Matthew, Cowboy. 7th and H, Chinatown, DC by Matt.Dunn
One of the things I love about photography is that there are many different genres to keep things interesting for both the photographer and the viewer. I’ve dabbled in sports, macro, street, nature, and portrait photography and found that I enjoy something about each style. While each genre requires honing unique skills and sometimes learning how to use specialty equipment, they all rely on a core set of fundamentals such as framing, lighting, and of course the ever so important, being in the right place at the right time.
In my opinion, the genre that separates itself from others is portrait photography due to the fact that it requires the photographer to deal with actual other living human beings, a skill that is dwindling in our society. It’s one thing to hunt around a garden for the perfect flower, set up your tripod, and wait for a break in the breeze. It’s another thing to sit on a sideline and fire off ten shots of a tennis player during their serve with your fast telephoto lens. But it’s an entirely different thing to get a model, sometimes a complete stranger, to pose for you and have the resulting photograph be worth its weight in ink.
One local photographer who I recently met seems to be well on his way to mastering portrait photography, or what I’d say is more accurately described as “street portrait” photography. Matt Dunn always has his eye out for peculiar individuals and doesn’t hesitate to approach them when they come into his sights. Whether he finds Superwoman walking around in Shaw, a retro styled man in Chinatown, or in the case above, a real life urban cowboy, he captures them in such a way that makes them look real and at the same time documents the eclectic population of our great city. Dunn’s photos are not only interesting but also impressive from a technical standpoint. Many if not most of his photos are taken using fill flash which allows the camera to expose for the background without underexposing the subject, a skill that takes practice and dedication.