On Listening

By |2012-01-30T13:17:26+00:00Jan 30th, 2012|

The other day, my good bud, +Chris Lazzery, and I shot up and down the various waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge. The weather was agreeable and it made for a very relaxing day overall. Plus, it was great to have Chris visiting, albeit for a short stint.

On our way back home, we decided to park along the promenade to catch the sunset. It certainly didn’t disappoint as we were greeted with gorgeous, subtle colors and nice cloud formations over the PDX skyline.

Towards the end of the shoot, I slapped on my Canon 15mm fisheye to have some ultra-wide fun. Initially, I had my tripod and camera perched over the rail that you see here. I intended to disregard it altogether, focusing only on the Willamette River and skyline.

Chris came over to me and suggested that I take a few steps back, incorporating the rail and pathway. My first reaction was not surprising – I disregarded it altogether and continued shooting. But then I stopped for a minute and thought that I should at least consider Chris’ suggestion. Who knows, right?

I repositioned my tripod, composed, and came up with this shot. I instantly knew that it would be my favorite from this area. And it is a really good lesson. I know that I’m very quick to dismiss suggestions and criticism by others, especially in the field, regardless of how accomplished they are. But that can’t be a very healthy way of going about things – especially when you’re part of a community of photographers.

So, listening is something that I will be working on more. Listening doesn’t mean that you’re going to act on every suggestion posed. Rather, listening is the first step to actively honing your own skills. It helps you refine your vision by learning how to embrace criticism and feedback while also weeding out anything that doesn’t fit within your own voice.

All in good time, though. :)

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (119 photos)

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16 Comments

  1. Milena Ilieva January 30, 2012 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Beautiful night shot and colors…Love it!

  2. Bo Insogna January 30, 2012 at 10:47 am - Reply

    fantastic night shot!

  3. Chris Paulk January 30, 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Wow! Beautiful!

  4. Younes Bounhar January 30, 2012 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Now who would have thought you could take a decent photograph? :D

  5. Chris Lazzery January 30, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Yes! I knew this one would be a winner. So awesome.

  6. Jico Gallana January 30, 2012 at 11:31 am - Reply

    very nice capture!

  7. Javier Esvall January 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Beautiful night shot, nice work.

  8. Ken Maynard January 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I'm glad you listened…it is indeed a beautiful night shot!

  9. Ken Maynard January 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I'm glad you listened…it is indeed a beautiful night shot!

  10. Rich Williams January 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Oh wow. This right here is my kind of shot. Well done, Mr. Matiash.

  11. Jim Denham January 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Listening is something we can all try to get better at, in general. Great post and love the fishy skyline, even with the railing!

  12. Joe Krause January 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    I never would have thought of it!

  13. Chris Maskell January 31, 2012 at 1:59 am - Reply

    Great shot Brian and great advice.

  14. ChrisD Maskell January 31, 2012 at 2:00 am - Reply

    +Brian Matiash great shot Brian and great advice

  15. Michael Murphy January 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Good advice. There have been several instances where I've been out with one friend in particular and the shots he suggested I take turned out to be the best ones of the day. I contemplated hiring him to be my location scout so I can just rock up, shoot what he tells me and then go home :)

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