On Falling In Love With Your Home

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. From 1978 through 1996, I never really left NYC. It was my home by default and my appreciation for it never really materialized until I left it (for Syracuse, NY, home of my alma mater Go Orange!). This was where my devotion and love for photography was born and after five years & two degrees (BS/MS), I left for Chicago, IL. My stint in Chicago was a short one. I worked at Motorola and it just so happened that the entire world of IT started to implode and, well, let’s just say that I didn’t live in Chicago for too long (but I did love it).

One thing led to another and in 2003, I found myself in Boston, MA, where I would end up living until November 2011. On November 1st, 2011, I moved to my new home, Portland, OR – and it’s the first time in a very long time that I feel truly at home. It’s something that is very novel to me and I’m really loving every second of it.

Those who know me certainly know my take on Boston. Now, I’ll fully admit to enjoying a certain amount of hyperbole when I share my opinion of the place but the reality is that Boston is a charming city, filled to the brim with American history and culture. Still, being a born and bred New Yorker (Go Yankees!), Boston and I never totally jived.

So, I am now entering my sixth month as an Oregonian and one thing that I’m finding is that there is a direct correlation between your state of mind with the place you live and the creativity that drives your photography in that location. I feel at home here. I feel comfortable living amongst the weird and the quirky. Despite the rain and grey skies, everything here feels natural to me.

And so I think it’s important to really take stock of who you are, where you live, and how these two things bisect each other when it comes to your photography. I think you’ll be surprised with the results.

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped HDR image taken with my new baby, the Canon 5D Mark III. It is also the first HDR image that I’ve posted with this body. The weather in PDX yesterday was epic and my friend, +Jeffrey Yen, and I made sure not to squander the opportunity. We headed straight for Portland’s waterfront with enough time to scout and nab a few choice shots.

Tone-mapping was done in Photomatix and stylization was done in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. It is a custom combination of a Glow effect mixed with Tonal Contrast and the Lord of the Rings Movie Looks effect.

I toyed around with applying FocalPoint but opted not to use it as it didn’t really add anything to the shot. Final touches were done in Lightroom 4.1 RC.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  • https://plus.google.com/113465771817995839889 Val Tourchin

    Not a Brooklyn, but still nice! :-)

  • https://plus.google.com/105231815240709446975 Jeff Dowell

    You vantage point is great, and perfect timing with the sun. Big fan of your work!

  • https://plus.google.com/115105884263826008695 Bob Lussier

    Really nice. But I miss our Boston shoots. :-)

  • https://plus.google.com/102435517550966563873 Gregory Chatman

    I think it's important to take stock of where you are and where you live also. Nice shot.

  • https://plus.google.com/104594379844718357923 Thomas Dobner-Dobenau

    Good picture.

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

    Glad to have you here Brian!

  • https://plus.google.com/108078140622964435074 Rob Herrera

    As a fellow New Yorker & die-hard Yankees fan, I can totally understand your feelings about Boston ;-)

  • https://plus.google.com/103416941160741966233 Kevin Reed

    Glad you're enjoying Portland; my favorite big cities on the West Coast are Seattle, Portland, Vancouver BC, Victoria BC and Anchorage. They're all different, but each has its own charming quirkiness.

  • https://plus.google.com/105731881257142821581 Shelly Gunderson

    Great shot! Love those clouds and love the reflection.

  • https://plus.google.com/105903403348858334517 Dennis Rivera

    Glad you feel at home here. Oregon is special place.

  • https://plus.google.com/108227766059398780608 Anne-Marie Clark

    Welcome to Portland, and Oregon. May your photographer's eye always desire to capture images of home.

  • https://plus.google.com/113772177145235884866 Brian Fuller

    We are recent transplants from the east coast (8/2011) also and I could not agree more with your sentiment about Portland, OR. Really fantastic pic by the way.

  • https://plus.google.com/101749076386051795308 Maria Turner

    Love it – Of course…as always with your pics!

  • http://stuartsipahigil.com Stuart Sipahigil

    Hmmmm… I believe there’s an app for that, Brian :-) http://craftandvision.com/books/close-to-home/

  • bill zingraf

    Glad you’re enjoying the city Brian … that’s the way I’ve felt about it since moving here 18 years ago. It’s home, and we’re glad to have you here.

  • https://plus.google.com/106332415880256828762 Sarah Prinslow Frempong

    Amazing! Welcome to Portland! Im native to Portland and still love it here.

  • http://500px.com/muggle1 Ivan Boden

    Terrific shot, and glad you are happy with your home in Oregon!

  • http://www.highcountryregister.smugmug.com/ kelly morgan

    You just survived the wettest March in the city of roses’ history…the best is yet to come. You belong here, Brian, and we’re happy to have you. Thanks for the images and instruction.

  • https://plus.google.com/105646458226420473639 Bob Harbison

    Wonderful photo, amazing reflections!

    Portland is a great city for photographers. It has so many wonderful subjects.