About this time every year, I share my favorite photos from the previous year. Well… like most of you, I didn’t get to travel much. In fact, I don’t think I have one new landscape photo to share from 2020. I did get a lot more bird photography in, which I may share in a separate post. But I realized that posting my favorite photos from 2020 wasn’t going to cut it this year.
Instead, I’m doing something different. There’s enough bad news around so I figured, rather than add to it, I’d do something different (and mostly non-photography related) and simply share some good things that came from 2020 for me. Most of it is personal but some photography. I also hope you’ll take a moment to think about (and share) something good that happened for you in 2020 in the comments below whether it’s photo related or not.
Sidenote: We’re in some very odd times right now. I respect everyone’s choice to handle these times in the way they sit fit for themselves and their families. If you do comment below please know, this is not a place to discuss your beliefs or anyone else’s beliefs on Covid, vaccines, politics, etc… In fact, I’d love if the words “covid” and “politics” don’t even get mentioned 🙂 I monitor my comments VERY closely and often anything off topic will immediately be deleted.
First off, I consider myself one of the lucky ones when it comes to business. Years ago, after I left Kelby, I decided to concentrate my business nearly 100% online because I didn’t want to travel as much as I did in the years prior. And I stayed 100% an educator, not a photographer. So… I taught 1 or 2 workshops a year, but 95% of my income was from the online business, which (thankfully) wasn’t typically hit as hard in 2020. Total dumb luck on my part, and my heart goes out to photographers (and everyone else) who’s livelihood was (and still is) severely impacted.
Anyway, all that to say, I stayed busy. I thought I worked hard in my life before 2020, but I don’t think I ever worked as hard as I did last year, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. So here’s a quick list of good things that happened in 2020.
- I think one of the best things about 2020 is that many of us (with younger children) got to spend more time with our families. My oldest son is in his second year of college, and my youngest is a senior in High School. Anyone who’s had children knows that, at these ages, your kids are usually this shadowy figure that you barely see, as they really start developing their independence and their own lives. My oldest son is at school about 2 hours away from us, so we saw him once in a while (when he wanted laundry done) but not much. And my youngest was busy with school and sports and girls and… well you get the idea. But in March, April and May, they were both home every day, and there wasn’t much for them to do. So we got to spend a TON of time with them. We worked out in the garage together every day, watched movies, cooked, etc… We also got to take a couple of trips with them that we may not have normally had the time to do. Over the summer we went out west and I got to show them the Grand Canyon, Zion, some places in Arizona and even Vegas. And because they had an extended winter break we just got back from a ski trip to Utah. Now, my oldest is back at college and our youngest’s high school offers in person classes (and he wanted to attend), so life is mostly back to normal where we don’t see them as much anymore. But it was really good while it lasted 🙂
- Back in March, we were on a ski trip when everything closed down. I came home on a Monday and on Tuesday I had so many messages from people who were asking about tutorials, and things that they could do to stay busy during the lockdown. So I started a series of “Stuck Inside” webinars. Along the way, I got to meet a TON of great people online. As I’ve said before, I’m an educator, not a photographer. So when I get to help people, I honestly am at my happiest. And doing these webinars was a great way for me to stay busy, as well as help others stay busy too. Plus, it lead to me doing a series of webinars for Camera Clubs around the world. Again, I got to make so many new online friends and I was really able to see people improve in their photo editing skills over those months.
- Early on in the lockdowns, because we didn’t see our friends as much I developed even better relationships with some friends that I talked with on the phone. My buddy Blake Rudis (from f64academy.com fame) is some one I talked to semi-frequently before Covid. But as we were home more, and both concentrating more on our online businesses, we eventually started to talk nearly every day and we still call each other several times a week. Another friend, Brian Matiash, would speak once every couple of weeks and now we talk to each other several times a week now as well. I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to develop these relationships more with the two of them and while I always considered them great friends, we are now even closer.
