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Influencing Me – Mabry Campbell

KPN Tower ~ Working Dynamics I

If you love architecture and especially photographing it, then today’s Influencing Me photographer should be someone you know or need to know. I don’t remember when I first learned of Mabry Campbell, but I do know when I go into the city I often have his images swimming around in my head and I’m looking for great architecture to photograph.

Angles of Light VII ~ John Hancock Center (Big John)This is a perfect example of what I mean.  Of course I know it is highly processed, I am sure it is, which you all know I don’t have a problem with.  I love the way he uses the lights and the darks, the monotone image, gives the impression of isolation. That is the best word I can think of.  I need to get into the city and look for some great buildings, we have some here, I’m sure we do.

GullfossIt was also a very lovely surprise to discover all his wonder seascapes and waterscapes on his blog. They are given the same attention to detail as the architectural shots.  The way he plays with the lights and darks, I know I could learn a lot from looking at these images.  The contrast is just amazing.

Boats At CosmopolitanThis image was a bit of a shock, after seeing so many black and white images to come across one with colour was really surprising, but then as you look more in Mabry’s work you start to see that he does do a lot of colour.  Nice to see. Nice to see that he doesn’t feel everything has to be black and white and that sometimes colour can be important.

Razor Music IIThere is an abstract quality about many of the architecture shots, and it is something I am finding that I like more and more, you will get what I mean when you see my MM image this week.  I do like images that twist your brain around, and this is an image that does that I think.  At first it is hard to tell which way the image goes, but when you take a good look you see which is the right way.

All Is QuietYou’ve heard me saying it about my own work, that there is a quietness to it, and I think Mabry’s images has that same quietness.  I am sure when he has exhibitions, people are quiet when they are looking at them. There is a stillness, that quiet atmosphere.  I love it.

I am going to leave it there for you today, and leave you with a gallery of some of his work.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mabry for giving me permission to feature his work here on my blog today.  I would invite you all to go and take a look at his website, Mabry Campbell Fine Art | Architectural Photography, and he also has a blog for his image, which is MABRY CAMPBELL PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG.

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73 Comments Post a comment
  1. Holy smokes, these are fantastic!!

    August 11, 2014
  2. I love Mabry’s work! Glad to see you sharing it here. He’s so talented and artistic.

    August 11, 2014
    • I thought it was a good idea too Laura, I think the same.

      August 11, 2014
      • And he cracks me up! He is goofy with a capital G and that is always good. lol

        August 12, 2014
      • I haven’t seen that, but I’m sure you are right. LOL.

        August 12, 2014
      • Haha! Laura is correct! I don’t take myself seriously and have been described by a student as having carefree exuberance. Here’s one for you. So I received an email from a construction client asking me to photograph a new Insectarium and Wombat House at a zoo that they recently completed. I laughed so hard reading it, and thinking it might be spam. A Wombat House! Then they said that later I’ll need to shoot the new Gorilla enclosure…inside the enclosure. Yikes! So I’m watching Gorillas In the Mist to learn how to handle this. Hehe. If you don’t hear from me after this shoot, please tell the world my story :))

        August 12, 2014
      • I like people who don’t take themselves to seriously, doesn’t mean they aren’t serious about what they do, still, you have to be able to laugh and joke around. Haha, so the construction company is building a zoo, but it has wombats, where is the zoo. We have wombats in the parks around me, but I haven’t seen any, possible because they are nocturnal, I’m sleeping when their awake. Maybe one night, might have to go out with the touches.
        I will, and I’m sure Laura will too when she recovers. Though they wouldn’t let you go in if it wasn’t safe would they?

        August 13, 2014
  3. Inspiring, indeed, Leanne. Thank you for the introduction.

    August 11, 2014
    • I agree, it is very inspiring, you’re welcome Ardy.

      August 11, 2014
  4. WOW!

