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Matthew Portch
Matthew Portch
Matthew Portch

Matthew Portch

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1970

I was born and raised in Bristol, England through the '70s and '80s in a typical suburb.
As a child, television and movies were my favourite distraction, especially anything from the United States. The backdrop of the North American scenery felt like an exotic antidote to the humdrum of the English city suburbs and countryside.
I was a keen illustrator spending hours pouring over the minutia of the subject matter. I wanted my drawings to feel as close to reality as possible. This work saw me enrolled in college at a young age where I studied Photography and Graphic Design.
Drawing on my childhood memories, the visuals of the American landscape remained a major influence on my photography. I became inspired by North American photographers of the '60s and '70s who were prevalent in using large format film. This laborious system of capture enhanced these seemingly ordinary looking street scenes and vistas with fastidious detail.
I discovered a more modern process in the form of a technical camera, digital back, and precision optics, then proceeded to cast my own journey.
I like my pictures to be aesthetically simple, clean and graphic, which resonates with my background in design. I prefer the images to retain an air of perplexity, so keeping them free of people and any notable present-day object helps suspend them in a moment in time.
As with most large format photography techniques, when I photograph a scene I capture everything across the frame in complete focus. This can lend a heightened sense of reality. Given each picture is deliberately simple and mundane – the detail of the capture is just as important as the subject matter and becomes a character of the image in itself.
I use the full size of the sensor and prefer not to crop. Restricting myself to this discipline is almost a digital reverence to large format film.
My creative vision is to capture a calm and melancholic disposition in the landscape and create a scene of discernible simplicity to evoke an emotional and response from within.

About Lost America

Lost America examines a quiet stillness in a forgotten landscape that is, in a sense: 'on-pause'.
Backwater towns and rural corners are juxtaposed with the ambiguity of detached suburbia. Places appear frozen in time, their inhabitants absent or long since departed.
Ardently stagnant in their appearance, the images aim to unlock a moment of reflective contemplation and instil a melancholic feeling of familiarity.
One might not notice or acknowledge these spaces, especially when viewed within the vast stretch of America's panorama. Yet, when framed as a single vignette, the places can appear to echo a moment of mournful reverie. Or, for some, they might behold an alluringly sombre, everlasting impression.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Masao Yamamoto
Masao Yamamoto was born in 1957 in Gamagori City, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. Although originally trained as a painter, he is one of the best known Japanese photographers working today. Yamamoto’s images are like fragments from a puzzle that capture an allusive, ineffable moment. He has produced several limited edition series of mixed media photographs, including Box of Ku, Nakazora, Kawa=Flow and most recently, Shizuku=Cleanse. He has published several books among them: A box of Ku, (Nazraeli Press, 1998); Nakazora (Nazraeli, 2001); The Path of Green Leaves (Nazraeli, 2002); Omizuao (Nazraeli, 2003); Santoka (Harunatsuakifuyu Sousho, Japan,2003); é (2005); Fujisan (Nazraeli, 2008); Yamamoto Masao, (Galerie Albert Baumgarten, Germany, 2009); Yamamoto, Masao (21st Editions, 2011);and Where we met: Yamamoto, Masao and Arpaïs du Bois (Lanoo Publishers, Belgium, 2011). Masao Yamamoto’s work has been exhibited all over the world, and his photographs are in many public and private collections including: the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the International Center for Creative Photography; the Center for Creative Photography; the Santa Barbara Art Museum; the Victoria & Albert Museum; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie; and the Sir Elton John Collection. Source: Etherton Gallery Masao Yamamoto (born 1957 in Gamagori City in Aichi Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese freelance photographer known for his small photographs, which seek to individualize the photographic prints as objects. Yamamoto began his art studies as a painter, studying oil painting under Goro Saito in his native city. He presently uses photography to capture