- I took up stand up paddle boarding (also know as SUP). I never knew I wanted a paddle board. We have a place on the beach near Clearwater, FL. While public access to beaches was closed from March until May, private access remained open and the beach became our refuge from the monotony. Life was mostly normal there. Then one day I saw some one paddle boarding and I decided I wanted to try. Next thing you know, my wife and I were hooked and we now have 3 paddle boards and it’s one of my favorite things to do.
- Keeping with the water sports, I also got a kayak. I started to take my SUP out with my camera gear (in a dry bag) and do some bird photography. As stable as I think I am on my board, it was still a little uneasy being on the board with thousands in camera equipment. So I decided something a bit more stable would be good and I got a kayak. It really gets me in to some great spots with all of the shorebirds that frequent our area on the water and I’m able to get angles and opportunities I wouldn’t be able to get from land. And it’s a solid kayak, so I’m not afraid of it tipping or anything.
- Speaking of bird photography… since traveling was limited, I had a lot more time to work on wildlife photography. Florida is one of the best places in the world for bird photography, so I took advantage of it. The joke with my wife was “Honey… I’m taking my camera out for a walk”. Then, as I’d walk down the beach, people would stare at me with massive lens wondering what the heck I was doing. Anyway, I posted a small Flickr gallery of some of the photos in case you’re interested in looking.
- You’ll laugh at this one but it’s true. Last May we were siting on the beach with some friends of ours and one of them was talking about how much he liked Bourbon. I’ve always thought it was such a cool looking and fancy drink but it tasted like jet fuel to me at first. But I vowed I would like Bourbon by the time summer was over, so I started drinking it. I eventually started to tolerate it and now I even look forward to a nice glass of Bourbon in the evening. Yeah… like I said… I figured you’d laugh at that one. Who makes it their mission to like alcohol more right? Me I guess! 😉
- Another really cool thing that happened is my brother moved 3 miles away from me. My brother is 7 years older than I am, so we were never super close growing up due to the age difference. Then, I moved away from New Jersey to go to college in Florida. He settled in New Jersey, and then eventually moved to Boston. So we typically only saw each other once a year. But in July, he decided to leave the Northeast and move to Florida. His work had no plans of returning to normal office life, and he can travel to whatever he needs, so it was the perfect opportunity. As a result, we’ve gotten much closer and now I have some one to share a glass of bourbon with as we ponder the meaning of life 🙂
- While my online business kept me incredibly busy this year, I did have some spare time here and there so I decided to take that opportunity to start learning Spanish. I’ve always wanted to become more fluent. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but my hope is that when my next Costa Rica workshop comes up, I’ll actually be able to semi-converse with our guide in his native language.
Well, that about wraps up my “Good Things in 2020” post. I realize many people have different beliefs, life situations and restrictions and I respect everyone’s choices to do what’s right for them. My hope is that no matter what those situations are, you can think back to something good that came out of last year. As things open up and vaccines become more prevalent, I also hope you’ll take whatever that good thing(s) was and maybe even continue it going forward.
Happy New Year everyone!
PS: We’re in some very odd times right now. I respect everyone’s choice to handle these times in the way they sit fit for themselves and their families. If you do comment below please know, this is not a place to discuss your beliefs or anyone else’s beliefs on Covid, vaccines, politics, etc… In fact, I’d love if the words “covid” and “politics” don’t even get mentioned 🙂 I monitor my comments VERY closely and often anything off topic will immediately be deleted.
Along with all the previous comments, I so appreciate what you do for all of us. I love your cheery, no nonsense style of teaching, it inspires confidence.
I live in regional New South Wales, Australia. We have been incredibly fortunate throughout this whole pandemic. I am so very grateful to have been born and raised here, and feel terribly sad for others not so blessed.
I have spent a lot more time on my computer, and am now learning digital painting. As I am well on the way to reaching my use by date, it has been challenging for the wrinkly brain cell, lol.
Stay well, stay safe. I look forward to seeing more of you online.
