This article appeared in the January Issue of Up and Away Magazine It is reprinted here with permission. Click here to see the original version: Up and Away.
A creative journey that started as a visual journal of his travels has taken Matt Banahan into the creative world of Fine Art Photography. It is a journey that started with a photography class on a semester abroad in Queensland, Australia and led him to the art nurturing community in Delray Beach, Florida.
How it all Began
Coming from a family that loves travel, Matt cut his “photographic teeth” on travel images. He craves new and unique experiences, as many travelers do. This craving drives his desire to grow and experience new aspects of photography. It led him to work in fashion, surf, and lifestyle photography in Southern California.
Matt is cerebral about this work. His time in lifestyle and fashion photography allowed him to develop his style based on the inspiration of the great fashion photographers Helmet Newton and Peter Lindberg. Slower paced lifestyle and fashion photography provides a balance to the spontaneity of travel photography.
Finding the Right Camera
Starting as many photographers do with a inexpensive (in the camera world) Canon, Matt transitioned to the Sony camera when he began shooting more action/surf photography. He then transition to the German developed and manufactured, Leica Camera. Attracted to the overall design, he feels the Leica camera is “significantly unique and unmatched.”
This camera allows the photographer to shoot in full manual. Matt enjoys the fact it allow that it “forced me to slow down how I shoot and compose an image. Going from fast shooting with the Sony to the slower process of the Leica provided a new perspective for me.” He describes it as reminiscent of shooting with film but in a digital format.”
Developing His Style
Matt’s photographs have an art feel to them, developed by trial and error. Through his photo processing and camera choice, he adds a touch of blurriness and muted color to his images. Whether processing black and white or with a touch of sepia, his photographs have an “old Dutch masters” feel to them. He slightly underexposures his work which adds to his signature moodiness to his images.
Evoking emotion is a main goal for Matt when shooting and processing his work. You can feel the delight of diving into the crisp Caribbean Sea or the erotic voyeurism of catching a woman in a private moment, through his photography. He captures the everyday moments that may go unnoticed and adds a level of emotion to them through photo processing.
Capturing Everyday Moments
He looks to highlight what is unique in an everyday scene or occurrence or a random moment in a public place. His goal is to take an image of everyday life, draw the viewer in and leave something of his image etched into their brain.
Some of the lessons Matt has learned on his photographic journey is to shoot what your heart tells you, not what is fashionable or expected. Don’t worry about the rules of photography, shoot what your eye tells you is an interesting image.
For him, the hardest thing to know is when the processing is complete, and the image is ready to show. Also, how to tell an engaging story through the presentation of his photographs. Matt’s mindfulness about his work is apparent as you engage and absorb his images.
Essential Online Links For Booking Your Trip to Southeast Florida
There are 3 airports that service Southeast Florida, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach: Uber and Taxis are available. Tri Rail and Brightline trains service Fort Lauderdale and Miami Airports. Private and Multiple Passenger Transfers are available from all three airports: ☆Transportation Service Miami Hotel - Miami International Airport
Advanced Tickets for the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi.
Save on entry fees: If you plan on visiting multiple museums or attractions, it is more economical to purchase a Miami Sightseeing Pass to save money, you can buy this pass for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days.
Top-rated Southeast Florida Tours and Experiences:
☆Seven Isles of Fort Lauderdale Kayak Tour (one of my favorite Southeast Florida experience)
☆Downtown West Palm Beach Food Tour (great for foodies)
☆Wynwood Graffiti Golf Cart Small-Group Tour (perfect for art lovers)
☆Skip the Line: Flamingo Gardens Admission Ticket in Fort Lauderdale (essential to avoid lines)
☆1 Hotel South Beach (Luxury, Miami)
☆Yotel (Budget Friendly, Miami)
☆Hollywood Beachside Boutique (Budget Friendly, Fort Lauderdale)
☆The White Elephant (Luxury, Palm Beach)
☆The Canopy (Budget Friendly, West Palm Beach)
☆Crane's Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas (Amazing Tropical Vibe, Delray Beach)
My favorite Guidebook for Florida: DK Eyewitness Florida
My favorite Novel about Southeast Florida: The Last Train to Key West
Looking for more information on visiting Southeast Florida, check out these Blog Posts:
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