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Brian Matiash
Works at Sony
Attended Syracuse University
Lives in Portland, OR
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Owner of Matiash, Inc. Social & Content Strategy at Sony
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  • Sony
    Social & Content Strategy, 2015 - present
  • Matiash, Inc.
    Owner/Photographer, 2015 - present
  • Google
    Global Photos Product Evangelist, Google+ & Nik, 2013 - 2015
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Sunnyvale, CA - San Francisco, CA - Boston, MA - Brooklyn, NY - Chicago, IL - Syracuse, NY
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Me, my camera, and the world.
Introduction
My name is Brian Matiash. I am originally from Brooklyn, NY but now live in Portland, OR, and am a photographer who has been pursuing and growing my particular brand of imagery since 1996. I'm also proud to be a member of Sony's Artisans of Imagery program.

I am a published author and lover of all things social media. Admittedly, I have [not-so] tiny obsessions with long-exposure photography, neutral density filters and fisheye lenses.

Basically, my passion is helping others help themselves with their pursuits of photography.

All posts and opinions are that of my own and not of Google or my wonderdog, Kodak.
Education
  • Syracuse University
    MS - Information Resources Management, 2000 - 2001
  • Syracuse University
    BS - Information Management & Technology, 1996 - 2000
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September 28
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BMash

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Day 2 in Reine, Norway

The weather on our second day in Reine was a bit different than on our first. As Colby Brown Photography describes it, it was "stormy with intermittent sunshine," but that didn't keep us from zipping around to different parts of the Lofoten Islands. It's so cool to see how intricately and thoughtfully the Norwegian people have linked each of these islands. It really is a marvel of civil and structural engineering. Drive just a few minutes and you'll likely jump onto a different island with its own charm and personality.

The three of us spent the day chasing down waypoints of notable areas. One of which was an easy-to-climb hill that provided a perfect panoramic view of the sleepy village of Olenilsøya. Colby, Joe Azure Photography, and I found our own little plot of hilltop and went to task. While the somber weather would likely turn off some photographers, we reveled in it and used it to further tell the story of this amazing area. Now if only we can clear the sky a bit and ratchet up the solar storms to 11 for an aurora light show, things would be aces.

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
Filter: +Formatt-Hitech ProIRND 6-Stop ND and Firecrest 105mm Circular Polarizer
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: +on1 Perfect Effects & Adobe Lightroom 5.7

#Norway   #Reine   #Lofoten   #SonyAlpha   #LongExposure  
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+George Fletcher about it, you Yuri u Yuri Ute ue
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Day 5 in Iceland - Goodbye... for now.

Five days is barely enough time just to scratch the surface of all that #Iceland has to offer. Years ago, if you asked this Brooklyn boy whether he'd so eagerly enjoy getting up at an ungodly hour to photograph gigantic landscapes in below freezing temps, he'd probably laugh so hard that milk would come out of his nose. But that's what it takes to experience the grandeur of this marvelous country during its winter season.

Our last full day in Iceland brought us to several of its better known waterfalls and ended with a beautiful sunset at the blue lagoons in Grindavík. However, in between that, Colby, Joe, and I managed to sneak in an hour photographing a herd of Icelandic horses as they grazed, napped and played around. Several even tried to take a few chomps out of my Really Right Stuff tripod!

Photographing wildlife is about as foreign to me as photographing a wedding but in spite of that, I find the former to be much more calming and appealing than the latter. :) These horses were so friendly and approachable, making it that much easier to move around them to compose a photo. All in all, it was a wonderful time.

Technically, Day 6 was our travel day where we departed Iceland for Oslo, Norway and then caught a domestic flight north to Evenes. From there, we drove for about 3 hours to our destination: Reines, part of the Lofoten Islands. I'll save Day 1 of Norway for tomorrow but let's just say that within 15 minutes of checking into our cabin, we were created with a night sky full of brilliant aurora. Norway has welcomed us quite warmly.

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II
Filter: N/A
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

#SonyAlpha   #Horses  
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such a cute horse
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Day 3 in Iceland - Aurora Edition!

My third day in Iceland was certainly a busy one. We started off by shooting a new ice cave at sunrise, which was great except for when my leg broke through the surface of a frozen river. The ice caves themselves have proven to be one of the most challenging things that I've ever photographed but I'll save that for a future post. Later in the day, we visited a black sand beach that was riddled with frozen burgs all along the shore. After getting more than my share of ocean water in my boots the evening before, I played it a bit safer and stayed further back for my shots. After dinner that evening, we collected our gear from the hotel room and headed to our vehicle. And that's when +Joe Azure told me to look up at the sky.

