Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mike Matenkosky - Images in the Backcountry

What type of photography or art do you do? (For example: portraiture, landscape, still life, oil painting, watercolor, woodwork, sculpture, etc.)

I'm a nature photographer, which to me includes landscape and wildlife photography. But my passion is landscape photography.

What attracts you to this form of expression?

I've always liked the outdoors. I love hiking and backpacking and for me it was a natural progression.

Do you remember the first time that you realized that this was your passion? What brought about that realization?

I always seem to have a camera. I would take my camera on my hikes and backpacking trips. Back then, I just took pictures to document my trip. Around 1998 I created my first website called The Backcountry . I just wanted to post my pictures and trip experiences for the hiking/backpacking community.

In passing one day, I mentioned to a friend of mine about some of the pictures I saw on line....they were great. I told him I wish I could take photos like that. He told me "You can do it too"....or something like that.

Who do you look up to the most in your field?

Probably Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell are probably the most popular landscape photographers.

How has your art or photography changed since that first moment behind the camera or canvas?

I would like to think I'm getting better. Some of my earlier work lacks composition, or a strong composition. I'm not saying I'm now "there" yet!

What do you do to get yourself ready mentally for a photo shoot or an art session?

Make sure the battery(s) are charged in the camera and plenty of memory cards. If it's a nice day, make sure you have sunscreen and in the spring, make sure you have plenty of mosquito repellent! Oh yeah, make sure to pack lunch and plenty of water.

What is the most interesting piece of artwork or photography that you have created?

In August of 2007 I decided to stay up and photograph the different phases of the lunar eclipse. I selected 11 different photos and using Photoshop I created this: Lunar Eclipse. It's one of my best sellers.

Do you have any parting words of advice for someone desiring to enter this field?

Have fun with it. If it becomes work, you need to re-think why you started in the first place.


Images in the Backcountry - Nature photography by Mike Matenkosky
California Nature Photographer

The Backcountry: “Hiking and Backpacking in and around Yosemite!”
The Backcountry: “Hiking and Backpacking in and around Yosemite!”

Editor's Note: Please also read the Guideposts article about Mike at:
Finding God Through His Camera Lens

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