Spotlight On: Matt Preston

Rice Paper Expert, Matt Pearson
Rice Paper Expert, Matt Preston

Now, I confess that I don’t actually know Matt Preston; but if he suggests going down the pub for a pint and a chat, I’ll be there. Once he gets back from South East Asia and Australia, that is. Matt and his wife have gone on a trip:

“From September my wife and I will be embarking on an adventure in to the unknown. Travelling through South East Asia then settling in Australia for a while. It’s time to broaden our horizons.”

Doesn’t say when they’ll be back, notice. This, I think, may be the essence of why I find Matt and his work intriguing; his attitude appears to be the antithesis of my own. I can barely bring myself to visit the local supermarket without a fully planned itinerary, let alone go off to explore a few continents and see where it takes me!

What I like best about Matt’s pictures is that he approaches everything with a natural creativity which I don’t possess; he has “an eye” for a picture, as we say. This is showing clearly in the photographs coming out of Vietnam. Matt likes to wander off the beaten path and see what appears in front of him and I am not convinced the majority of us would do this. I’m sure I would stick to the tourist areas and would probably believe that everything before me was totally real, when perhaps more often than not it is manipulated for the benefit of the tourist. This is true in the case of the Rice Paper Expert image above – this image is a true reflection of life in a remote village, something revealed by exploring rather than exploiting.

Working on the Banks of the Mekong
Working on the Banks of the Mekong, Matt Preston

Both of the photos in this article have a timeless nature about them – they were both taken at the end of 2009, but they could be just about any time in the last 50 years or so (the purple plastic bowl in the Rice Paper photo prevents me daring to go further back!).

If you like these, the best thing to do is visit Matt’s site regularly – he is updating it as often as he can, subject to being able to locate suitable WiFi.

All photos: Copyright 2009 Matt Preston

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