Don't take me lightly when I say that I was totally stopped in my tracks. Seeing an aurora is one of those things that has been so high on my bucket list. I've seen countless photos and videos of them but none were really special to me because I hadn't taken the photos or, more importantly, experienced them for myself. Thankfully, that came to an end yesterday.

Above me was an apparition of light. It was glowing silk and it danced along the night sky to its own tune. I looked from left to right and saw this beautiful and delicate ribbon come and go from a dim form to a brilliant swirl. I finally checked this one off the bucket list. Once the gobsmacking subsided, the three of us sprang into action and hustled to find a location that would offer a decent foreground and a picturesque background. Fortunately, +Colby Brown chose the perfect spot to pull off the road. The aurora was still going strong in front of and behind us and we had a few frozen puddles and plenty of mountains to frame with. Shooting the aurora took a bit of practice in terms of getting the right exposure and focus but once those were locked in, it really became impossible to get a bad photo. I have never in my life been so enamored with a natural phenomenon like this one.

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
Filter: N/A
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

‪#‎SonyAlpha‬ ‪#‎Iceland‬ ‪#‎Aurora‬ ‪#‎NorthernLights‬
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Its so beautiful. I really like it
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Day 1 in Iceland

It hardly takes any time at all to understand why so many landscape and nature photographers flock to Iceland. It's one of those places that absolutely lives up to the hype surrounding it. After landing here yesterday around 7am, we drove for about seven hours to our little hotel. Along the way, we stopped to photograph the glacier lagoon in Jökulsárlón as the sun began to set.

Thus far, Iceland's diverse landscapes have proven to be a wonderful challenge for me. I'd never seen glaciers or icebergs like these before and it certainly is a departure from the sort of landscapes that I'm used to. Still, I am so thankful to have this opportunity, and another opportunity in June, to experience Iceland's beauty.

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
Filter: +Formatt-Hitech ​ProIRND 3-Stop ND Filter
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7
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Beautifull pic
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Photo tip: Turn around!

I suspect that a lot of us photographers can relate to being the moth drawn to the flame when it comes to partaking in a beautiful sunset. We get transfixed on looking forward and rifling off frame after frame because that golden light just keeps getting better. That happened to me several weeks back as I was watching the sunset (http://brians.photos/1HPLjbh) at South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii. I was so enamored with the scene that I almost missed the equally beautiful one developing right behind me.

That's when having your head on a swivel makes a lot of sense. Of course, it's important to be cognizant of what's happening in front of you but it's also your obligation to be equally aware of what is building up behind you, as well. This particular instance really drove the point home to me and I kept it at the forefront of my mind for the rest of the trip. This rather basic photo tip has served me very well and I thought it'd be worth sharing with all of you.

Be sure to share your thoughts and photos as it pertains to this photo tip!

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4
Filter: +Formatt-Hitech ​Firecrest 3-stop Soft Grad ND filter
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

Source with more info & links: http://brians.photos/17JsxBF

#Bigisland, #Hawaii, #LetHawaiiHappen, #SonyAlpha, #Sunset
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Cool!!
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The Inscrutability of Secrets

The other day, I was chatting online with a photographer who I recently became acquainted with. I initially reached out because I wanted to pay him a compliment on a beautiful waterfall photo that he took the in Pacific Northwest area. When I asked him which waterfall it was, his response was utterly bewildering to me. He expressed hesitation about sharing the location because he had done his research and wanted to keep the location as proprietary as possible because of the work he put into locating it. It wasn't a matter of trespassing or anything like that... he assured me that it was public grounds. But, he didn't feel comfortable sharing the location because he wanted to minimize how many other photographers would find it.

Now here's where I scratch my head. We're all here willingly participating in this social media stratosphere that was built for us, right? You share the comings and goings of your day. I share a photo and a story. We all pitch in by sharing content of varying degrees of interest, candidness, and relevance. When I share a photo, I have every intention of sharing all of it with you. This includes the experience of taking the photo, any lessons learned, and, when applicable, the coordinates of where it was taken. Of course, there are times when I don't have the coordinates because I didn't log them and was too lazy to retroactively add them in, but it is never the case of intentionally hiding them from anyone for fear that they may gasp want to enjoy the location, too. If someone was ever interested in where a photo of mine was taken and the geodata wasn't embedded, all they'd need to do is ask. Now, I understand that, in some situations, it is actually necessary to withhold location info. Often times, when photographing in abandoned structures, it simply isn't prudent to share that information. I can get behind that.