images evoking memories. He blurs the border between painting and photography however, by experimenting with his printing surfaces. He dyes, tones (with tea), paints on, and tears his photographs. His subjects include still-lives, nudes, and landscapes. He also makes installation art with his small photographs to show how each print is part of a larger reality. Source: Wikipedia Masao Yamamoto's photography is known for evoking emotional power in the form of small-scale photographs. Photographer Masao Yamamoto (1957-present) was born in Aichi Prefecture in Japan. Originally interested in pursuing painting, studying oil painting specifically under Goro Saito. Though Masao Yamamoto eventually transitioned into photography in 1993, his painting background is apparent in his works’ painterly look, incorporating blurs and experimenting with printing surfaces; with many Masao Yamamoto photographs, he manipulated the silver gelatin prints through analogue, which means such as painting the images with tea or actual paint and tearing them. Subjects vary wildly, ranging from Japanese countryside to nude female bodies. Many liken Yamamoto’s art to haikus, considering his mastery of brevity and focus on everyday details. Yamamoto's photography and prints are on permanent display at museums like the J.P. Morgan Chase Art Collection as well as many other private, corporate and public collections. Masao Yamamoto's photography style is a study in tactile experience, encouraging viewer engagement through nuanced layers and unique museum and gallery installations. His extremely detail-oriented approach creates an intricate, ephemeral feel; each photograph is an isolated section of a larger series, like A Box of Ku, which featured handheld-sized images. Most of his series work is unframed and artificially aged to mimic a tangibility, further lending to the accessibility. Masao Yamamoto has published many monographs, including Tori (Radius Books, 2016), Poems of Santoka (Galerie Vevais, 2016), Small things in silence, (Editorial RM, 2014), KAWA=Flow (Kochuten Books, 2011), YAMAMOTO MASAO (21st Editions, 2011), Fujisan (Nazraeli Press, 2008), é (Nazraeli Press, 2005), Omizuao (Nazraeli Press, 2003), Santoka (Harunatsuakifuyu Sousho, Japan, 2003), The Path of Green Leaves (Nazraeli Press, 2002) and A Box of Ku (Nazraeli Press, 1998). Masao Yamamoto's photography and prints are on display in museums and galleries across the United States, Japan, Europe, Russia and Brazil. His work is included in permanent collections like International Center of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Sir Elton John Collection. Masao Yamamoto has also had photographs hung at Jackson Fine Art, including solo shows Nakazora (2003) and A Box of Ku (1999) and group show Contemporary Japanese Photography. Source: Jackson Fine Art
Bernard Benavides
Bernard Benavides (Barcelona, 1980), photographer, licensed by the Gris Art School Barcelona, in 2011, has developed his professional and artistic career through his passion for travel and photography. Always interested in the remote cultures of distant countries, with which he establishes a personal and close link to meet in person, to experience the day to day of the ethnic group, its culture, its rituals and its particular landscapes and lost paradises. This has marked the pulse of his travels and allowed him to perceive each face and each landscape uniquely. He is an avid traveler who takes the opportunity to escape and travel the world with his camera and backpack. He likes the most complicated challenges and trips. Since different events occur in the interests of today's world, his preference is always social photography. He believes that it is not the experience itself, but the meaning that he gives to the experience. His professional and artistic career began at the age of thirteen. Having personally experienced the Civil War of El Salvador for three years, it marked the rest of his life and had an important influence on the decision to direct his career to photojournalism. In 2011, due to personal and professional stability gained from the cultural exchanges experienced in his previous trips, as well as for the discovery of new places such as Kano, Nigeria, he adopted a different and more critical outlook when discovering and documenting the ethnic political conflict between Christians and Muslims. Nigeria was a country where he developed a high degree of personal and professional learning. His long trips through Central Asia, South East Asia, America, Australia, and currently a two-year trip through Africa, have led him to enjoy and document with his lens, the native peoples and especially the fascination of living with tribes.