Thanks for sharing your 2020 family story. The most wonderful takaway for me was and still, is seeing my husband every day. At first I had a serious case of the jitters – you’re gonna what? work from home?…Yikes! how can we do this? You see, his career requires a considerable amount of world travel so in normal times he would only be home a few days a month. Well I have to say it’s been really nice. After 35 years of him being ‘in the air’ it’s nice to have him on the home ground and making his awesome BBQ ribs for me.
Thanks to zoom of course, it’s a blessing to keep in touch with friends all around the country that I would have travelled to visit. New Years Day my big fat Italian family had a zoom reunion. It was hysterical – like Who’s talking? Seriously? Everyone is, get over it!
Lastly, thanks for your tutorials and videos. You have kept me inspired and I have learned so much about photoshop and lightroom than I ever thought I wanted to and it’s all because of your teaching style. So straight forward and easy for a non techie like me to follow and understand. I look forward to capturing new photos to play with soon.
So let’s raise a glass of Bourbon, for better days ahead in 2021 Cheers!
Thanks for sharing Matt! I can relate to your family part, my son is a freshmen in college so am so grateful for the extra time we had with him at home (plus he doesn’t know what he’s missing yet so he was fine as well).
Personally I had very little time this year to develop my photography skills, but you definitely kept me company as I watched many of your classes while cooking and cleaning (and hearing you say it’s not enough to watch only but to go do it! Maybe this year).
I am grateful for all the hard work you put into your classes, they are always amazing! So glad you still had the time for it this year.
Hahahaha! Matt, I can absolutely connect with you on the bourbon story! A couple of the guys in a new section of work I joined all talked about how great bourbon was. Being mainly a rum drinker, I thought I’d give it a try. Man! Horrible! Jet fuel as you say. So I thought I would try a mixed drink. Just as bad. Tried another mixed drink thinking it was the ingredients, and if I got the right mix, I would get to it. Wrong! Another jet fuel inspired drink, and I was done!
Oh, the MANY phone calls that surrounded that initial Covid bomb drop. It was critical for me in those early months to be able to talk shop with you about what directions we were going to take our businesses with the fall of the economy in the beginning. I know a lot of people weren’t as busy as us, but I think that’s because we pushed each other to get over a ton of things that were just in our heads.
It also helped to have a trusted council to vent frustrations that we were facing with the travel limitations and political “stuff” 🙂
I appreciate all of our chats and can say that 2020 was made a lot easier with your friendship… enough sappy stuff…
Let’s do another webinar crossover this year!
I laughed when I read you wanted to “like: bourbon. We just moved to KY, home of most bourbon’s and tried it for the first time straight. I actually liked it. So now I am on a quest to find the best KY brew for less than $50.00 a bottle. LOL
I have been taking your classes steadily for the past year and really feel I am finally getting Photoshop. Thanks for you hard work and keep it up! You rock!
Well, now that you can tolerate bourbon, ease into the real whiskey, Scotch. I can not have more than one alcohol drink per month, but when I do it is either a beer or a scotch and water on the rocks. All things in moderation other than photographs.
Hi Matt, nice to read your thoughts.
Here in South Africa we have been in hard lockdown since March 2020, and recovered somewhat but back on hard lockdown again. We are retired and stay in a beach village and beaches are out of bounds and travel is practically banned in all parts of the world, so as a amature travel photographers (wife artist) we are still inactive.
However thanks to YOU and others sharing your knowledge with us we will be ready to shoot again as soon as possible.
So here a shot of Bourbon and hope to be back to normal soon.
Matt … if or when you travel to Scotland … make sure you check out the various Scotch distilleries. Almost every distillery has a tour and plan ahead … many of tours are sold out weeks in advance. How to distill Scotch in Scotland and why everyone thinks their Scotch is the best is both entertaining and educational. Scotch is grain based and Bourbon is corn based (too cold in Scotland to grow corn … but they can grow grain) … therefore scotch and bourbon whiskies are quite different. Also, the location of the Scotch distillery and the peat that is used to dry the grain … makes every Scotch taste a little different.
