Congratulations Matt Rosendahl – October PFRE Photographer of the Month

October 24th, 2017

Congratulations to Matt Rosendahl of Northern California who the jury has voted PFRE Photographer of the Month for October. This is Matt’s first win!

Here are the entries that the jurors awarded points to this month:

  1. Matt Rosendahl – #24
  2. Rich King – #14
  3. Trace Tague – #15
  4. Michael Lefebvre – #27
  5. Drew Castelhano – #17
  6. Bill Berris – #8
  7. Jordan Smith – #25
  8. Whit Richardson – #7
  9. Bob Felderman – #6

Here is Matt’s description of creating his winning photo:

First of all, I’d like to thank Larry for this wonderful resource of information. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon this blog and the flickr group that I was really able to take my photography (and business) to a new level. I also want to thank Barry Mackenzie, Tony Roslund, Tony Colangelo, and Brandon Cooper for their fantastic workshops that I attended over the last year. For those wishing to up their game, get hands on training, and network with the best in the business – the workshops they put on are worth every penny!

This monthly contest has been very inspirational to me and the quality of entries has really skyrocketed. I want to give a special thank you to all the jurors who take the time to give critique and provide feedback!

One of my first investments (thanks to this blog!) was a painter pole setup. In my area I have to deal with elevated and steep properties on a regular basis. A painter pole is a fantastic way to provide a unique perspective and capture images that can really set you apart from the competition. However, they can be a bit challenging to use for twilight images. Earlier this year I had a commercial job that required me to shoot over a busy intersection and decided to splurge on an incredible tripod. This setup can get the camera elevated to approximately 15 feet and be rock solid enough for long exposures and composites. This tripod has become an essential part of my kit and gets used regularly for twilights.

The setup:
Gitzo Systematic Series 5 (GT5563GS)
Gitzo Telescopic Center Column (GS5513XLS)
Nikon D750
Tamron 15-30

Camera settings:
ISO 100
3 second exposure

Executing the shot:
From the ground I found the general comp I was going for. I then attached my camera and extended the tripod legs all the way. Precariously balancing on the top of my 4 foot ladder I was able to make fine tune adjustments and level the camera. I then telescoped the center column all the way up for an additional 6.5 feet of elevation, for a total of 15 feet. From the ground I used my Camranger to fire off a variety of exposures over a 10 minute period of time.

Post processing:
This was a fairly simple edit here. In lightroom, I picked a single exposure from the bunch. I applied basic edits and set white balance for the face of the house. I then took an adjustment brush (set to “Auto-mask”) and added blue/magenta to the sky. I took this image into Photoshop and made a targeted hue/saturation adjustment to bring down some yellow/orange from the exterior lights. Lastly, I brought this into Color Efex Pro for some finishing touches (Contrast/Vignette).

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28 Responses to “Congratulations Matt Rosendahl – October PFRE Photographer of the Month”

  • Congratulations Matt. Well done.

  • I think the winning photo is pretty much perfect. I love the very natural quality of it where Matt has resisted cranking the LR/Photoshop controls. Beautiful colors.

  • Congratulations Matt!! Great image, keep up the great work! Amazing how high you got, perfect.


  • Well done Matt. The extra effort really makes your image stand out for all the right reasons. Congrats.

  • What a terrific capture, Matt – congratulations!! Such a well-deserved win! And thanks for your gracious write-up, with such a detailed summary of your process/technique in capturing the shot … so valuable for all of us to get that type of insight! Congrats again!!

  • HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!! awesome shot and well deserved to one of the most talented and hardest working photographers I know here!!!

  • Super shot, Matt & what a TREE-mendous tripod setup !!

  • King of twilights!

  • Congratulations Matt!! Thank you so much for your detail response, I found the details very interesting. You sound like a very humble winner. Great job.

  • Congratulations Matt! It was only a matter of time for your first well-deserved POTM win. Thanks for the detailed description! Your work is so consistently killer and an inspiration to us all. Enjoy your victory!

  • congratulations Matt, very nice shot, cool house. Very gutsy move standing on top of that ladder. What tripod are you using that goes up 15′?

  • Congrats Matt! Beautiful shot there!

  • Congratulations Matt!

  • Congrats Matt,

  • Congrats Matt!

  • Nice one Matt and thanks for all the behind-the-scenes info.

  • Congrats Matt! Great shot, well deserved win!

  • Congratulations, Matt! Pretty shot that I’m sure helped to sell the house.

    Although I do find it troubling that two of the top ten didn’t even have straight verticals (obviously not talking about the drone shots).

  • Congratulations, Matt! Such a gorgeous shot. Your work is so consistently great…it’s wonderful to see you get the win. And thanks for the super detailed and informative description!

  • Great work Matt!

  • Thanks so much everyone for the kind words! I am thrilled to have won and very happy to hear my write up was insightful.

    ~Eric Hilton – Tripod make is in description under “setup”

  • Congratulations Matt! Beautiful image. Thanks for the breakdown of set up and post; it always helps to see how others bring images together. I’ve recently attended Tony and Brandon’s workshop and totally agree it is “gold” in advancing photographic techniques and your business direction.

  • Congratulations Matt !!! Gorgeous image and love the sky! Love your tall tripod set up! Well Done !!!

  • Awesome Matt. I guess I’m just about ready to become a judge since I picked your shot as the winner. Thanks for the details.

  • Awesome image Matt! Great photo, you really captured the beauty of the home.

  • Matt, way to go man.. Great job. Hard work and determination paid off.

  • Thank you all again!!

    And Trace – I picked your shot as the winner 🙂 Such a well executed shot and elevated to the perfect height.

  • what a wonderful image. Congratulations!

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