Joseph Koudelka
Czech Republic
1938
Josef Koudelka was born in 1938 in Boskovice, Moravia. He began photographing his family and the surroundings with a 6 x 6 Bakelite camera. He studied at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT) between 1956 and 1961, receiving a Degree in Engineering in 1961. He staged his first photographic exhibition the same year. Later he worked as an aeronautical engineer in Prague and Bratislava. He began taking commissions from theatre magazines, and regularly photographed stage productions at Prague's Theatre Behind the Gate on a Rolleiflex camera. In 1967, Koudelka decided to give up his career in engineering for full-time work as a photographer. He had returned from a project photographing gypsies in Romania just two days before the Soviet invasion, in August 1968. He witnessed and recorded the military forces of the Warsaw Pact as they invaded Prague and crushed the Czech reforms. Koudelka's negatives were smuggled out of Prague into the hands of the Magnum agency, and published anonymously in The Sunday Times Magazine under the initials P. P. (Prague Photographer) for fear of reprisal to him and his family. His pictures of the events became dramatic international symbols. In 1969 the "anonymous Czech photographer" was awarded the Overseas Press Club's Robert Capa Gold Medal for photographs requiring exceptional courage. With Magnum to recommend him to the British authorities, Koudelka applied for a three-month working visa and fled to England in 1970, where he applied for political asylum and stayed for more than a decade. In 1971 he joined Magnum Photos. A nomad at heart, he continued to wander around Europe with his camera and little else. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Koudelka sustained his work through numerous grants and awards, and continued to exhibit and publish major projects like Gypsies (1975) and Exiles (1988). Since 1986, he has worked with a panoramic camera and issued a compilation of these photographs in his book Chaos in 1999. Koudelka has had more than a dozen books of his work published, including most recently in 2006 the retrospective volume Koudelka. Koudelka has won awards such as the Prix Nadar (1978), a Grand Prix National de la Photographie (1989), a Grand Prix Cartier-Bresson (1991), and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (1992). Significant exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography, New York; the Hayward Gallery, London; the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. He and his work received support and acknowledgment from his friend the French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. He was also supported by the Czech art historian Anna Farova. In 1987 Koudelka became a French citizen, and was able to return to Czechoslovakia for the first time in 1991. He then produced Black Triangle, documenting his country's wasted landscape. Koudelka resides in France and Prague and is continuing his work documenting the European landscape. He has two daughters and a son. Source: Wikipedia
Hendrik Kerstens
Netherlands
1956
Since 1995, Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter, Paula. His photographs have been collected by museums around the world and have inspired taste-makers as diverse as Elton John and Alexander McQueen. (McQueen, in fact based his Fall 2009 collection on Kerstens' image of Paula with a plastic bag as a head-dress, using the image as his invitation for the show.) Initially Kerstens' photographs were created out of the artist's desire to capture something of the fleeting moments that fade of childhood. The pictures recorded everyday events – his daughter's sunburn, the child's bath. However, one day there was a moment of revelation when Kerstens not only saw her in relation to the events of her own life, but also projected on her his interest in the Dutch painters of the seventeenth century.
 As Kerstens recalls, "One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this." A number of the portraits of Paula are clearly reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer. The austerity of the photograph, its clarity, the serene expression on the young girl's face, and not least, the characteristic "Dutch" light, all combine to create this impression.
 However, Kerstens was not just imitating painting. As the series progressed, he became increasingly interested in the game of creating a conceptual and humorous dialog between past and present. The titles give the game away. "Napkin" looks like a maid's bonnet. In "Bag", a plastic grocery bag is shaped to look like a lace hood. In other pictures no pretense is made to imitate 17th century clothing but Paula's face and Kerstens' light turn a thoroughly modern hoodie into a classic and timeless garment. Conceptually, Kerstens' photographs play with the dialog between the mediums of painting and photography, with seriality, and time. On a more emotional level, they address everyday reality while expressing his love for his child, and the knowledge and development of his craft.Source: Danziger Gallery Hendrik Kerstens' (1956) oeuvre consists of a consequent sequence of portraits from his muse, his daughter, each time with a different angle, meaning or purpose. In the hemisphere of the radically realist paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, Kerstens explores the photograph as a surface, a platform to study contemporary ordinary objects and its meaning in historical tradition. With his typical selection for down-to-earth forms of headwear, from a napkin, a wet towel, spheres of lace to folded aluminium foil, he recalls how daily life has always been an integral subject of art, whether in the 17th or in 21st century. With his clear ambition to illustrate the dialogue between history and contemporary life, rich and sober, functional and valuable, Kerstens also accomplishes to renew and contemporize history while boosting the position and function of day-to-day objects. In connecting todays photography techniques with the camera obscura techniques in earlier times, Kerstens raises awareness for the use and development of the photographic process. It is not accidental that he is a state-of-the-art perfectionist, taking nothing for granted and giving a lot of attention to the work process. The printing proces itself, the hardly visible transition of the many dark tones, the interplay of light and shadow, Kerstens dedicates himself completely in refining the image, where details and the way of looking play a key role. Kerstens, who worked many times with Kathy Ryan from The New York Times Magazine, was awarded the PANL award (2001) in the Netherlands; the Taylor Wesing Photographic Portrait Prize (2008) at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the silver LeadAward Medaillon, Porträtfotografie des Jahres (2010) in Germany and the 11th Lucie Award (2013). Kerstens work and ideas were included in Alexander McQueen's spectacular show The Horn of Plenty: Everyting but the Kitchen Sink, a retrospective on 15 shocking years in fashion.Source: Flatland Gallery Galleries:   Danziger Gallery   Jenkins Johnson Gallery   Dean Project   Flatland Gallery
