Photography is an important element of Matthew King’s life.
Matthew started using cameras early, started darkroom work at age eleven and for several years after mixed personal and work photography. He also worked at various photography related jobs for several years.
After deciding to pursue a non-photographic career, Matthew has continued to enjoy and use his cameras and darkroom equipment, while expanding and refining his photographic vision.
Matthew’s photography is almost entirely film based. In particular, he is inspired by the potential of the chemical based world of the photographic darkroom – primarily with black and white film and light sensitive, black and white photographic paper.
Recently, Matthew has been exploring the subtle and powerful tools for modifying the tone and colour of black and white photographic prints. He has also enjoyed revisiting simplicity – the creative (and playful) opportunities of pinhole and other very simple film cameras.
Wooded Outlook – Artist’s Statement
I have the great good fortune of living near several urban forests and find myself returning again and again to them. They provide both joy and reason for contemplation, along with never-ending ending inspiration toward my goal of capturing and presenting photographically at least some of their essence.
One of the fascinations of urban forests is their ability to co-exist with so many people nearby. As I enter the wooded areas, there are both obvious and subtle signs that many people experience them, but somehow those signs never seem to truly distract from the forests themselves
Forests can be challenging to photograph – the contrasts between light and dark can be extreme, the light can be quite dim, and colours can be both muted and skewed toward a particular hue.
I choose to work with black and white film and light sensitive photographic paper (sometimes now referred to as “Silver Gelatin” paper) because these are the media with which I am most comfortable communicating. I love their technical flexibility and their capacity to communicate in the abstract, while still fairly representing the literal.
The photographs in this exhibit are chosen to highlight the interplay of the natural elements of the forest with the results of human use of the forest. They combine the elements of the original scenes – the textures, the variation of light, and interplay of highlight, shadow and darkness – and my application of photographic and darkroom printing techniques, including careful choice of image tone and colour, in order to communicate mood and strength and power.
The prints are made from my own camera-exposed black and white film negatives. They are individually printed by me optically, by hand, on light sensitive photographic paper. I have chemically toned them for both enhancement of image colour and longevity, and reversibly mounted them on high quality mat board, for protection and quality of display purposes.
Individual handmade, matted prints of these photographs are available for sale.
Water’s Edge – Artist’s Statement
Throughout my life, I’ve been drawn to the edge of the water.
As a photographer, I am fascinated by the sounds, smells, shapes, and tones and colours I encounter at the edge, and the vistas that present themselves.
In particular, I like how water and light combine near the water’s edge. But I am also intrigued how water and shadow can also interplay, particularly just off the edge.
Water can be challenging to do justice to in a photograph – the subtle effects of tones and reflections need to be carefully presented in order to be faithfully shown, and the details just off the water are sometimes difficult to reveal in a print.
I chose black and white film and photographic paper to create these photographic prints. This is a medium which I am both experienced in and which I enjoy using to communicate with. This medium offers technical flexibility as well as a powerful capacity to communicate in the abstract, while still fairly representing the literal.
The photographs in this exhibit use tones and subtle details to hint at the tremendous variety that can be found at the water’s edge. They use variation of light to give a sense of the environment’s range. They use highlight and shadow to communicate mood, strength, power, and mystery.
The prints themselves originated from my own black and white film negatives. They are individually printed optically, by hand, on light sensitive photographic paper – sometimes now referred to as “Silver Gelatin” paper. In some cases, the prints were then toned for both enhancement of image colour and enhanced longevity. They have been reversibly mounted on high quality mat board for protection and quality of display purposes.