I can not recall who said it, or what the exact quote is, but it is something like “I photograph things to see what they look like photographed.” I quite like this approach to photography.
I take pictures of the things I want to see. That is my approach to photography boiled down to its most basic element. I pound the pavement, camera in hand, with no concept or idea of what it is I am looking for in a photograph. I just let my eyes scan over the world with all its colors, shapes, and jumble of visual information, and when something pops, something really catches my attention, I quickly determine how I can turn this detail, however small, into a photograph. As for the process of determining if a detail is worthy of being transformed into an image, it is a fast, taking about ten seconds and involving one simple question, ‘Does it work? Yes, then let’s see what we can do with it. No, then let’s move on.’
In my mind I maintain the ethos that everything has the potential to make a photograph; not that everything and anything can be made into a photograph, simply that the potential is there. It is a way of opening the entire world up to photographic potential. I have walked the same streets and alleys hundreds of times never knowing what it is I will encounter- seasons change, the sun shifts position, a building has received a recent paint job, the eye latches on to something it glossed over before- and in that way I never run out of subject matter for my camera. For me, without the camera and a photographic way of looking at the world, everything becomes very dull. Everything becomes dead matter, no more than unfeeling concrete, steel and brick. With the camera, in some small way, I am able to escape the drudgery of modern, material living and transcend into another way of seeing and being, in which the thing that is overlooked and ignored becomes a thing of some value.
About Matthew Hall
Matthew Hall lives in a quiet corner of the world known as Rhode Island, nestled between Boston and New York. He continues to work six nights a week at a dead end job that is slowly breaking his body while crushing his spirit. Regardless he continues to drag his carcass around in search of photos, meaning and a place in the world. Somehow he manages to suppress his deeply held fears of apocalyptic possibilities and impending doom. He currently spends a majority of his time lamenting his misspent youth. [Official Website]
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