However, when it comes to this notion that a certain location in nature and on public grounds needs to be protected to maintain exclusivity, I am simply at a loss. You may say that the photographer has every right to withhold that info because he/she put the energy and time to research where it is and how to get there. Even that doesn't fit in my book of reasons to prevent others from enjoying it. You know what it does show me? It shows me that this photographer has a lack of confidence. Here you have a photographer who is intentionally withholding basic location information. Actually, he wouldn't even tell me the name of the falls! But he's withholding this information because he doesn't want others to easily find it. On what planet does this make sense? Do you have such little confidence in your own abilities as a photographer that you would intentionally keep others from taking a crack?

If you boil it down, there are so many variables that would dictate how I would get my photo and how that would, more than likely, result in you getting something entirely different. Let's put hardware and photography experience aside. You've got to contend with variables such as the time of day, the time of year, the weather conditions, the conditions of the surrounding area, and all sorts of other factors that can make your experience utterly different than mine. And then you get to layer on differences in hardware (your telephoto vs my fisheye) and overall photography experience.

The way that I see it, if there is a particularly picturesque location in nature, and especially if it's on public land, then everyone who is interested in experiencing it should have that opportunity. Not only will I not stand in your way, but I'll tell you the exact coordinates of the location and be more than happy to share any notable things to look out for or avoid. Sharing can be such a cathartic and rewarding act when it's done with selflessly and with good intention. Don't prove your worth as a photographer by holding others back. Prove it by consistently sharing great content.

For the record, I took this at Upper Ruckel Creek Falls, just off I-84 along the Columbia River Gorge. The actual geodata is embedded within the image.

Now, if you've made it this far, then I congratulate you. But, I also would like to know if you agree or disagree here. If you stumbled onto a beautiful new waterfall and I asked about it later on, would you share the details? Why or why not?

Camera: +Sony a7II with the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4
Filter: +Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 105mm Circular Polarizer
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

Source with more info & links: http://brians.photos/1Ej0XpI
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Absolutely, I would share the name of park located in and best directions to get there. If anyone was not willing to share the information to a public place, then they should not any information about that place including photo(s). Not amenable to sharing, take the photo and enjoy it privately but don't post it publicly and not give information. 
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Day 1 in Reine, Norway

Yesterday was my first full day in Norway. After landing in Oslo, the day prior, +Colby Brown+Joe Azure, and I drove three hours north to the storybook town of Reine, nestled within the Lofoten Islands. Because it was very dark when we first arrived, being able to see this place as the sun rose was very special. Fortunately, the weather was exceptionally agreeable throughout the day and we certainly made the most of it. Colby was good enough to secure a number of locations for us to scout, including a lake that was so calm and still, you'd have a hard time determining which side was above water and which was being reflected. I'll share images from that location down the road.

For now, here is a photo of some cabins in Reine taken during sunrise. The coolest part is that the three of us are actually staying in one of those cabins while we're here! So, the walk from our front door to the bridge offering this view takes about 3 minutes. I'm all far working to get the shot but I've gotta say, being able to literally stumble out of your front door to this view ain't too shabby either!

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
Filter: +Formatt-Hitech ProIRND 3-Stop ND, 3-stop Soft Grad ND, Firecrest 105mm Circular Polarizer
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

#SonyAlpha   #Norway   #Reine   #Sunrise   #LongExposure  
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Очень красиво 😍
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Sunrise over Reine, Norway

Very little Internet out here but I wanted to share an iPhone pano of my view happening right now. We're even staying in one of those cabins in the foreground!

Good times with +Colby Brown and +Joe Azure!
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nice
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Day 4 in Iceland

Our fourth day in Iceland had us saying goodbye to the Jökulsárlón region and brought us to our stopover in the quaint town of Vik. The day started off with us breaking out of bed at 5AM to photograph even more brilliant aurora and was then followed by a third shoot in an ice cave. After that, we checked out of our hotel and made our way to Skaftafell National Park and laboriously hiked to Svartifoss, a waterfall with notable vertical basalt formations that instantly reminded me of Latourell and Abiqua Falls in Oregon. Naturally, I felt right at home. smile emoticon

When we wrapped up the waterfall shoot, we jumped in the car for a two hour ride to Vik. What we didn't expect was the massive snow storm that was waiting for us about 20 miles outside of the town. Fortunately, +Colby Brown managed to get to our hotel without calamity.