And Thank You … for all your efforts in 2020. I took your “This is the year to learn Photoshop” challenge and would consider myself an intermediate now. At least, I am not afraid to open an image in Ps … and have a basic understanding of how to edit and enhance a photo.
As a side note … my sister is 7 years younger and in 2020 we spent much more time walking and talking … and catching up … a very positive benefit of 2020.
Welcome to 2021, Matt. I enjoyed reading your review of the good things about 2020 – and am amazed at the quantity and variety of activities that you pulled off. Thanks for sharing some personal tidbits also. One of the valuable things about 2020 in my mind is that we’ve become more human to many of our professional colleagues and acquaintances. When you see someone “broadcasting” in casual clothes from their kitchen or den with dogs, cats, children, & spouses occasionally appearing, a wall breaks down. In my quest to stuff as much learning into this aging brain as I could, I’ve spent a lot of time on Zoom and similar platforms and feel like I’ve made some new “friends”.
Your “Stuck Inside” series was awesome and the presentation to “my” photography group was wildly popular. Quite a few of us have been upping our texture game as a result. The video that you and Blake did together was so much fun.
Because I didn’t get much opportunity to do shoots outside, I decided to set up a barebones studio in the house. There is no separate room for something like this so I took over the dining room until that was about to cause domestic stress. No portrait work, but macro work with flowers, water drops, reflections; then flat lays (fresh flowers, dried flowers) on a light box with DIY reflecting boxes; a new work area (with room for “stuff” above & below) on wheels so the dining room can be returned to daily use. My personal photographic treat of the year was a last-minute trip to Alaska in July to photograph bears with spring cubs. Perfect shooting for 7 days – refreshed, rejuvenated, and grateful for the opportunity.
Thank you for being such a big part of my year. My MattK courses are always handy for reference and new learning because I appreciate your style of teaching.
Please watch out for alligators and huge snakes!
Thanks for the pen picture of the Kloskowski family. It is good to see you as a three dimensional educator/mentor. In Australia we had more freedom that you stateside folks had during the worst of Covid, although state borders were on and off closed at times.
I’ve been a keen customer since your Kelby days, liking your infectious enthusiasm and the pace of your teaching videos. Couple of things I’m keen to learn: making a collage in PS and applying a frame to an image. Shall I find these lessons somewhere in your Photoshop lesson package that I already have?
How awesome and refreshing. I appreciated getting to know more about you. I also truly appreciate the reminder about staying focused on what you want to do in your statement about being an educator, not a photographer. I’m at a point in my life where that’s very pertinent right now. May everyone stay positive!!
:)) Comment No 7 I love this. No couldn’t stop laughing.
Years ago mine was whisky, yuk! but as each day went by, then the introduction of other distilleries whisky & after a visit to one in Scotland, I sampled the taste of a slightly lighter version….that was it, hooked. So a dram a day keeps everything at bay. Unfortunately, the motivation for photography has waned this last year (but have a plan to motivate myself), but the interest in whisky has stuck :))
Thank you for all the class, webinars etc, love your style of teaching & highly recommend you & your website+ to others.
How refreshing to read a blog post about POSITIVE things from 2020! I think Matt’s upbeat attitude toward life is one of the things that draw us to him. I LOVED the “Stuck Inside” series, so enjoyed the Camera Club webinar, had fun learning how to play around with textures, and now I’m just finishing up the Composition course. All fantastic and gave me a reason to get my camera out even though it didn’t seem like there was anything to photograph. Thank you Matt for your smile and encouragement and for making us believe we can become great photographers! You have a God-given gift…thank you for sharing it with all of us!
I’m not sure why you say you are not a photographer but an educator. Personally I think you are both.
So what am I grateful for from 2020? Living in New Zealand where after our lockdown in March and a couple extra in April we live a totally normal life except we keep an extra pack of toilet paper hidden away just in case someone decides we have to go into lockdown again!!
