Matthew Kraus’s passion for photography spans 50 years. He has been a Black Mountain, NC resident for 10 years and has spent that time primarily photographing in the beautiful Western North Carolina Landscape.
His initial training was in Black & White photography using a Large Format 4x5 View Camera. He feels the experience of using a View Camera was essential in his development as a photographer. Being under the dark cloth and viewing the image upside down on the ground glass helped him to concentrate on shapes, spatial relationships and composition as opposed to just “taking a picture of a tree.” This was an integral part of his learning how to see.
After leaving his View Camera and Darkroom behind almost 15 years ago, he found the transition to Digital Color Photography at times to be difficult and uncomfortable. He just sees the world in Black & White.
Once he discovered the beauty of infrared photography, he found another medium where he can visualize the scene and see it in monotones as he did in traditional Black & White. It is a more comfortable way of seeing for him.
I tend to see the world through a Chinese Oriental “filter” and like to think of my favorite images as being photographs of moods as opposed to things. Being in a mindful and contemplative space allows me to better connect with the landscape before me and feel a part of the scene. I am then better able to open up my senses and more creatively visualize the essence of what my eyes are seeing. My goal is not to accurately document or reproduce the scene in front of me, but to express what I am seeing and feeling as I view the scene.
My favorite images are Black & White, Infrared or Monotone which serve to better reproduce the spirit and mood of the scene as I saw it. Seeing in Black and White is a more natural way of seeing for me and I love how it allows the ethereal and mysterious qualities to be displayed.