DPP Home Profiles Matthew Jordan Smith - Beauty & Light

Friday, June 1, 2007

Matthew Jordan Smith - Beauty & Light

Matthew Jordan Smith takes inspiration from a wide range of visual sources and creates lasting images that define beauty.

It follows then that a look at Smith's work transports the viewer to another place in time. His love of exotic places plays into all of his imagery, and the romantic in him betrays itself in his technical work as well. Although much of his photography has made the transition to digital, especially in his advertising work, Smith remains a devotee of film.

"People ask me about film versus digital all the time," says Smith. "I'm a film guy. It's not for the quality of the picture, but more for the process. I like working with something, having a photograph in my hand, holding rolls of film." Smith laughs as he admits, "I'm probably the only one out here who shoots film anymore!"

He adds, "I know the world is more digital than before. I love it and I hate it. I love working in the darkrooms and in the processing labs. It's where photographers come together and talk about ideas and about what they do and do not like. You talk about what you love with your peers."

"I'd always fight with my sisters to use the bathroom," recalls Smith. "I'd yell, 'Two more minutes! Two more minutes!'"

Although he's reluctant to make the complete transition, Smith understands the need for digital. While on a recent trip to Nepal, Smith shot 180 rolls of film.

Anyone who has ever traveled with rolls of film knows what a hassle it can be to transport across the globe. And in a world where film is being taken over by portable, compact digital cameras, it was no easy task. Back in the U.S., it took nearly a year for all the rolls of film to be processed, scanned and stored in Smith's computer. He freely acknowledges that he won't be traveling with film again.

As for all photographers with advertising clients, Smith is doing many more jobs in digital. "I'm using the Canon EOS-1D Mark II because it's fast," he says. "For me, it's like film! You can create an atmosphere, and in a moment, it's immediately captured! It can take something to get the subject in the mood and you need to be able to take the pictures right away."


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