Connecting Through Images

Graveyard Glendalough Ireland

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I suppose like all photographers I began very young.  My first memory was of my dad lying on the ground in Volunteer Park in Seattle shooting up and to an awkward angle as brilliantly colored cyclist raced wildly around the corner on the knife-blade edges of racing slicks.  I was fascinated and I was hooked. I carried around a cheap point and click for years wasting who knows how much on cartridge film and developing.  It was like Christmas every time we stopped at the Photomat to pick up the 4 x 6 glossies.  Half of those were blurred or obscured by an errant thumb.  But the ones that turned out, no matter how mundane the subject, took my breath away.  It was like capturing time itself. I was so excited when I was finally old enough to use my dad’s Nikon camera. I listened, rapt, as he described f stops, shutter speed and ISO.  I committing to memory words like aperture and exposure.  The heavy weight of the camera hanging from the strap around my neck. The frustration of threading the film. Learning to hear the film slipping back into the can as I rewound. All of this was magical.  Photography connects us viscerally to each other, to the earth, and to the past.  Sepia images of our ancestors look back at us with our own eyes. Nature and industry are juxtaposed in the landscape.  Animals play out ancient dramas.  All of it frozen in time on copper sheets or cellulose or in millions of pixels magically connecting us.  For me this is always the challenge- capturing an image that evokes a visceral reaction.

Copyright Catherine Matthews 2017.

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Catherine Matthews is an educator and author living north of Seattle with her husband and two boxers, Delta the Destroyer and Buttercup the Bored. She is currently querying her debut novel, Becoming Benny. Her essay, Deeper Than Social Connections, is featured in the eBook and audiobook editions of the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19. After a lifetime of academic writing, Catherine discovered her passion for creative writing when she dove into writing her blog, Life Through My Lens. In contrast to her dissertation, which should not be read while operating heavy machinery, her stories will make you laugh and cry as she recollects the follies of her youth, and her adventures in parenting, teaching, and leading schools. A learner at heart, she is an active member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Hugo House. She is up before dawn to start her day with her two favorite things: riding her bike and working on her latest novel. You can connect with her on Twitter (@cmatthewsauthor) or Instagram (@catherinematthewsauthor), or visit her webpage www.catherinematthewsauthor.com.

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