absolutely loved to be able to pull over and explore all of them, but firstly, that wasn’t the reason for our trip, and secondly, I think it would have been pretty dangerous. Even if it wasn’t, I would have been too scared to wander around abandoned buildings in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. So, since I’ve been home I’ve been chomping at the bit to get out and shoot a little urbex. Over the Christmas holiday we had a nice Chinook here in Calgary, so the temperatures were back in positive territory for a few days, and I took advantage by going out for a quick shoot on Sunday afternoon.

This is one of those shots that I visualized before I even knew how to get to the location. While driving home through the industrial part of Calgary, I saw these stacks of shipping containers and knew exactly how I wanted to shoot them…the only trick was finding how to get to them! Turns out it wasn’t too difficult to find, and I was able to get almost the exact shot I wanted. As usual, after running my brackets through Photomatix Pro, I exported the tonemapped image to Photoshop and applied a few of my favourite onOne Phototools filters (Grunge, Orton Hears a Who, Just Enough Darkness, Fall Out, and Enter the Dragon A4 applied selectively). Then I took it into FocalPoint to add the tilt effect I had envisioned. This was my first time using FocalPoint, and I couldn’t be happier with how that plug-in works. Very simple and intuitive, and the blur quality is fantastic. Hope you like it!

Canon 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 16, ISO 100, 5 Exposures

Jim Denham - December 28, 2010 - 7:31 am

Really like it HEath. Love the treatment!

Tim Gibson - December 28, 2010 - 7:57 am

This ones a framer. I like the vintage feel fighting the grittiness.

Jesse Pafundi - December 28, 2010 - 8:14 am

Nice one Heath. Love how they look miniature.

Tobias George - December 28, 2010 - 8:46 am

Love the processing. Great shot!

Bob Lussier - December 28, 2010 - 8:48 am

This is great. Love the asymmetry.

Brian Matiash - December 28, 2010 - 11:03 am

Wonderfully processed, Heath. It is multidimensional because you have the word ‘Gold’ front and center and the overall tones are golden and warm. Intentional or not, it works.

I wonder what the shot would look like if you applied a little vertical correction in LR, just to straight the lines. You’d likely have to crop down but it would be interesting to see, too.

Loving your stuff as of late, my friend. Rock it out of the box into 2011.

Chris DeAngelis - December 28, 2010 - 12:36 pm

Hey Heath, great processing! I really love all those effects in PhotoTools! I just started using Focal Point also and it really adds a great effect in your image (thanks to Brian for the great webinar!).

Mike Olbinski - December 29, 2010 - 1:23 pm

Definitely awesome shot and processing. Agree with Brian a bit on the distortion correction that could be done, but even without it, fabulous shot!