Introducing Matt Newby (@matt_newby) — North America's Honorary LomoHome of June 2024


In celebration of our extremely talented community, the team at Lomography USA have been honoring their favorite active Lomographers on our website for "LomoHome of the Month."

This month, we're highlighting community member Matt Newby (@matt_newby) for his cinematic stills that tell a story in every frame.

Matt is a filmmaker and actor based in New York. Utilizing his background on stage and in film, he informs his photographic endeavors, taking consideration of what is composed in every one of his frames.

Photos by @matt_newby

The following words are by @matt_newby.

Lomographic Beginnings

Hello! It’s really cool to be able to do this! By day I build signs and window displays for flagship stores in Manhattan, like Bloomingdales, but by night and weekend I make movies and take photos.

My films are, well, I like to try to combine experimental and narrative filmmaking techniques to build stories that are fun and, maybe nostalgic in a way, but, mostly, just enjoyable and thought provoking.

My photography process is pretty much exactly what my filmmaking process is but distilled into a single frame; like any art process it’s all in a constant state of evolution.

Honestly my love of film photography was recently reignited after a trip to New Mexico when one of my best friends and filmmaking partners introduced me to his buddy who started this micro cinema out there called No Name Cinema. Anyway, he had this mini fridge overflowing with film and he was developing it in a bucket, spaghetti style, it was so inspiring.

Why shoot film? Because of delayed gratification. Because it slows me down. Because it’s tactile, it’s like the difference between drinking with a straw and drinking directly from a glass; without a straw you’re forced to pick up the glass, you can feel the condensation on your hand, you feel the ice hit your lip, it’s an authentic experience.

I took a photography class in high school but for about 15 years after I graduated I shot maybe one roll of film per year and was actually pretty anti-photography, without a doubt mostly based around a self centered fear or rejection; I would think to myself, "Oh it’s better to just remember events without photos," and "Taking photos takes you out of the moment."

And yes, maybe that sentiment is true in respect to taking photos with an iPhone or just snapping ten thousand shots on a digital camera, and both have their place, event photography is digitals domain, and it’s handy to have a camera in your pocket.

But anyway, going out and shooting a roll of film really puts you in the moment, it forces you to think, it forces you to slow down, I mean of course depending on the style your shooting, anyway this long winded response; shoot film because the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Photos by @matt_newby

I was introduced to the Lomography community and LomoHomes through searching for some sample photos of a film stock I was going to shoot. I found a ton of photos that were shot on that stock by all different people from around the world and it seemed like it was this community of people who were doing what they loved, experimenting, supporting each other and really engaging truthfully with each others work; and it turns out that in fact Lomography is that place, it doesn’t just seem like it, ya know looks can be deceiving these days.

Living an Analogue Lifestyle

I mostly shoot with a Canon EOS 1N, a Canon 17-40mm L series lens, a Promaster xc-m525 tripod, of course a shutter release cable and a Minolta spotmeter F. I also shoot with a Leica Mini Zoom, a Pentacon Six TL, and the Lomokino!

My wish list includes a Voightlander Bessaflex, Spinner 360 and a Horizon Kompakt, also gotta get my hands on a flash at some point.

I also do all my own development and scanning, it really has given me a different perspective on the idea of making a photo rather than taking a photo.

Photos by @matt_newby

I actually have a copy of the 10 Golden Rules sitting on my desk!

I wish I could say I followed Golden Rule #1 perfectly but every time I walk out the door without my camera I think of #10. I think #10 is really #1 for me.

Of course there are times where I wish I did follow the rules but those are lessons. #10 really goes with that idea of abandoning the plan.

If there’s a sign that says no trespassing, find a way in, if there’s a sign that says no photography #10 and #4 work really well, I mean even following all the rules perfectly, you could argue, is still a way of breaking all of them.

Photo by @matt_newby

A favorite photo of mine is this photo of this station wagon at a gas station. It’s completely stuffed full of stuff and has tons of stuff strapped to the roof.

I was out driving, it happened that I was following Golden Rule #1 of Lomography, and I saw that car at the gas station. I had to pull a u-turn at the next light to get to the gas station.

I approached the man and asked him if I could photograph his car he said, "Of course, put it in the newspaper!" That phrase "put it in the newspaper" stuck with me. Was he trying to tell the world that he had arrived or that he was leaving? Either way he seemed really happy and gave me the thumbs up when he pulled away.

Photography and Filmmaking

The only difference between photography and filmmaking is that in a photo you only get one frame to tell a story. As I shoot more, I learn more.

I studied acting at the William Esper Studio in Manhattan and my teacher there was all about this idea of ‘constantly being in process’ and I think I’ve really adopted that mindset and have applied it to all my projects.

Photos by @matt_newby

My work will never be what I think it’s going to be, the project tells you what it wants, I really have to abandon my plan and let it be what it’s going to be, I’ll learn something from it. I think the major cross over between filmmaking and photography is lens choice and the distance we are from the subject.

I recently went out to a local fair with just a 50mm after watching a few Yasujirō Ozu films, it was challenging, but really rewarding. I think it can be really beneficial to limit myself in my creative process. Endless options lead me to analysis paralysis where as if I say 'Okay it’s just the 50mm’ whether it be shooting a scene or taking a photo I have to work within the constraint of ‘just the 50mm’ and I’m forced to get more creative.

It’s almost like locking yourself in a box makes you think outside it.

Looking to the Future

I really hope this sort of resurgence continues! Harman released that new film stock Phoenix 200 which is great; nice browns and reds, and Kodak, recently and finally, after many many years, started to release their new super 8 camera! Also I’m pretty sure Fuji is back producing film! There’s a huge market for film right now and I really hope this up trend continues.

Photos by @matt_newby

I recently finished a documentary about cats shot on super 8, the trailer is here.

I also shot a 16mm B&W narrative short film about a slot machine addict who tries to have his dentist killed, which I’m currently editing.

I’m in the fourth draft of a feature film that I’ve been writing and of course too many ideas to even know what to do with.

As far as photography projects I’d like to copy Martin Parr’s work in Think Of Scotland and make something like Think Of Long Island. I also really want to get into some office buildings at night when no ones around. I’ll find a way in.

Any Last Words?

Yes, Shakespeare's 43rd Sonnet.

If you're interested in keeping up with Matt and his work, make sure to follow his Instagram, Letterboxd, and LomoHome.

written by eloffreno on 2024-07-05 #culture #people #cinema #lomohome #community #community-member #filmmaker #filmmaking

Mentioned Product



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One Comment

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Yasujiro Ozu j-movie 👍📽

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