On filling in the space between

On filling in the space between

By |2011-11-26T18:05:52+00:00Nov 26th, 2011|

I’ve been an Oregonian for almost four weeks now. I am slowly getting used to my commute to and from the +onOne Software office (wholly thanks to +Jeffrey Yen aka The Man). I finally got all of my belongings the other day (save for a box containing my Canon 70-200mm, but that is a whole other post). So, you’d think that I should be relatively settled. I guess I would expect that but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

Still, despite the amorphous, jelly-like state that my routine seems to be in, I think it is critical to maintain a busy eye, an itchy trigger finger, and an engaged mind. Just because I am totally unfamiliar with my surroundings should not preclude me from exploring. Walking aimlessly around your immediate neighborhood is bound to be ripe with all sorts of photo ops. Just ask my friend, +Stuart Sipahigil, who wrote a wonderful eBook (by Craft & Vision) on the topic.

This shot was taken at one of the trillions of little parks that are apparently sprinkled throughout Portland. It is a snapshot of my new home and I’ll be damned if I am going to let my unfamiliarity of this place keep me from exploring. Making excuses for why you can’t take even 30 minutes every day or every other day just to walk around the block with your camera is a crippling habit and is toxic to a photographer.

All you need to do is charge your batteries and clear your mind. Even if you don’t fire off a single exposure, I guarantee you will still be better off as a photographer than if you stayed home catching up on TV shows.

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  1. Darren Humphries November 26, 2011 at 11:05 am - Reply

    So true, Brian. I am more than willing to wander around to see what's what in a new location. Actually, I am in a different city right now and am just picking places using Google maps and then using GPS to get around. Even if I wander to a completely different spot the GPS will get me back on track anyway. Explore!

  2. Bret Pulkka-Stone November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Lunch breaks are also kind of good for this… take the camera to work and then use the time to think and shoot.

  3. Julie Ward November 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Well damn. And here we are on a rare beautiful November day in Portland and I have been inside doing laundry all day. Thanks for the slap upside the head. I suppose my Domestic Goddess duties can wait for a rainy day. Maybe I'll give +Jeffrey Yen a ring and see what's shakin.

  4. Jeffrey Yen November 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Hopefully we can take a break to get out and shoot this week. I want you to get settled but all work and no play makes Brian a dull boy :)

  5. Greg Berdan November 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Absolutely. I feel rotten if I don't at least get out once and just look for something. Even if the trip doesn't pan out or if my shots are no good I still feel better with myself for getting out there and trying.

  6. Dennis Rivera November 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Time for a photowalk, +Brian Matiash? I bet, that you'd get quite a few of us up there.

    • bill zingraf November 27, 2011 at 11:35 am - Reply


  7. Jim Denham November 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    You’re right Brian. I used to take those 30 minutes walks out of excitement for taking pictures, now I don’t, and I should. Thanks for passing on the inspiration…again!

  8. Edith Levy November 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Glad to hear you’re settling in Brian. You’re so right…walking around even if its a short time each day will help you “see” and appreciate your new surroundings. Lovely image.

  9. Edith Levy November 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    You’re so right Brian…walking around, even if it’s a short time each day, will help you “see” and appreciate your new surroundings. Lovely image.

  10. Michael Reeves November 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Excellent Post Brian. BTW, I’m glad I bought that Perfect Suite 6 from “You” in Vegas. See ya next year!

  11. Donna Church November 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Welcome to Oregon Brian, I hope you find living in the great northwest as rewarding as I do. Perhaps you'll take a look of my Mt Hood album. I took not a single shot but gleaned these pics… I am blessed to be so near the base here in Parkdale, OR

  12. Sarah Keane November 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    So so true. I love getting out and about with my two children. Even my children have now started to notice things and say "Mom, that would be a cool photo". It's so nice to take time away from the everyday bustle of life and go exploring with my children. The experts say there are 7 wonders in this world, but that in my opinion is such a false statement. There are millions of wonders in the world.

  13. gr hafford November 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Let me add my welcome also. I moved up from California 30 plus years ago. I have never been sorry for that move. Each year is different from the past year. Please get out and explore. Always yes always grab your camera. Oregon is always changing.

  14. Patrick Kubley November 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Spot on, Brian. I was having this discussion with another photographer over Thanksgiving and told him that even that one time I was only able to get three shots total because of time constraints, I was still able to learn and grow from those three photos. One of them is an all-time favorite of mine.

  15. Todd Green November 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    It sounds like a great idea. I live in a rather boring neighborhood these days. I am often wishing I had a better view because it is in a wonderful part of Italy, but I just can't see past the ugly buildings where I live. I will have to try your idea, just walk for 30 minutes and see what I see. Maybe I can discover some good views or maybe carry my macro setup.

    I grew up in Oregon and went to college in Portland. It is quite a wonderful city and very close to many other lovely places. I have some photos from the Japanese Gardens, the Rhododendron test gardens and Reed College (in SE) in my albums if you are interested.

  16. Dawn Carl November 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    As someone who recently transplanted from one state to another, I agree. It's exactly what I did when I had just moved and didn't know a soul, or where to go…so I walked. Not only did I get great shots…I lost 15 pounds… :)

  17. Julie Ward November 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Off to explore Mt. Talbert nature park with +Jeffrey Yen and +Rinda Clark . Thanks for the push Brian :)

  18. Brian Matiash November 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    +Julie Ward sweet! Wish I was in town to join you all.

  19. Lili Hewitt November 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    I need to get off G+ to go out and shoot. I spent way too much time in front of the computer. Problem is: too many great contents on G+,too many great photographers here!

  20. Russ Scullen November 26, 2011 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Yep, even 30 minutes every other day can make a difference in what you "see". Oh and +Brian Matiash don't panic to much about being in a new place yet. The comfort factor will come.

  21. Jim Denham November 27, 2011 at 2:14 am - Reply

    +Brian Matiash Great post Brian!

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