Photographer of the Month: Matt Carrington

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Once in a while, you occasionally run across people who have truly captured the essence of people around the world. One such photographer is Matt Carrington.

 

 

Matt Carrington 

Kathmandu

 

We first introduced Matt to our Wandering Educators as the author of Frommer's Egypt, 1st Ed.. Matt has been shooting professionally for a couple of years now, mainly in the Middle East (Egypt, Syria and Egypt mostly but he's also been to Iraq a couple of times) but during that time he has also been to Bhutan, India and Nepal.

 

 

Matt Carrington

Bhutan 

 

 

He has done one solo show and participated in a group show in Ottawa. Currently he is mixing some commercial and travel photography with a project on urban landscapes. I was amazed by his extraordinary photographs  - he seems to get right at the heart of a situation, or a person, and show them in a way that is both respectful and illuminating.  I asked him to visit with us again, this time talking about photography, travel, and the light at sunset.  Here's what Matt had to say...

 

 

Matt Carrington

 Dujail

 

WE:  How did you get interested in photography?

MC: I was laying under a bus one day in Downtown Cairo - this was back in early 2004 and there was a riot on and it was the only place I could find to hide from the rocks that were flying around.

 

Matt Carrington

Tikrit,Iraq 

 

I had my camera with me and decided that it was a good time to try shooting news. I went out and fired off a few frames and ended up taking some shots that did fairly well.

 

 

Matt Carrington 

Baghdad, Iraq

 

They still pop up sometimes on web sites and newspapers. That moment started me thinking about taking more photos, though I was quite invested at that point in writing.

 

Matt Carrington

Tikrit,Iraq

 

WE:  How long have you been a photographer?

MC: I only started taking it seriously a couple of years ago when I could
finally afford to buy a halfway decent camera and spend a bit time on the
learning how to use it.

 

Matt Carrington

Kathmandu

 

WE:  What is your favorite place to photograph? Or subject?

MC: There are a ton of geographic places that I like to shoot. New York is a
lot of fun, Bhutan was great, India (in retrospect) was also great. I think a
more useful answer might be the thoroughly standard "at sunset."

 

 

Matt Carrington 

Washington, DC

 

It doesn't really matter where you are geographically, everywhere is great as the sun starts to go down. As to subject: people, people and people.

 

Matt Carrington

Baghdad,Iraq 

 

WE:  How can photographers help change/impact the world, while they are
traveling?

MC: The same way that everyone else can - interact with sincerity, and learn
about what's going on.

 

Matt Carrington

Kathmandu

 

 

Matt Carrington

Washington, DC

 

 

 

WE: Are there rules in other countries people need to be aware of about who
or what you can or cannot shoot?

MC: On both a legal and a more informal level you should always know the rules, even if its only so you know you're breaking them. In many, many places the cops will get very jumpy if you photograph bridges and government buildings.

 

Matt Carrington 

Yethrib

 

That can be part of the fun, and the picture, of course - some of my favorite pictures of Egypt are angry policeman waving their fingers at me - but you need to know what's going on so you don't get your camera taken away.

 

 

Matt Carrington 

Baghdad, Iraq 

 

On a conventional level, you need to know what is private and not to be photographed. Privacy is such a culturally constructed concept that it's easy to trample local rules without realizing you've done so until it's too late. Think and ask, or shoot discreetly, but always try to be aware.

 

Matt Carrington 

Cairo, Egypt

 

WE: Any tips you want to share?

MC:  Find what works for you, and build on it. This goes not only for your own
photos, but other people's. If you see a shot that you like, try to figure
why you react to it, and then go see if you can apply the lesson to your
own pictures.

 

 

Matt Carrington

 New York

 

 

WE: Thanks so much, Matt. Your photos are an inspiration to travel, and learn more about other people and cultures.

 

 

Matt Carrington

 Ottawa

 

 

 

 

Matt Carrington

Ottawa

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright of Matt Carrington.

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