Matt’s Story

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me cropped JW

My interest in photography started with a Christmas present in 1963, a Kodak Instamatic 100. What thrill for a nine-year-old. Looking back at those blurry and erratically exposed photographs I still feel the excitement of using it and I still have the camera. My real aha moment was in the 6th grade. My teacher brought in an inexpensive plastic darkroom kit one day for a class project. We spent the whole day taking photographs and developing them; I still have that first photograph I ever printed.

As my interest grew the collection of cameras and darkroom equipment grew. I became involved in my high school yearbook and helped design the yearbook department’s first darkroom.  After attending a small college with a good photography program I started my career in the 70s. I nearly stopped taking photographs in the late 90s. After years of lab and freelance work, teaching photography, along with the necessary long hours I didn’t really want to work during my free time. I mothballed the darkroom and film equipment. Just after the turn of the century, I started a job as a children’s portrait photographer using a digital camera. I was surprised I could produce a higher quality enlargement with digital equipment than a 35mm camera. This reinvigorated my photography.

What a change I have seen in my 50 year span in photography. I used cameras that require huge sheets of film all the way down to 35 mm and then saw the death of the film camera for all practical purposes.* A few years ago health issues stopped all of my creative work, I was under the cloud of chemotherapy, the creative part of my brain shut down, it was months after the cessation of treatments before it returned. When it did, fortunately it was strong, one reason is due to a different outlook I have on life now. The last year has seen a few radiation treatments which sap some energy, but doesn’t cloud my mind and are to keep things in check. Things are moving ahead in a positive way.

I love combining my lifelong loves of photography and the outdoors. I have always been active outdoors camping, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and more. At this stage of life I find hiking with the camera and my dogs are entirely satisfying.  I hope to continue traveling and sharing Jackson’s and my experiences with old and new friends.

Matt

PS Dogs have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and you may have noticed I haven’t said much about Jackson, well I’ll let him speak for himself. Read his introduction written in his own words.

* The film camera is not dead, there is still a strong group of photographers that use film, but in the marketplace film is dead for the time being.