Snocial: Matt Georges




French photographer Matt Georges has some of the most thought provoking images I’ve ever seen. One look at his portfolio site you can see his brain works differently than your average snowboard photographer. New to Instagram, his account has yet to be populated with all his work but already he has some of my favorite photos. Instead of focusing on all action shots, Georges has been focusing on showing collections of work that all share similar themes. I highly highly suggest following Matt Georges and also checking out his portfolio site to see more of his work.

How did you first get into photography?
Well, some friends of mine from skateboarding and snowboarding started to get pretty famous in France. I was just playing around with my Nikon FE and shooting our gipsy adventures. Magazines began calling me up, asking to use my pictures. I guess it also helped a bit when I started working as an art director at Freestyler magazine. It was a good way to make connections. Soon I quit the design stuff and started focusing on photography. I guess I understood pretty quickly that I wanted to be around the world traveling and shooting, rather than sitting in an office all day long laying out stories and would rather be on adventures. But it started to become a serious job when I got this new job position as Photo Editor at Method Mag. I was only 22 years-old, around 9 years ago. I’m currently the Senior Photographer for Onboard & Whitelines.

I’ve noticed that you have started to post weekly photo series on Instagram. What do you think is the benefit of showing photos with a consistent theme is over just showing action shots?
I just like to show a whole body of work for couple days instead of just one shot here and another one there. It’s more consistent to me. Even if you can see the complete series directly on my website, but I believe most of the time people don’t bother to go there and just stick to the social media sites. Not sure there is any benefit though.

You recently posted a bunch of emulsion lift prints on your Instagram. What is an emulsion lift and what is the process to make one?
It’s hard to shoot Polaroids on below zero temperatures because after you shoot them they you have to store them in a warm spot right away. Up in the mountain the warmest place is your chest inside your jacket or under your arms. When the chemical products are done with their task, you peel apart the 2 sheets and keep the polaroid image.

A Couple of days later, as soon as it’s totally dry, you can start the Emulsion Lift process which consist of putting your shot in boiling water, waiting a few minutes and then slowly removing the emulsion from the initial support. It’s best to use different tools such as stencils and scalpels for this part. Once you get rid of all the glue, dusts etc. you have your photo floating in the water.

This is the poetic moment of the process. You get a some thick grainy watercolor paper and remove your emulsion on, shaping the photo as you want, or rather as you can. Once you’re happy with the result, you press the whole piece with a roller and get rid of the water bubbles and hairs. That’s pretty much it. It takes a lot of time, maybe 2 hours. You need to be very patient, methodical and it’s definitely not working all the time so it can be really frustrating to fuck up a photo. There is no “Apple Z” for the process, if you screw it up there is no fixing it.

What’s your favorite camera to shoot with and why?
It really depends but I mostly enjoy shooting with medium format cameras like my Mamya 7 or Hasselblad 203FE.

Could you explain your new project, The Dirty Dogs?
I have wanted to do my own print project for quite sometime. There is so many D.I.Y. stuff going on in the skate and surf scenes and almost nothing in our snowboard scene. Recently we’ve had some nice snowboard books come out like, David Benedek’s Current State of Snowboarding, Manera’s The Eight, Blom’s Drifting Decade, but I wanted to do something more like a “deluxe’zine”.

It first the idea developed from a few photographers and I were just bored of all those magazines full of ads right in the middle of our features. We were also bummed that most of our favorites shots were not being run. So I took a hand-binding courses just to get familiar with the process. I then started to get in touch with all my photo buddies. That was like a year ago and it took some time to get everything on the pan but it’s finally done. It turned out to be a 190 page, A4 format, black and white offset print on recycled paper, hand-bound with a leather string, dated & numbered snowboard photography book. I made about 500 copies, all self-published, ad free, non-profit and just crafted out of my love for snowboard photography.

What are your plans for this upcoming season/ the future?
Well my wife just gave birth to twins so that changes up the game a bit but I will definitely continue to shoot snowboarding and travel around. I’m gonna keep working on a couple of my ongoing series. Also I want to spend lots of time in the darkroom, trying to find new ideas and learn new technics. But no plans yet for the winter. I’d like to shot some stuff with Nico Müller for his 2 years movie, probably meet up with the Car Danchi crew in Hokkaido, will of course spend a bunch of time with Absinthe and Pirate crews as well. I’d love to go to the volcano Mt Etna on Sicilia Island. Let’s see ! I’d love to do THE.DIRTY.DOGS.volume.two. in 2015 with a total different format, binding, paper & design if the whole thing works out!


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