For our first Tuesday spotlight, we’re featuring Russ Matthews, a talented and enthusiastic photographer of all sorts of oddities. He talks about how he got into photography as well as his love for all things geek. Like what you see? You can catch him later this week as he weighs in on the popular topic “Cosplay is Not Consent” on the KCCP Podcast, out this Thursday.
What got you into photography and how long have you been doing it?
I have been photographing since the early 90’s when I joined up with the yearbook staff at my high school and figured out I sucked at page design. After a brief hiatus in college due to my equipment getting stolen from my dorm room, I started back in the early 2000’s.
What is your favorite thing to photograph (e.g. people, animals, cars, scenery, etc)?
My favorite thing to photograph are people doing odd and interesting things.
Why did you decide to photograph cosplayers?
I enjoy taking photos of people doing odd and interesting things and being visually interesting. Because of this, I found that traditional portraiture photography was not my style so I tended to gravitate more towards event photography, including such things as renaissance festivals and burlesque shows. Being a comic book geek from the early 80’s, when cosplay really started taking off I immediately gravitated towards that form of photography as well.
What type of camera do you prefer to use?
My trusty companion is a Nikon D90 with either my workhorse 18-200 f/3.5 lens or my 50mm f/1.3 prime lens.
What is your editing program of choice?
I do the bulk of my processing in Adobe Lightroom with touch-ups and digital manipulations in Adobe Photoshop.
What is the best advice you’d give someone who wants to get into photography?
Get a camera and shoot. You will learn more by doing than all the talking in the world.
Have you considered cosplaying?
I have and were I to actually resemble an existing character, I might give it another try.
What are your other interests?
Burlesque, renaissance festivals, video games (console and PC), cooking, reading science fiction and comic book culture.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan because that series was the one that got me back into comics after the X-titles broke my heart.