Saturday, 16 June 2007

Photographs by Matthew Johnstone

My interest in photography was spurned from one of my worst depressive episodes in San Francisco. When I moved there I was single, I didn’t know that many people and the job I had gone there for was a real dud.

Photography was my way of making myself get out of the house. I began to seek beautiful images in areas you would least expect to find them like industrial wastelands, shipyards, railway lines and bad, down trodden areas in the city. I called this somewhat dangerous pastime ‘hunting’ it was all about finding the elusive gold in the ashes, the gem in the crud. Which in the abstract sense was exactly what I was trying to do with myself.

One aspect of photography that quickly became evident is that it taught me to be keenly present. Being depressed and present aren’t your typical bedfellows but photography taught me to be aware of where I was, what I was looking at and how long I had before the light changed. This is a tool I still try to use on a daily basis even when my camera isn’t present.