Matt Stewart fine art landscape photographer
I began taking photos when I was 15-years-old, borrowing my mum’s 35mm Ricoh to take black and white portraits of my friends at high school.
Although I’ve spent my professional career travelling the world as a Cinematographer, my true passion and creative outlet has always been landscape photography. This is where you’ll find me on my days off, at dawn or dusk, with my tripod and my camera – often pointed somewhere near the ocean – and usually my wife and kids won’t be too far away either.
I distinctly remember the moment that ignited my passion for photography. I was 17-years-old, standing in the tea room at Channel Nine in Perth (where I worked as a cameraman), when I saw a Nick Djordjevic photograph in the West Australian newspaper of an electrical storm off a Perth beach. It was the first photograph I’d seen of its kind and it was amazing – a long exposure on transparency film that captured Mother Nature’s powerful movement in a single frame. This image really opened my eyes to what I could achieve using just my camera, and well beyond what I had been taught at university.
I choose to shoot exclusively on transparency film with a Fuiji G617, GX617 and GX680, in natural light. This is a craft that requires great technical skill and an intimate understanding of how to read light and knowledge of my filmstock. There’s a lot more involved – and at stake – here than shooting on a digital camera, but that’s what I love about it. The honing of a craft, the unpredictability of Mother Nature and the jeopardy – you never know if a shot has turned out until your film gets processed.
The very sensitive nature of my chosen medium also requires great patience – to achieve a beautiful image, the light has to be perfectly balanced and so I repeatedly return to locations until I’m satisfied that I’ve captured the image in the best possible light and weather.
Film does some pretty interesting things, and the vibrant colours you see in these images are the result of the transparency filmstock reacting to long exposures at certain times of day.
There’s no retouching, digital enhancement or multiple image capture in my work – this is all very clever stuff, but really, it’s cheating. In a saturated market of over-manipulated photography, this is what I am proud to say makes my work unique. I have the utmost respect for digital editors, but once an image has been doctored, it’s no longer pure photography.
Thanks for taking the time to walk through my gallery.
If you have any questions, send me an email, I’d love to hear from you.