Matkov portret

Most of my assumptions about photography turned out to be wrong. In the beginning, there were shots that I thought were cool, artistic, edgy. Only months later, after reading a few books and learning a couple of new tricks, I realized they were actually mediocre crap.

The speed at which my taste for my own work has changed astounded me. And while it's frustrating to evolve so rapidly, I believe my self-searching and self-criticism have contributed to better photography. Eventually, this frenzied pace slowed down and now I am confident in most of my work months and years down the line.

I have become a problem solver, a guy who tries to take gutsy, let's-go-bigger-this-time shots with meager assets. My experience working for newspapers gave me a crash course in that — making something big out of nothing. And although I have cursed my editors a thousand times for asking seemingly impossible things of me, I realize I should be thankful instead.

By demanding grandeur, my editors taught me the value of simplicity. And the ultimate success: satisfying both of these requirements in the same assignment. I enjoy the duality of this challenge. When photography is done well, a photo can stand alone without much extra.

A well-done black and white shot never fails to make my heart beat faster. Whenever you see a perforation or black frame around my photo, you are looking at the original frame on the film. I try to keep myself from violating it with post-processing as much as I can. I feel I owe it to the integrity of the shot, to the time before cropping and liquifying, and somehow, I imagine it's just the decent way to treat the medium of photography in a time when so few care about it's origins and history.

Can you imagine what Atget would think of how we rape photography? I cringe at the thought.


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