Matt Black: After the Fall

I love this work. Have followed Matt since seeing a single picture from Bolivia back in the 90’s. Matt is a guy who just seems to do his own thing. When I hear from him I know it’s something good, and this project is no exception. Kudos to Orion Magazine and Daylight Multimedia for bringing it to light.

AFTER THE FALL | Orion Magazine & Daylight Multimedia | Matt Black Photography from Matt Black Photography on Vimeo.

New Work from Matt Black: The Dispossession


A few months ago I did an interview with Central California based photographer Matt Black. Besides having perhaps the best photographer name of all time, “Matt Black” he is a damn good photographer.

I like Matt’s work for several reasons. One, when I see his work, I can feel his name and know he was the one behind the pictures. In other words, he has a recognizable style. Second, he shoots close to home. I’m sure he has traveled, in fact I remember a picture of his from Bolivia, but he does a lot of work in his own backyard, something a lot of photographers neglect to do or don’t think about. I’m guilty. I dream of foreign lands not Orange County. So when I see something like this, I have a great appreciation.

This is a HUGE story in these parts, but seems to be nearly forgotten by those of us living “downstream” of the Central Valley. Crisis only begins to describe what is happening. I come from a farming/ranching family, at least in part, so when I hear of water shortage, unplanted land, etc, I know the snowball effects.

Imagine skyrocketing unemployment, far higher than most places in the United States, farmers leaving land unplanted and water being withheld or not being there in the first place. Much of our current news is centered on Haiti, our dual wars in the Middle East and the health care debate, but all the while stories like this churn like category five storms in the background.

I thought you might like to take a look. If you have thoughts, please leave a comment and let us know you are all alive.

Photographer to Follow: Matt Black


So, from time to time I like to write about other photographers that I find inspiring, interesting or just plain good. I don’t know Matt Black, never met him, but can tell a lot about him simply by looking at his images. I’ve know about him for years, first heard his name, saw an image, at least ten years ago.

If I remember correctly, it was an image from Bolivia, a llama sacrifice.

This is, to me, what great photography is about. It’s about images that last over time, perhaps gaining more power, more significance as they reappear in your mind, sometimes for unknown reasons.

Matt’s images have a complicated simplicity, at least in my opinion, which can be deceiving in terms of how difficult it is to make these kind of images. The complicated aspect is the layering. The simplicity is how they read to the viewer, and not just photo people, but the rest of the world, the unknown viewer, the “average” viewer. Sometimes we get lost in what other photographers or editors will think, but the person buying the magazine, buying the book, signing on to the web gallery is the real treasure, and often times they carry no visual baggage. They either respond or they don’t.

I also love the fact that Matt is a small town guy. I was too for much of my life, and can respect what it takes, means to live in a small place. I think where he lives, and where he comes from is front and center in these images. He makes the places that our coastal dwellers joke about come alive with life, passion, tension, etc,

Take a look at his site, his work and see. I don’t know about you, but I now want to see Fresno. Never have before. Now I do.

Again, this is where good images can take us. This is when good images force us to reconsider our beliefs.

If you read his site, his bio, you can see that others have taken notice, lots of notice, as evidenced by his healthy list of prizes, grants, etc. But, I still consider him a quiet entity within the photo world. Perhaps he wouldn’t agree with me about that, but it’s just how I see him, and most importantly how I don’t hear him.

I also like the fact his website is very clear and simple and shows one kind of work, his work. His work has a a style to it, a recognizable style, and in the modern, photo-world, this is sometimes difficult to find.

I look at these pictures, these stories and wonder what he is working on now. Where is he? What will we see from him next?

You can see his work at his website