Upon checking in, all three of us had just assumed that any sort of shooting would be out of the question given the absolute white out conditions from the snow storm. However, a few minutes later, we looked out our windows and saw the makings of a rather beautiful sunset. Don't get me wrong—it was howling wind and bitterly cold but we still jumped in 'Beast Mode' and hustled to the beach across the street. Our goal was to catch the iconic and legendary Reynisdrangar, a series of spires jutting out of the ocean. Fortunately, the clouds gave us a break and parted a bit, letting the beautiful sun pour through. All in all, it was a wonderful day!

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II
Filter: N/A
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

#‎Iceland‬ ‪#‎Sunset‬ ‪#‎SonyAlpha‬
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OMG! Love it!
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Day 2 in Iceland

My second day in Iceland was filled with all sorts of new experiences even beyond those that I had on my first day. I got to experience a beautiful sunrise from within a beautiful ice cave and shoot sunset on a black sand beach riddled with giant icebergs.

In between both of these experiences, we were lucky to catch Jökulsárlón when there was minimal wind blowing. Despite the little wind, it was a bit of a challenge to get 2" exposure when the bergs themselves weren't moving. It is pretty trippy to see these gigantic pieces of ice float right on by you. Fortunately, I was able to get one sharp photo that I really like.

Fingers crossed for this evening. Forecasts are reporting crazy Level 5 Auroras for tonight. Being able to see that for the first time would really round out my stay in Iceland so far!

Camera: +Sony a7R with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
Filter: +Formatt-Hitech ProIRND 6-Stop ND Filter + 3-Stop Soft Grad ND + 105mm Firecrest CPL
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

‪#SonyAlpha ‪#Iceland‬ ‪#Winter #LongExpoure
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Locking in focus & exposure for something like that is definitely key—no waiting when the moment when it comes. I'm glad I learned how to calculate exposure years ago as it is incredibly useful.
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Settings and exceeding goal

Goals are great. They really are. Well, unless you don't have drive, ambition or motivation... then goals may be not so great. I'm sure you've read that you should always set goals that are attainable and I think that's a really wise statement. A while back, both Nicole and I set a goal for ourselves to help ensure that we're growing as people and as photographers. Our goal is quite simple really. Each year, we must both visit a new country. It doesn't matter where on the planet the country is but as soon as a new calendar year begins, the goal is reset. Last year, I was lucky enough to double my goal by visiting Germany and Japan. The year prior were Cambodia and Australia.

Tomorrow, I kick off a journey that will double my goal again by visiting both Iceland and Norway. I'm hoping to triple the goal later in the year with Croatia but those plans are still simmering in the pot. Still, it's little goals like these that I feel bring tangible and enduring results along with real satisfaction when met. It doesn't necessarily have to do with travel per se, but setting a clear path and knowing what your checkmarks are for growth can make a huge difference.
I'd be interested to know what goals you've set for yourselves as you pursue photography... or any other aspect of life.

Source with more info & links: http://brians.photos/1BlNgsX

‪#‎Goals‬, ‪#‎Iceland‬, ‪#‎Norway‬, ‪#‎Travel‬
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Красиво 😍
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Brian Matiash

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Photo Tip: Use quadrants to improve composition

When you're standing in freezing cold water that starts coming up to your lower calves, timing is a bit of a precious commodity. After the momentary rush that wakes every part of you up passes, it can get pretty uncomfortable and even dangerous to linger for too long... unless you're wearing the appropriate clothing and shoes. But, I digress (shocker). My point is that if you only have a short amount of time before your toes start to go numb, it's important to have a game plan when you approach a new composition. This brings me to today's little photo tip. I really enjoy breaking up the scene in front of me into quadrants. Typically, I'm picturing a tic tac toe board so that the scene is broken up into nine evenly distributed quadrants.

To make this process even easier, I always have a "Rule of Thirds" grid overlaid on each of my Sony camera displays. This way, when I begin figuring out how to place my camera and adjust my focal length, I can instantly see where everything falls. This photo conveys my process quite clearly. I knew that this big boulder would be my primary foreground element and I also knew that the stream was coming at me and curving to the right. To help illustrate this motion, it made sense that I "place" the boulder in the lower left quadrant and go from there. Once I had a good focal length and was satisfied with the height of my camera relative to the ground, I fine tuned the composition and fired. It's one of those practices that I've really come to abide by quite religiously and thought it'd be worth sharing with all of you.

Camera: +Sony a7II with the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4
Filter: +Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 105mm Circular Polarizer
Tripod: +Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Adobe Lightroom 5.7

Source with more info & links: http://brians.photos/1AI76hL

‪#‎Longexposure‬, ‪#‎SonyAlpha‬, ‪#‎VSCOCam‬, ‪#‎Nature‬, ‪#‎Oregon‬
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awesome
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