The Best Seat In The House

I went digging through the 2010 Archives last night and stumbled onto this little piece from Belchertown State School that never got edited. It’s interesting, too, because in those situations I relate it to aging a fine ale for a long time. There is something great about letting an image wait until you’ve attained the right knowledge and are in the right frame of mind to really give it the attention that it deserves.

In terms of processing

This is a nine exposure tone-mapped HDR image using Photomatix Pro. I applied Urban Sickness as the base effect here because I like the greenish cross processed look that it provided. I also applied Soft Light blends of Return of the King and Havana to add the right amount of contrast and color saturation. All done in Perfect Effects 4 by onOne Software.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3


  • Nicole S. Young

    Is this the place where you screamed like a little girl? ;)

  • Nicks Darkroom

    Wow! Awesome

  • Colby Brown

    Oh please tell me that is true +Nicole S. Young :)

  • Brian Matiash

    +Nicole S. Young Yup – that happened about an hour before this shot, actually.

  • Christopher Stern

    +Brian Matiash – Nice to see the memories of images from your time in Massachusetts.

  • Reggie Pipkin

    Fishbowling? This is an incredible shot. I believe people often critique a shot in too much hast without realizing what the photography wanted to do. The fact that it took you time to learn the area shows that you had a message that you wanted to reveal.

  • mac jerk


  • Esther Hailey

    I love this subject.
    Nicely captured.

  • Annette Junge Daugaard


  • James Troi

    Any idea why the place was abandoned? We have so very few places like this in Australia, they tend to get torn down and rebuilt pretty quickly.

  • Brian Matiash

    +James Troi Here is a Wiki link about the school. Read up and you'll learn about the terrible conditions. It's really sad –

  • Gatto NineNineNine


  • James Troi

    Thanks for the link +Brian Matiash not fun times there at all. The image captures the feeling well. Looks like the building, or parts of the place will be gone soon through redevelopment. No better way to hide history than to bury it. :-/

  • Patrick Hybl

    i bet seven people were murdered here once.. murder being thinking a bad thought about someone…

  • Bob Lussier

    +Nicole S. Young, +Colby Brown … I can verify. He did, indeed, scream like a little girl. I was more manly – almost peed my pants. Once the nerves settled, we had an epic day of shooting. :-)

  • Richard Wichels

    Nice—your subjects are always fascinating!

  • Derrick Eyiah


  • Boris Manic

    good shot!

  • Jimi Jones

    Great image!
    Going back through the archives is always a fun thing, often seeing photos that somehow look different than they did initially.

    Love the processing on this.