New Chapter with Matt Clark

NYSEA – Hey Matt, Seen a couple of your photos from the Nor’Easter Mars floating around the internet. How was it out there ?

Matt Clark – I didn’t shoot in water or anything so I only got a few shots, it was a good swell but since I wasn’t in water I didn’t have the first hand connection with it as usual.

NYSEA – What kept you out of the water ?

Matt – That easterly current and I’m more focused on shooting waves/lineups/capturing the mood than shooting surfing action much anymore. I watched lido for about 30 minutes and it was just washing through on a lot of the bigger sets at low tide so I went into LB and there wasn’t anyone around really, maybe 2-3 people out who were just drifting by the jetties haha. Decided to get creative and try to get some unique shots from the rooftops and got those, then focused on snapping a couple with the benches and by that time it was almost dark and I headed back home. Was down for about 3 hours or so and only took maybe 200 photos (not many for that amount of time). I have been trying to work on more of the art side of photography the past year or so, trying my best to grow in what feels right, and that’s more experimental techniques and edits. See what works and what doesn’t, try it all. I feel rejuvenated, like I’m going to take some interesting photos in the coming months so I’m excited about that!

NYSEA – We believe life’s in chapters and it seems like you are starting a new one yourself. Believe it or not you have inspired a lot of photographers out there. Some that are reading this. Any advise for them ?

Matt – Emulate others until you’ve learned enough to start doing your own thing. It’s hard to start out without looking up to others and wanting to copy them. You might even do it better than those you look up to, but eventually you grow to find your own style. It doesn’t matter if it’s successful at first, keep pushing forward, tweak it a little, in time you’re going to find what works and then you master that. There’s a lot of photographers now, doesn’t everyone have instagram, they’re all photographers, we are all photographers now. The best you can do is put thought into what it is you’re shooting, why are you shooting it, and what do you want to show the world who views it. This is a great question that could help many…Are you trying to document or create? They’re two very different ways of photographing subjects.

NYSEA – That’s great advise. Who did Matt Clark emulate when he 1st started ?

Matt – I bought my first camera with the intention of taking surf photos only in November 2004, though I had shot photos with cheap waterproof disposables since 1998 and shot film photos of surfing circa 2002 for a little while, so from 2004 onward it was with the purpose of taking photos of waves and surfing only. It became an obsession pretty quickly after and I started doing all sorts of research on photographers and the one I started emulating the most was Nick Brandt. He shoots wildlife in Africa. Well, that’s pretty far off from shooting surf in New York, but I loved what he captured and how he did it, so I emulated him as much as I could via my editing process, I softened my images, made them duotone or tritone and experimented as much as I could. If you could look back at my work, everything was this brownish hue back then, just like Nick’s work, nothing in color.

NYSEA – That’s Epic. We are stoked to hear your passion is still going and we wish you the best on your next move. Last question, what are you shooting with ?

Matt – I have the Canon 5ds and the 7d mark ii. SPL housing modified to fit both bodies. 😊