I am grateful although nearly 65 that I am busier than ever and have my health to maintain my canine hydrotherapy business. Finding time to complete all your wonderful on line courses is my 2021 problem.
I loved the texture blending course and managed to do two that were good enough to print and hang on our wall. I have to confess though that I am totally stuck with the ‘painting with light’ I can never get anything to work like you seem to.
I really must get back to finish the Lightroom course and start the Photoshop one, but the Inside Composition has got me hooked to try and find some landscapes to shoot.
Yes I can hear it now, ‘but you live in New Zealand with wonderful scenery’ But not here where we live. I can’t wait to retire so I have more time to study and get out with my camera.
Thank you for your very understandable courses, I’d buy them all if I had the time to watch them. Keep up the great work
Thanks Jane. I guess I should say I’m not a professional photographer. I don’t sell my work or do any client work. So technically I’m not making money from my photos which (to me at least) is part of the definition of a professional photographer 🙂
It made me happy to read about your 2020 year. I’m grateful that you decided to let us see a different side of you. I have followed you starting with your Kelby days, and always enjoy your videos. Your presentation style is outstanding. I bought the PS for photographers course, and that has really helped me get comfortable with PS (I have been a LR user since the program first came out).
Matt, it sounds like you’ve had a very interesting career, and I’m sure I can speak for everyone here reading these comments that you are clearly one of the most devoted teachers of photography and Photoshop ever. I, for one, appreciate how much I have learned from you and your courses.
Gracias por todo … . 🙂 Every one of your courses are fabulous! And I want you to know that your instructions are valued, as well as, your ‘teaching-voice’ !! The Luminosity Masking and Texture Blending (that I got from the PS Virtual Summit) is a super bonus. But every MattK course is the best when you need to learn.
This past year created an opportunity for me to deconstruct much to do with technique and workflow, in ACR and Photoshop, based on a ton of purchased educational content. You won’t believe how much I am able to do, now, in less time than ever – compared to a year ago. Honestly, Matt, your courses really helped immensely, with the whole process.
2020, as a year, was a great education on the skills of observation (which can apply to photography). We now know the precise habits and vocalizations of specific birds that hang around our place, including the distinctive markings of individuals. Also witnessed the neighbourhood-BlueJay with a ‘fake’ a hawk’s call to scare off other birds from his hoarding of a bird-feeder! Flocks of every species took off in panic. Would love to get that on camera or video! … Maybe this year, …
Keep up the great work, … but, uh, … maybe take it easy with the bourbon, … .
It sounds like you had a great 2020! Thank you for all the Stuck Inside webinars. They helped keep me sane for a while. I had to laugh at your Bourbon story. I tired the same thing with Scotch several years ago. I am from a Scottish family and was planning a trip to the homeland, so I needed to learn to like Scotch! Thanks for all your great videos (both paid and free). You are a great teacher, and I love your courses.
I’ve been a follower for years. Thanks for such a positive and upbeat 2020 synopsis. Love hearing about your family.
Appreciate all the free mini classes you prepare for us and your products are great. You’re easy to understand and I always learn something new when I listen to your classes. (And I have been using PS for a very long time)
Just bought your Composition Course and can’t wait to get started!
What an interesting account of 2020 and how you fared it. It’s refreshing to read something positive. Thank you for sharing yourself in this manner. The year, for me, was one of reflection. Retired, it afforded me more time to spend with my wife, who has been working at home since March. We’ve grown closer as a result. As I’m a person of many hobbies and avocations, and one who has always tried to find the upside in any situation, the switch from “normal” to sequestered was, in most ways, not that challenging. I own several of your courses but, being an adept procrastinator, I confess I haven’t given them the time they deserve. Reading the comments following your article may be just the push I need to jump in and see if I can decode some of Photoshop and Lightroom’s more vexing capabilities. One other thing: Your newfound interest in kayaking as an adjunct to photography intrigued me. Might I ask if you have any recommendations on kayaks stable enough to venture out in with expensive camera gear in tow? (With a dry bag, of course).
