By Brian Matiash, Photographer
All throughout my formative years growing up, and even through to today, there has always been one lesson that was constantly reinforced. It revolves around a common theme that is just as applicable in a boardroom as it is on the golf course. That lesson is to always “follow through.”
If you take a moment to think about it, you’ll start to realize just how many different applications where following through benefits the action taken. It affects the spiral of your football throw, the top-spin on your tennis swing, and the trajectory of the baseball after you swing your bat. Your parents, your teachers, and your coaches – they all understand the importance of following through. This concept translates into the professional arena as well. Make promises to a client? Offer your services to a prospect? Following through effectively on all of these commitments will help ensure your success.
And now, it’s time to realize how to follow through with your photography.
To illustrate how the concept of following through in photography came to fruition for me, let me refer to my bucket list. You know… that list of photos that you want to get before you kick it (the bucket, that is). I was born and raised in New York City and for the longest time, I’ve always wanted to get my own panoramic HDR of this iconic skyline. I had a general idea of what my vantage point would be and it just involved waiting for the optimal light and timing.
After a few missed attempts, I finally found myself in the right place, at the right time, and made my way to Hoboken, NJ to get my shot. I ended up scouting for about 4.5 hours for the perfect location. Most of the time was used to burn the daytime light until I was left with Manhattan perfectly lit, each building jewel-encrusted with the office lights that remained on at dusk. After a few quick test shots and some minor rejiggering, I was ready to get my bracket panels. I had my laptop tethered to my camera and fired my shots. And then I fired my shots again, just for insurance. I immediately ran the brackets through the tone-mapping process and then merged the HDR panels into a rough cut of the panoramic image. I was thrilled with what I saw and knew that I got the shot.
But still, even after all was said and done, I didn’t feel like I had anything to show for it. Sure, I was staring at the final HDR pano of the NYC skyline on my display. I could share it out on my blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and everywhere in between. Technically, I could check it off the bucket list. But, I didn’t feel like I truly realized my intent. And that’s where Artistic Photo Canvas came in. The way that I would follow through with this panoramic photo that I went to great lengths to capture would be to have it printed on a massive canvas. I ended up placing an order with APC for a 5-foot canvas print.
I cannot honestly think of a more appropriate way of following through than by having my print taken off of my LCD and made tangible by the amazing folks at APC. I was simply floored by the quality of this canvas print that I was holding in my hands. There is something very special about holding a massive 5-foot print that you took and be able to see all of the little details up close. It is one thing to magnify the image on your display. It’s a totally different thing to feel your image in your hands through the texture of the canvas. It was at that moment that I knew what I had to do with my images going forward. And as you can see by the photos of my office that accompany this post, I’ve now “followed through” with many of my favorite shots. My gallery wraps have become the reward for my efforts and a testament to my achievements. They’ve become the “follow through” for my photography.
So the next time you grab a shot that you are just totally excited about, think about really following through with it. Take it off of your display and put it into your hands, or the hands of a loved one. I can’t think of a better way of breathing new life into my images than by adding the sense of touch to the sense of sight. And I cannot think of anyone better than APC with whom I’d entrust this process to. Give it a shot for yourself. Follow through.
Brian Matiash is the Curriculum & Education Manager at onOne Software, makers of the award-winning Perfect Photo Suite line of photography software. He is responsible for creating new and compelling educational content to help spur excitement and creativity around digital photography. He is also an also an urban/architecture photographer, writer, and lover of all things social media.
Brian has spent the past several years learning and mastering the use of High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging to create photos with a level of realism not normally captured with conventional photography. He is the author of a monthly column on ProPhotoResource, where he shares tips, tricks, and techniques to gain the most out of HDR photography. He is also an editor at 'HDR Spotting', the leading gallery/resource dedicated to showcasing HDR images.
Brian’s images have been published in a variety of news and magazine publications, as well as displayed in various art galleries in Boston, MA and New York, NY. Some of his work has gained media recognition and has been published in the Boston Globe, the Improper Bostonian, and several online Photography and Travel Blogs. He was also the winner of the 2008 and 2009 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk Contests for the cities of Boston, MA (2008) and Brooklyn, NY (2009), and was featured as the Boston Globe’s ‘Photographer of the Week.’ He was most recently profiled as the Lightroom Featured Photographer in the July/August 2010 issue of Photoshop User Magazine, put out by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. He is also featured as part of the Artistic Photo Canvas 'I USE APC' national ad campaign, appearing in Digital Photo Pro, Photoshop User and Layers Magazines.
Brian was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and now lives outside of Boston, MA in the town of Framingham.