Automotive artist Matt McCarthy - A Love of Cars.
Matt, why did you decide to make automotive fine art of classic cars?
I like to use American cars as my "canvas" if you will, as I have a love of history, art, and things related to transportation (a common denominator with a lot of American men is a love of cars, trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, etc - I'm no different). To me, US cars of the 50's to the 70's represent the best that America had to offer in design and engineering that was accessible to people from all walks of life.
Do you own a classic car yourself or do you visit shows to take the photos?
The season of car show shooting is about to start again here, and I can create some new work. That's where I get my images - car shows that take place here in Florida. Unfortunately I do not have a vintage car in my possession.
How did you become a photographer?
Photography is something that falls naturally to me - I'm more of an observer of life than a participant, and I've been involved with it since I received a high school graduation gift of a 35mm SLR (a Contax 139) with a lens and tripod back in 1987. The first photo class I took, I had an instructor who told me I had a real knack for photography. I've done other things, but my life keeps returning to photography, as it is where I belong. It's a calling for me
Did you start your career with automotive art photography?
This started as a side project - I was working on an archaeology project related to researching ancient Native American sites in a nearby National Forest. I was to document what was found, create "artistic" images to go with the research, and see if there were new techniques that could be found in archaeological photography.
During the project, it was suggested that a local car dealer might provide an off-road vehicle that we could use in our research in exchange for a tax benefit and promotion. At the time, I thought it would be nice to provide the dealer with a portfolio of images of classic cars related to the product line. A Chevy dealer would get old Chevies, a Dodge dealer would get some old Mopars, etcetera . This went in a totally different direction - a side project that became the main project when the research project stopped.
Do you use digital techniques for your photos?
I'm really not into all the techie stuff. I allow digital imaging, as this works with what I see and try doing photographically. That, and the fact that I live in an area where there are no professional imaging services has me working the digital side. If there were labs that were pro-oriented located here ( I am in NE Florida, near Jacksonville, in the city of Saint Augustine ), I would probably still be using film in a blend with digital technologies.
How can people see more of your art and contact you?
On my website www.mattmccarthyphotos.com they can find a gallery with my automotive art and the site has a contact page as well.