Matt Black: Lessons in the Field

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PhotoWings spent the day with documentary photographer Matt Black in Firebaugh, California as he made images for his body of work in the Central Valley. While on location, he provided insights on his photographic philosophy and how he connects to the people, communities and landscapes that he encounters. He shared tips about critical thinking, resilience, and how to tell complex stories using photographs.

Matt Black grew up in a small town in California's Central Valley, a rural agricultural area in the heart of the state. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Latin American and US Labor History.

Matt's work has chronicled the decline of traditional farming life and the rise of its modern replacement in rural California and southern Mexico. Exploring the changing human relationship to land, food, farming, and community lies at the core of Matt's twin documentary projects: The People of Clouds and The Kingdom of Dust.

His work has been honored by the World Press Photo Foundation, the Alexia Foundation for World Peace, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, Pictures of the Year International, and others.

www.mattblack.com

Foundry Photojournalism Workshop 2014 - Evening Presentation:

 

Additional Links

National Geographic: The Kingdom of Dust

www.nationalgeographic.com (June 14, 2014)

Time Lightbox: The Geography of Poverty
www.time.com (April 4, 2014)

The New Yorker Photo Booth The People of Clouds
www.newyorker.com (September 13, 2013)

Esquire Russia: The Kingdom of Dust
www.esquire.ru (December 6, 2012)

Boston Globe Big Picture: Matt Black's Mixteca
www.boston.com/bigpicture (September 29, 2012)

Alexia Foundation: Interview with Matt Black
www.alexiafoundation.org (October 9, 2012)

New York Times Lens Blog: Weighed Down by History, a Town Slides in Mexico
www.lens.blogs.nytimes.com (October 8, 2012)

Time Lightbox: Eddie Adams Workshop Tribute
www.lightbox.time.com (October 3, 2012)

Orion Magazine: After the Fall
www.orionmagazine.org (September 1, 2012)

Shpilman Institute for Photography: The People of Clouds
www.thesip.org (September 29, 2011)

Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Matt Black: San Miguel Cuevas – Das Sterbende Dorf
www.fractionmagazine.com (August 19, 2011)

Fraction Magazine: Matt Black: People of Clouds
www.fractionmagazine.com (August 19, 2011)

Shpilman Institute for Photography: Matt Black
www.thesip.org (August 7, 2011)

Guernica Magazine: Matt Black: People of Clouds
www.guernicamag.com (July 1, 2011)

The Boston Globe - The Big Picture: People of Clouds
www.boston.com/bigpicture (June 27, 2011)

National Public Radio - The Picture Show: A Story of Ghost Towns and Great Migrations
www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow (June 24, 2011)

New York Times Lens Blog: Modern Agonies in Ancient Mexican Villages
www.lens.blogs.nytimes.com (June 16, 2011)

Prison Photography: Matt Black
www.prisonphotography.wordpress.com (June 13, 2011)

RECIPROCITY FAILURE: Matt Black
www.reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com (June 6, 2011)

L E N S C R A T C H: Matt Black
www.lenscratch.blogspot.com (June 1, 2011)

500 Photographers: Matt Black
http://500photographers.blogspot.com (May 16, 2011)

Orion Magazine: Desiccated Dreams
www.orionmagazine.org (March 1, 2011)

Good: The Central Valley Is a Dust Bowl
www.good.is.com (February 24, 2011)

7.7 Magazine: Matt Black: The Black Okies
www.7dot7.net (October 12, 2010)

Verve: New Breed of Documentary Photographers: Matt Black 
www.vervephoto.wordpress.com (March 31, 2010)

SMOGRANCH: Matt Black: Photographer to Follow
www.smogranch.blogspot.com (May 15, 2009)

Photographers Speak: Matt Black: A Commitment to Truth
www.photographyinterviews.blogspot.com (April 14, 2009)

Blue Eyes Magazine: Matt Black: The Mixteca
www.blueeyesmagazine.com (January 5, 2007)

The Los Angeles Times: A Lens on the Misery Amid Our Bounty
www.latimes.com (September 3, 2006)

The Big Picture: Visual Metaphor, Documentary Photography and Matt Black
www.ddunleavy.typepad.com (April 20, 2005)

San Francisco Chronicle: The Quiet Nobility of the Human Spirit
www.sfgate.com (October 17, 2003)