In this series we feature the superb urban photography of Matt Pringle. Matt is based in Scotland, and has a real style of his own, capturing his urban surroundings in a unique fashion. Photophique spoke to Matt about his work:
Matt, you have a really distinct aesthetic to your work, how would you describe your style of photography?
Photographically speaking, atmosphere is very important to me and I aim to create images that have a dreamlike quality to them. A lot of my images are taken on early foggy mornings. The fog and deserted streets add to the feel and look I strive for. Shooting on black and white film also enhances the mood as does the beautiful film grain. My love of shooting in fog is because it adds beautiful softness and dreamlike qualities to the image. The same can be said for using pinhole, especially for seascapes, as it adds an almost ethereal quality to the image. So overall, I value atmosphere and feeling over clarity or a decisive moment.
Where do you capture most of your images?
The vast majority of my photos are taken very close to home, usually within 10 to 15 minutes walk from where I live (Stirling, Scotland). If I’m honest, I’m not a very prolific photographer, on average I probably go out photographing around 10 times a year, maybe even less. Because of this, the vast majority of my works are focused more on cityscapes than anything else. I have however started to work more with pinhole and I’m trying to build up a body of work of pinhole seascapes.
I enjoy photographing near to where I live as it forces me to look for new locations and compositions rather than covering old familiar ground. There are always interesting shots and details to be found nearby, often overlooked by the casual passerby.
Can you tell us about the photographic equipment you use?
I mostly shoot on medium format film so I have a variety of medium format cameras. At present I have a Minolta Autocord TLR (Twin lens Reflex), Kiev 60, Holga 120N and Holga Pinhole. I have a manual handheld Sekonic light meter that is essential for film photography and I mostly shoot on either Ilford HP5+ or Kodak Tri-X. I also have a couple of digital cameras: a Panasonic GH1 and a Nikon D40 (my first camera and rarely used now).
I very much enjoy shooting on film. I love the look and feel of photos taken on film, they feel less clinical than those taken on digital. I also think shooting on film is very beneficial for one’s own photographic process. Medium format film isn’t cheap, so you simply can’t click away as you would on a digital camera. It slows the whole process down, making one spend more time on composing the shot, taking a light reading etc. I find it very rewarding and believe my photography has benefited from the slow, almost methodical approach, of medium format photography. I always shoot handheld for my cityscapes but I have invested in a Manfrotto tripod for my pinhole seascapes due to the long exposure times.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Matt Pringle retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.