All images by Matt MacCourt. Used with permission.
In continuing my running through of various entries into The Phoblographer’s analog zine, I’ve found a lot of amazing photographers who have pretty awesome work, but not quite zine quality. One of those photographers is Matt MacCourt–who has loved shooting portraits with color film for a while now.
Here are his words.
I am a semi-professional photographer based in Brighton, UK. The work I do is mainly photoshoot and live music based, although my personal work is evolving into more of an abstract project-based style. The photos attached are taken from a project documenting a yew forest and pagan ritual site, and a photoshoot modelling local handmade clothing.
In my images I try to evoke a certain mood or feeling, for the yew trees this was a sense of the ethereal nature of the location, although I also wanted to root this in the primal earth. I like shooting film as it allows me to shoot more freely and creatively than digital.
I have been using 35mm Pentax SLR’s, LX and MX, 50mm 1.7 lens mainly as I like to limit myself. I use a variety of black and white film, such as HP5, Tri-X and Acros 100. Colour tends to be Ektar 100 or Portra 400 depending on conditions.
I got into photography through wanting to document landscapes and locations I visited, my interest grew from this initial starting point over a number of years.
Initially Ansel Adams was a large influence for landscapes and Anton Corbijn for portraits. Recently I really admired Richard Mosse’ work with infrared film in Enclave and Awoiska van der Molen’s black and white abstract landscapes in Blanco.
I have been shooting seriously for about two years, shooting film for about a year.
I have worked a variety of jobs since leaving university, it’s probably accurate to say I derive more satisfaction from one image than all that time working! Also I find the process therapeutic, while I am shooting nothing else exists to me.
I am more of a documenter I think, I feel more inspired to capture events and locations around me than create something to shoot.
I usually can see the image I want in my mind before I raise the camera, so have usually set the aperture and then I focus, set shutter speed and check the frame. Often I am using a tripod for timed exposures so I can take my time.
I have my film processed and scanned at my local lab, I have a good relationship with them so can always discuss specific requirements to achieve the results I want. I then sometimes adjust images in Lightroom, it’s a bit of a hybrid process, I’d love to print from the negatives in a darkroom but unfortunately it is not feasible in my current location.
When I pick up my DSLR I feel like it’s an excited child screaming at me about all the cool things it can do, when I pick up my analog camera I feel like it’s a grumpy but very capable old man saying, ‘ok, what have you got?’ It sounds strange but that’s how I see it!
For more from Matt, be sure to check out his website.