Brandon Montgomery  

Government Transparency by Brandon Montgomery

October 2020 - Government Transparency

About the Image(s)

I took this photo during a walk around the California State Capitol. This was during when a recent protest resulted in vandalism of several government buildings. Oddly enough, the legislative office building was the only one boarded up. It made me think of the recent events surrounding COVID-19 and the population's skepticism towards elected officials and their ideas. The legislation office building has had its share of controversy and secrecy over the years and just seeing it boarded up added to the rumours that have been attached to this building. The boarded up entrance and security cameras had this dystopian feel to it. I did some editing in Adobe Lightroom. I used the tungsten effect and adjusted several aspects such as the colors of the photo. I also did some adjustment on the exposure.

Camera: Sony A7riii, ISO 160, 44mm, f5.6, and 1/60 sec

12 comments posted

Chuck Carstensen   Chuck Carstensen
Good find. Interesting. It has a miniminalist look. Like a movie theatre. Straight on shot is probably the best choice of angles. For me, the shadows needed a little tweaking. Lets see what this looks like. Took it to Luminar 4 with a few slight adjustments to contrast and opening the shadows, also, added little black vignetting. Is it overkill?   Posted: 10/04/2020 15:43:54
Comment Image
Brandon Montgomery   Brandon Montgomery
Thank you Chuck for the feedback. I love your work on the photo editing. I wouldn't say its overkill. I liked how it brought out the shadows more. It was a little hazy outside when I took this photo.   Posted: 10/04/2020 18:43:38

Marianne Barnhardt   Marianne Barnhardt
Great photo of the reality of most of our cities. In fact I thought it was Richmond for a moment because ours looked the same. The minimalist look tells a major story and lets the viewer fill in the pieces. I do like what Chuck did to make the doors stand out a little more with a lighter appearance. Great job.   Posted: 10/05/2020 09:30:10
Brandon Montgomery   Brandon Montgomery
Thank you Marianne, it's been a common theme with seeing businesses boarded up, but its feels different when its a government building. For me it added more of an effect to the photo.   Posted: 10/06/2020 06:24:54

Albert Lee   Albert Lee
Inspite of its simplicity, the photo tells a great story...a government building, an empty street, a barricaded main entrance....scenes we see only in the news in our part of the globe. Great compostion and I like the adjustments made by Chuck increasing the tonal range on the midtones.   Posted: 10/05/2020 14:32:36
Brandon Montgomery   Brandon Montgomery
Thank you Albert, I never thought I'd see such a building boarded up. Oddly enough, I've never seen the media cover a story on it. When I saw it, I knew I had to photograph it.   Posted: 10/06/2020 06:27:21

Geoff Shaw   Geoff Shaw
An image is worth 1000 words. I feel so fortunate here in Australia that we don't have the same level of social unrest that we see all too frequently in the USA on the news media. I agree with Chuck's suggestion to bring out the shadows a bit but I think the vignetting is a bit too obvious (at least in the thumbnail). Would a tighter crop help focus the eye on the baricaded doorways?   Posted: 10/05/2020 20:06:44
Brandon Montgomery   Brandon Montgomery
Thank you Geoff, its now a common sight here in Sacramento California. From a photographers perspective, I feel such subjects need to be photographed in order to show society and even future generations what their community is like and was once like. I like how Chuck brought out the shadows and I'll make a note for future editing. I haven't really cropped an image before, but it would be an interesting experiment.   Posted: 10/06/2020 06:33:10

Lou McLove   Lou McLove
Hi Brandon, I think this is a great story telling image. I feel like the structure is haunted and looking at me, maybe it is. Personally I like the composition. In my opinion, I think a bit on the right edge with the guard rail could be cropped out, I think it is somewhat distracting. I think you handled the subject matter very well.   Posted: 10/06/2020 07:28:49
Brandon Montgomery   Brandon Montgomery
Thank you Lou, it was an interesting subject to run into. I live 3 blocks away from this building. It's a common sight now.   Posted: 10/08/2020 08:21:18

Jill Edwards   Jill Edwards
Strong social message of the time, to me it says bleakness, which is what is happening everywhere. I agree about bringing out the shadows a bit more and totally agree with the importance of recording history as it is happening.   Posted: 10/07/2020 21:59:52
Brandon Montgomery   Brandon Montgomery
Thank you Jill. I love to document current events in street photography. It'll be interesting to see what comes next.   Posted: 10/08/2020 08:19:14


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