Hi Tim. I use the Bonafide RS117. Love it!
Hi, I use a Wilderness Tsunami kayak and photograph from it regularly. I love it and I love getting at a low angle to the birds.
Matt, it’s scary up here in Canada too but as long as we’re thoughtful of each other we get by.
My go-to courses are the Mattk courses. I loved the texture course and have to be careful not to use it on every flipping image! I’m practicing the composition lessons now. Wow! Thanks and keep them coming.
Hi, Matt. I enjoyed reading about your family. I first saw you many years ago at a Photoshop World, then became reacquainted with your teaching when you did a webinar for one of my photography clubs in Atlanta. I was sad not to travel this year but my yard is quite happy that I spent so much time thinning out the irises and daylilies and planting ground cover. I enjoy your enthusiasm and teaching style.
I just wanted to take this moment to say Thank You to you for being so generous in the past year and sharing all the free webinars. It was a wonderful escape to another world filled with beauty and imagination and creativity.
I am grateful for the opportunity to use this past year to spend time watching all my favorite photographers, learning how to create images in a new, more creative manner.
The best thing that happened for me in 2020 was signing up for your Composition and Photoshop online courses. I look forward to my daily lessons, then go out with my camera to practice. I had taken the same walk through the woods near my house at least 30 times – after your first composition exercise, I noticed shadows and lines I had never seen which resulted in beautiful pictures. Thanks to you, I have become a better photographer.
I too took advantage of the free online classes this season and bought some more as well! Your gratitude says so much, and thank you for sharing your summary of 2020. We all have things to be thankful for and hopefully we have learned something from this experience to move forward and upward. That attitude of contentment and gratitude was so important this year. Truly, there were a lot of gifts and miracles that we could all see if we were looking. God bless you and your family and ” Thank you.”
Giving up an up close and personal look at you makes your photography even more understandable. Thanks.
Thanks a million for all you do. I have taken almost of your courses. I am on the Composition one now. It is great. I too have had to ask a question WHY when go with other photographers to certain locations. However, I make the best of it. It is just great to be out with them.
Matt, on behalf of many of the members of The Woodlands Camera Club (north of Houston) thank you for all you do for your community of photographers, especially during 2020. Several of us attended a live workshop in Houston when you were with Kelby and were “hooked.” Keep it up!
We redid the flower beds all around the house and created an extra huge hummingbird and butterfly garden a little further out in the yard. All the flowers in the yard are now bird friendly. Feeders are multiple places. Many more birds have now found our yard. Everyday I have many willing subjects to photograph. It’s been so much fun outside with the birds that I’ve had trouble the past couple of months remembering to come in and work on the awesome photography courses I’ve purchased. I have learned many new things in the courses that I’ve been able to use to edit my photos. Thanks Matt!
Matt, I love everything you do. I appreciate all the freebees you give us! I’m a digital scrapper and life took me away from it for a time. I find I am having to relearn Photoshop since there were so many changes while I was away! Your videos help so much!!! Thanks a bunch!!!
nice to read your thoughts, looks like you have right things going on.
As for me, no travels, so I have tried to learn more PS, and I’m starting to understand some of it, partially thanks to your course.
When it comes to bourbon, you are in a danger zone. I mean bourbon is fine, some of it, very fine but when you take a leap to Scotland, you’re close to heaven. You can start with lowlands or highlands, carefully since they are so different from bourbon. And then, when you reach Islay, you’re there. So, where? You know it when you get there. Just don’t rush, enjoy the journey. I can show you the bottle but I can’t open it, if you get my drift.
My thoughts exactly Lauri! Have you ever tried Caol Ila? My absolute favourite!
I am trying to buy your PhotoShop course and get an error message at checkout: Payment error: There was a problem processing payment. I have checked with Bank of America and there is no problem at their end. They say you site is having a problem with my address (whatever that means). I have checked my physical address as well as my internet address on your site, and they are all correct. Help! I would really like to purchase your course.
