Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

I love thinking about all of the precarious situations we’re willing to put ourselves and our camera gear in just to get the shot. Standing on the observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, I was more than protected from falling to my doom but that didn’t stop me from resting my camera of the very edge of the outer rest just beyond the protective fence to get this sweeping view of midtown and downtown Manhattan. As far as I was concerned, there wasn’t a decision to be made here. I had the ultrawide 15mm Funk Buster Fisheye lens on and in order to maximize the area of the city that I wanted to include, I had to get that camera as far out as possible.

So, fighting back every urge to shiver from the freakishly cold weather, I pressed my shutter button while bracing the camera with my arms fully outstretched through the holes in the fence. Bracketing was a must here – allowing me to retain the beautiful burst of the sun along with the minute details of the city below.

In the distance, you can see the soon-to-be-constructed Freedom Tower (Never Forget) and to the right of it, you can see a little blip that makes up the Statue of Liberty (which, sadly, is closed indefinitely due to damages from Superstorm Sandy). If you look just below the centerline and to the left, you’ll also see the iconic Flatiron building. Man, do I love home.

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped HDR image using Photomatix Pro.

Stylization was done in onOne Software Perfect Effects 4. I combined Moulin Rouge with a soft light blend_, a tiny amount of Magic Sunset to bring out more of the warm tones, and a custom Tone Enhancer to bring out detail in the city.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3.

  • Majeed Badizadegan

    I like where you placed the sun

  • Brian Bonham

    Dig it!

  • Amy Heiden

    Killer! Love the sunstar and the fish eye perspective. 

    (snickers) Alicia Keys…

  • Noah Katz

    Awesome shot +Brian Matiash! I love the sun hovering above the city. Really cool.

  • martin haschke

    Very nice!

  • Karen Hutton

    GAHHHHHH!!! This is absolutely incredible +Brian Matiash!! Dangling one's junk over the edge in the open air DOES make for some magic. :D Gorrrrrrrrrgeous!!

  • Janeth Gonzalez

    Wowww no comments.

  • Brian Matiash

    +Karen Hutton You and I are due to hit up NYC together. Now that'd be an event.

  • Matias Vicentino

    Woo amazing picture, really wonderfull.

  • Bert Kaulaity

    It's alive, concrete growth, and there is no cure!

  • Ivan Boden

    +Brian Matiash  I love it!

  • Scott Starks

    Brian, I love the composition. The road stretching into the distance really draws you in. Fantastic capture.

  • Lori Parsells

    It was worth it! Spectacular!

  • Ivan Boden

    +Karen Hutton I dunno about "dangling one's junk" over the edge, but a camera… that I don't mind doing. hehe! ;-)

  • Joseph Fanvu

    Fantastic! I love how you framed the city between the water in this shot.

  • Alfredo Mora

    Stunning photo Brian! Amazing perspective. Well done!

  • Nora Hoffman Liberty

    Love the fisheye and framing.  :)

  • Maria John

    ~Great shot! Absolutely gorgeous view :D

  • Scott King

    +Brian Matiash Any chance this or a pic from this set will end up in Perfect Inspiration? I'd love to see the actual stylizing workflow in Perfect Effects.

  • Brian Matiash

    +Scott King Good question. I don't think it'd end up on PI only because I am not sure I have a meaningful anecdote to associate it with (other than putting ourselves and our gear in precarious situations – which I don't necessarily want to advocate :) )

    However, I am starting a new series here at onOne that will replace the webinars I used to do with shorter, more targeted recorded screencasts. So, each episode would be the processing of a single image. It'd be like an episode of PI without the text or downloadable content. It'd focus more on the various uses of the Suite. So in that respect, I can certainly see this appearing.

  • PJ Ammidon

    That's an epic NYC shot +Brian Matiash !

  • Bo Nielsen

    Awesome photo +Brian Matiash

  • Karen Hutton

    +Brian Matiash you're ON!! NYC is on my list, it's just a matter of When. You'll be my #1 call!!
    +Ivan Boden .. hahah.

  • Anders Palovaara

    Love it !

  • elham molaee

    very nice

  • Desiree Fernandez

    good shoot

  • SD Davis

    THIS is an amazing shot snd ur superb post processing skills

  • willy junior yahil contamana

    excellent snapshot

  • shazard mohammed


  • Michael Johnson


  • Angela Roberts

    This world is amazing

  • Carolyn Harp


  • Juan Torture


  • eddie finn

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever!!! Great shot

  • asaad alzubidi


  • Agustinus Songupnuan


  • Shey CG

    Is beautiful! I love!

  • Jeff Nicholls

    incredible photo +Brian Matiash Now, wouldn't that make an awesome print!

  • Joe Ligammari

    As a Brooklyn….”You Nailed It”

  • Marie Agnes Marotte


  • Laura A

    très belle !

  • Jessica Hendelman

    Wow +Brian Matiash that's beautiful!

  • Jessica Byrd


  • joshna suganthamalar

    wowwww… :)

  • Dharmendra Kumar