    August 11, 2014
  5. The thing I don’t like — I have the same problem with my own pictures — is the way the sky pixelates and tiles. It’s a problem with smooth skies, even when you use very minimal processing. I hate the way it looks. I try to avoid shooting big skies because I know they are going to be problematic in processing. You can see it clearly in the second picture.

    August 11, 2014
    • I don’t really know how to fix that, it is something you have to be very careful about Marilyn. Sometimes it can happen by darkening the colour too much. I try to avoid it as well.

      August 11, 2014
    • Hi Marilyn. I assure you that the sky is very smooth with no pixelation in the original image. I see the image above, and certainly am seeing what you are referring to. Probably due to a screen capture. I’d post a link to the original here, but don’t want to send people off Leanne’s post.

      But let me tell you how to avoid banding in a dark sky. It’s surprisingly simple. What I do is duplicate the working layer and add a between .75% – 1% noise to the entire image in Photoshop. Then bring that layer into Silver Efex Pro and adjust “Grain” to about 490 (smooth 50%). Once saved, mask that new sky into the main working image, so the rest of the image is not affected. All banding is a memory. Joel Tjintjelaar told me this trick many years ago. It works perfectly.

      August 12, 2014
  6. You can see it clearly in the last picture, too.

    August 11, 2014
  7. Yes, I know his work. While it is inspirational, it also is highly processed. Some of which pulls me into its magic, and others seem not the reality that we see. Still, I enjoy his images as art.

    August 11, 2014
    • I don’t have a problem with it not representing reality, I think they make great images, so I like to think that way. That is great Sally.

      August 11, 2014
    • Hi there Sally! Particularly on my long exposure black and white architectural images my intention IS to remove the image from reality. First degree…long exposure. Second degree…black and white. Third degree…shaping the light. Obviously we do not see building this way in reality. Why do I do this? Well it’s a personal preference of course, but additionally I want the image to match my vision of it, and highlight certain subjects to force your eye to look where I want it too. So most times on these highly processed images, I do want reality, I want an interpretation of the reality. But be assured, I never alter the lines or volumes in architectural images. I have too much respect for the designing architect. To change their form just seems wrong to me. Thanks Sally!

      August 12, 2014
  8. Beautiful imagery, thank you for the introduction!

    August 11, 2014
  9. wonderful images, thanks for the introduction – I am off to check out the images.

    August 11, 2014
    • You’re welcome, there are so many more on his sight.

      August 11, 2014
  10. An inspiring collection of amazing photos. Thanks for introducing his work to us Leanne.

    August 11, 2014
    • You’re welcome Andrew, glad you enjoyed them.

      August 11, 2014
  11. great work!

    August 11, 2014
  12. I am not architectural but these are wonderful. They have a dark and jagged geometry and a space like ( alien) quality. The landscapes too! I love Burning in the summertime. That one is a Shangri la!!

    August 11, 2014
    • I agree Cybele they are amazing. That’s fantastic Cybele, I totally agree.

      August 11, 2014
  13. Terrific post, Leanne. Fantastic architecture and images, I love the challenge of capturing buildings in an interesting way.

    August 11, 2014
    • It is very challenging Jane, I find the same, so photographer Mabry and really inspire and give some great ideas.

      August 11, 2014
  14. Extraordinary images. You are so right about the quietness that descends as one looks through them. I notice that there are no people in them, which, in combination with their colour scheme, the vignetting and the selective brightened areas, and the overprocessed look of the images, really enhances the sense of starkness, isolation, peacefulness, and the beauty of the lines and shapes… Stunning.

    August 11, 2014
    • I agree Reggie, you have said it so much better than what I did.

      August 11, 2014
    • You REALLY summed up what I strive to do Reggie. Altering highlights and shadows, and basically removing the image from reality….all without compositing. I have no problem with compositing, it’s just not part of my vision in my images. To shape the light that is already present in the original RAW is the basis of this black and white LE work. Many thanks!

      August 13, 2014
  15. Wow!