As one half of a retired couple with a husband who is at higher risk, we didn’t get to go out much at all last year but we did manage a winter break to Liverpool and Northern Ireland before the world went mad, where I did get to see one of my bucket list places, the Giants Causeway in County Antrim. We were able to enjoy the rest of the great summer weather at home but my heart goes out to all those who have lost their livelihoods and those who have lost loved ones. If I learnt one thing last year, it’s to be grateful for what you have and live every day as if it’s your last. Your courses were a lifesaver too Matt, loads more time to learn and practice even if photography itself took a back seat. I’m working through the Composition course now and looking forward to some better weather to get out and do my homework. Best wishes to you and your family and keep up the great work.
I enjoyed this post!
What kayak did you get? I’ve been thinking of getting one myself. The ones made for fishing seem pretty good for photography too.
Hey David. I got a Bonafide RS117. Love it!!! So stable and easy to maneuver. Hope all is well!
Hi Matt, you are so well situated to use that Kayak to the max. I have gone on a 6 day Kayaking trip in the Everglades with camera. A life time experience I will never forget. You will see photo ops that will amaze you. So, my input is use that Kayak in different areas (Florida has amazing waterways) and you will be overwhelmed!!
Take Care and Paddle some more!!!! Dale. (no everglades here in AZ ;-))
Hi, a kayak comment. My hubbby and I have owned Hobie pedal style ones. You have the choice to paddle or pedal, so you can move and be ready to shoot at the same time. Or my fisherman husband trolls while he pedals, holds 1 fishing pole, trolling with the 2nd off the back. The negative is weight, 60 lbs. of fiberglass. But very stable, lower compartments store extra gear.
And Matt, thank you for all the training, and your enjoyable, relaxed style of teaching.
Thank you for the thoughtful post.
As a retired educator, I appreciate you dedication to helping people improve.
And your Stuck Inside series and your other courses help to remind me to enjoy
the process and not get stuck (too much) on the technical side of things.
I am hoping that in the future, I will get to participate in one of your workshops.
Hey Matt, loved your video tutorial on resizing images in Photoshop. In your blog you talked about acquiring a taste for bourbon. Which bourbons do you like. Being Ky born and raised I am quite partial to the bourbon’s distilled here in Ky. Let’s compare notes. What are you drinking?
Hey Steve. I like Horse Soldier (made near me in St Petersburg), Angels Envy, Buffalo Trace, Basil Hayden but my favorite so far is Woodford Double Oaked. I got a bottle at Costco and it was even expensive there ($60 for a 1L). But man… it’s smoother than anything I’ve had before. Thanks!
Like many others, I’ve used this year to improve my photoshop skills and have found you and your website and courses invaluable – particularly enjoyed “No Light? No Problem” although I’ve guzzled a lot more! Now this Bourbon thing … really Matt, as a Scot, I heartily recommend you move your addiction on to single malt (splash of water, NO ice) it’s the only way forward!
Thanks for all you’ve done for your community on-line this year – although I’m far away, I feel I know you and lots of others now!
Thanks for the post Matt. Oddly enough, I found 2020 to be a surprisingly good year photographically – I got a state parking pass and was out nearly every weekend in the summer and fall. I also formed a (socially distant) hiking group with friends, and got to see some new places thanks to that as well, which I could then return to with the camera. Both the parking pass and the hiking group will continue on, even after the world starts returning to normal.
What kind of bourbon are you liking? If I might make a recommendation, Elijah Craig (especially the Barrel Proof) is a delicious pour. Or if you prefer a little smoother, Makers Mark 46 is also quite tasty. There’s also a whole world out there – Japanese whiskeys are wonderful and can be fun to search out.