Dorte Verner
Dorte Verner was born in Denmark and lives in Washington, D.C, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in economics and a passion for bringing change and attention to vulnerable people and voiceless people. Dorte's expertise in international development allows her to understand the reality in the environments she photographs. Dorte has won numerous prizes and awards for her photographs, e.g. she won the Nikon-100-Year Photo Contest 2016-2017, specifically the Most Popular Entry: Disappearing Fishing Method by Moken out of 80,000 submitted photographs. In the 2017, Dorte received first and third prize in Culture and Traditions, respectively in prestigious International Photo Award (IPA) by the Lucie Foundation and the Silver Prize in PX3. Dorte has photographed since 2011 and is a self-taught photographer. Dorte's photography focuses on people that has little voice and never make the news, but who have important knowledge and experiences to share. She captures their strength and beauty through intimate moments. She has focused on nomads, refugees, indigenous people, and people affected by climate change, among other changes. Dorte's portfolio centers on environmental portraits, with images inspired by the lives and livelihoods of people living in extreme situations. These people live in remote geographical locations, including: rural areas in Africa such as refugee camps; the Arabian Desert; Latin America's Amazon and drylands; and Asia's plains and mountains. Dorte's photographs are featured in many shows and galleries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the USA. Currently her photographs are exhibited in The Silk Road, Photography Biennial of Tianshui, China; and in two solo exhibitor shows: The Sahel, The World Bank, USA and Beyond Borders, Henry Luce III Center for Arts and Religion, Washington D.C., USA. They are also on permanent display in International Organizations and published in magazines such as GEO and Vanity Fair and on the cover of books and publications.
Alan Henriksen
United States
1949
Alan Henriksen was born in 1949 in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, and has lived his entire life on Long Island. He became interested in photography as a hobby in 1958, and began making contact prints in late 1959. His interest became serious following a chance discovery of the work of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams at the local library. Henriksen holds college degrees in Psychology and Computer Science and is now retired from a long career in software engineering. Beginning in the mid-1970?s he worked for nearly ten years at Agfa-Gevaert’s photo paper manufacturing plant on Long Island as a sensitometrist and software engineer. In the late 1980?s he authored a Zone System software program named ZoneCalc, which was marketed by the Maine Photographic Resource. In 1968 he and his wife Mary made their first visit to the Maine coast, starting a photographic project that continues to this day. They now divide their time between their homes in Smithtown, Long Island and Southwest Harbor, Maine. All about Alan Henriksen:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?Although I had already been photographing as a hobbyist for six years, my interest became more serious in 1964 when, during a library visit, I chanced upon Peter Pollack's book, "A Picture History of Photography," and opened it to the section devoted to the work of Edward Weston.AAP: Where did you study photography?My formal photographic education was limited to the 1970 Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite National Park.AAP:Do you have a mentor?In 1967 I composed a letter and sent it, along with some prints, to Ansel Adams in Carmel. Toward the close of his two-page single-spaced typewritten reply he wrote, "I want to follow your work and see more of your prints." This began a correspondence, soon supplemented with phone calls, that lasted until 1970, at which time I attended his Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite National Park.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I began photographing in 1958, purely as a hobby, and began printing in 1959.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?The first photograph I remember taking was made in 1958. I photographed my neighbor while she was leaning into a baby carriage to tend to her child.AAP: What or who inspires you?I do not believe in inspiration; I believe in simply working, and working simply. When photographing, my ideas arise directly from my exploration of the subject matter at hand. But I cannot say why I find a certain bit of the world, seen from just such an angle, in a certain light, interesting.AAP: How could you describe your style?I do not consciously try to apply a style to my photographs. I believe in the maxim, "Style does not precede; it results." Although there is a kind of consistency to my photographs over the years, and more so during any particular period, that is presumably because I have remained roughly the same person.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I currently work with a Canon 5D Mark II and various Canon lenses.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?I take an iterative approach to image editing, generally performing several editing passes. I like to leave some time between each pass in order to help me see the image with fresh eyes during each session. I consider an image completed (for the time being) when I view the image and it seems to "work" as is. For some images the editing process is completed within a few sessions, while others take much longer.
Ellen Cantor
United States
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