Joel Mattro does Philippines Street Photography. Here I interview him about his process, images and inspiration.
Philippines street photography
If you have been in the Filipino community long enough, you will surely have heard his name, he's pretty well known in street circles. Onto the questions:
What inspired you to become a photographer?
Photography is where I find happiness, it is that pursuit that fuels my hunger for images that hopes to get the story across. Be it documentary photography. Be it in the street. Be it in video. Be it in editing. Be it in any event, mundane or not, I make it a point to make images interestingly relevant, to viewers where it is due.
What purpose does it serve for you?
Photography makes me, “ME”.
Where in the world are you located?
I live in Batangas. Around 70kms from the capital Manila, Philippines.
What Genre of photography are you most comfortable working in?
I particularly like Documentary Photography. For me it is my voice on how I view the world and how it relates to me. I also like Street Photography- to capture the gems of everyday life dynamics is fascinating. I apply street photography whenever asked to shoot events or images for travel magazines.
Can you describe a few of your trigger mechanisms that make you want to stop and shoot?
I always see in patterns of colors, lines, lights, how they are inter-related, and how they are visually presented. If a pattern trigger my senses, I shoot.
What camera are you working with currently and why?
I used to have a Canon 600D and 1000D. I now work with Canon450D, 500D, and a vintage canonet 28. Fujifilm Philippines always let me borrow their product (FujiXE1) for testing, experience and enjoyment.
I only use two lenses: 18-55mm kit lens, 50mm prime, and although the auto-focus do not work anymore it is enough and good for me, for it trains my eye for anticipation and better judgment on what to shoot. I want to own a FujiXE1, for easier handling and better invisibility when doing Philippines Street Photography.
Are you self taught, educated or a little bit of both?
My Father is my first teacher in photography. My formal education in photography started while studying Architecture, where I had been taught the basics of composition in relation to form and function of environment. Since then I had been using photography to record Architecture and Interior projects, until I used photographic images for my 3d as reference or as texture.
My journey with photography had an interesting turn when I begin to shoot Street Photography, during my trips in Germany. In the beginning the sole purpose was to record different culture, the place and it's people. But I enjoyed it immensely. I dived in. Back in Manila Philippines, I was really hungry for street images.
In hunger, I begin to scrounge for information about this genre, until I attended Mr. Luis Liwanag‘s Workshops. It literally opened my eyes into another visual dimension. To shoot and shoot. This is really what I want to do. I begin to attend other workshops after another.
In the quest for knowledge, I give much significance and indebted to my attendance of Mr. Alex Baluyut Master's Class in Documentary Photography. After which, I did nothing else but feed my hunger for images.
Any closing comments?
Thank you very much for Inspired Eye, the magazine is a valuable resource for learners and a wonderful outlet for artists.