I laughed out loud when I read about your goal of learning to like bourbon. I can only tolerate it in “Bourbon Balls” confections at Christmas. Like many, I took very few photographs last year (I had hand surgery and couldn’t even hold my camera for the first 7 months.) I started using my extra time to learn to use my editing programs and have had fun going through old photographs that weren’t really great and seeing what I could do with them using editing and some of your filters. I just got your composition class and am looking forward to improving my skills so that when I finally do get to travel again, hopefully my photography skills will have improved!
Our lives took a sharp right turn in 2020. In June of 2019 we had decided that we would retire in June of 2020 (after all we are in our mid 70’s so its about time) and do some extended traveling in the US. In Feb I turned in my resignation (giving the company 6 mos to find someone to replace me) and my husband was making preparations with his assistant so that he could leave. By June it was apparent that we probably would not travel. Instead we stayed home, learned to love our courtyard (about the size of a football field and full of wildlife right at our fingertips!). We began a ritual of taking a bottle of wine and cameras down to our lagoon where all the herons, duck, gulls, doves, turtles, etc were. Great fun! We have slowed down and now enjoy the little things in life, like flowers, trees, the clouds, the moon etc. He walks every day and I swim, its pretty hard to imagine a better life.
Thank you Matt. I also feel bad about all of the people hit with this illness and suffering finacially. We also have had some positive things in this pandemic. We have been able to spend time with our children and I have been finding so many things to shoot in our backyard….seriously. I also have been learning Spanish. There is a very good program called Lingoda that you may like. I have also been enjoying your tutorials. Great job.
Hello, Matt – Loved your post. It’s nice to get to know you as a person, not just an educator. I am a great admirer of yours and of Blake’s. You both have taught me so much, and I refer the both of you often to other photographers. Speaking of bourbon, have you tried St. Augustine Distillery’s bourbon’s? They are awesome and do not taste like jet fuel. Easy and smooth going down. Should be reasonably accessible to you, since – well – St. Augustine is in Florida after all.
Like you I have not done much photography this year. My focus had been on dog action, particularly Schutzhund (IPO/IPG). We’ve gotten away from the sport, so doing more with flowers and digital painting. It’s been a good time to learn and practice. Check out my website at bjspanos.com, when you have a moment.
Looking forward to seeing you online. If you’re ever in the Atlanta area (particularly the south side), let me know. We’ll share a glass of bourbon! All the best in 2021!
Thanks BJ. I haven’t had it but heard great things about it. I actually saw a bottle at the local liquor store so I may need to pick one up 🙂
“Went to the Grand Canyon and Zion”
“Not one new landscape photo to share”
I can’t be the only one wondering how both of these can be true!
Hi Lorraine – I’ve been to those places many times and this trip was for family. I wanted to relax, not wake up early for sunrise, or miss dinner with the family because I was out shooting sunset. So, while I did bring my smaller crop frame camera, I barely took it out. We did most of our site seeing during the day, and at that point my iPhone is good enough for those mid-day photos. Plus, I didn’t go any place new, and I already had photos of every place we were at – and none of the conditions were good enough to warrant taking another photo of it 🙂
So curious what your “smaller crop frame camera” is?
My husband and I converted to the Sony mirrorless alpha series (from Nikon and Canon) – so much better on family trips!
Hi Lisa. It’s a Sony a6600 with a 75-350 lens on it.
I am glad to hear that you and your family are doing well.
Many of us have a lot to be grateful for during these tough times. My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered physically, emotionally or financially from the result of the pandemic.
Having said that, I have been fortunate enough to have hobbies and interests that keep me busy. Photography is one of them and while staying home, I am able to work on a backlog of post processing projects.
I don’t want to embarrass Matt, but… I am thankful for Matt’s courses because they offered a way for me to learn, extend and otherwise develop my photography skills remotely. The Inside the Composition course has been an “eye opener” (is that a pun?)for me. If you haven’t tried on of Matt’s courses, I recommend them!
Thanks for the great recommendation and I’m glad you like it. I’ve gotten a TON of really nice feedback on that one.