    August 11, 2014
  16. Awesome Photographs…:)

    August 11, 2014
  17. Great choice Leanne, been following for a while now and I love his stuff, MM 🍀

    August 11, 2014
  18. Beautiful photographs. Thank you for sharing.

    August 11, 2014
  19. An excellent way to start the day. Thank you Leanne Cole, once again.

    August 11, 2014
  20. Certainly has a distinctive style and as I have noted in the past, I do like architectural abstracts. Thanks for sharing Leanne.

    August 11, 2014
    • I really like them too Robert, they are pretty cool.

      August 12, 2014
  21. Wow, high drama! Great shots. Thanks for the intro, Leanne!

    August 11, 2014
    • Very high drama, something to aspire too. You’re welcome Richard.

      August 12, 2014
  22. Beautiful work. I can see his influence on your images. Specially the dramatic lighting

    August 12, 2014
    • I think you can too Luis, his work is so amazing.

      August 12, 2014
  23. Beautiful images, love them all!

    August 12, 2014
  24. I wasn’t familiar with him Leanne, but you’re right in the fact that he is amazing! I love the light contrasts of black and white…. these, as yours, are spectacular! :D

    August 12, 2014
    • I love that contrast too Keli, so incredible. Glad you liked them.

      August 12, 2014
  25. Absolutely stunning photos. I love his work. Thanks for sharing Leanne!

    August 12, 2014
  26. Gorgeous photographs! The waterfall looks like molten silver. Very inspiring. :)

    August 12, 2014
    • I know what you mean, they are very inspiring. :)

      August 12, 2014
  27. What amazing images, each photo more compelling than the last! Love the richness of the colors, but the monochrome images speak to me as well. Thanks, Leanne, for sharing Mabry’s wonderful work!

    August 12, 2014
    • I agree Stacy, they all have so much to aspire to, they are wonderful. You’re welcome, it has been great to see how much people have enjoyed it.

      August 12, 2014
  28. Really fabulous images. Love architectural photography.

    August 12, 2014
  29. Truly amazing images. The architecture shots make me think of Escher.

    August 12, 2014
    • Aren’t they Elen, Escher, yes, I get that too.

      August 12, 2014
  30. What can I say other than “Thank you Leanne”! It’s always interesting to learn how others see my images, and you really put it into words in a great way. Of course, it’s generally different than how I see them. For example, when you mention that some of my black and whites have a quiet feeling, I immediately saw that was correct, even though I had never considered it. I love that observation and how it has now changed basically how I view all of my black and whites. I’ve always wanted to have one “star” on those images, such as not allowing the processing of the sky to overpower the actual subject. And what this creates is what you saw, a quiet image with one “star”. I’ve never wanted those images to come flying off a wall and scream “look at me”. Again, your quiet comment = outstanding observation and it has helped me out as well.

    The last thing I see before a leave my home to go out on an assignment is a small sign saying “I Am Still Learning – Michelangelo”. It’s a constant reminder in my face, and your post did the same.

    Many thanks to the wonderful comments on this post. I appreciate them all, truly.
    All the best,
    Mabry

    August 12, 2014
    • I know what you mean Mabry, I love reading what others think of mine too, they usually see things I didn’t see. I like quiet, though took me a long to accept it in my own images, but I do quite like it a lot now. I like that idea of the one star too. You’re welcome.

      I love that last thing you see when you leave, what a great concept, I might have to pinch that, if you don’t mind. ;)

      You are so welcome, and thank you for allowing me to do it.

      August 13, 2014
  31. Reblogged this on Mabry Campbell Photography Blog and commented:
    Leanne Cole did a great write-up on my photographs and style. She has fantastic insight, many interesting posts, and obvious photographic talent. Many thanks Leanne!

    August 13, 2014
  32. A good photographer this Mabry. Thanks for the info.

    August 13, 2014
  33. absolutely stunning shots, Leanne!

    August 14, 2014

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