InstaFocus is a weekly Q+A curated by @astrodub.
I met Matthew Ferri (@foldablechair) by accident, while vending at the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg this past spring. We got talking about photography, Instagram and New York’s forgotten places. Matt lives in Brooklyn and below he shares wisdom about cameras, apps and New York City.
I’d say about a year and a half. I think I signed up around March of 2011. A new opportunity arose last year that required a move across the entire country – New York City to Palo Alto, California. In desperate need of keeping things interesting (I moved to the suburbs from the city), I had my friends install Instagram and take photos of NYC for me. It’s one of the reasons I moved back so fast.
I’d say a blessing. Outside of the iPhone, I use many different cameras and am used to the varying formats. My favorite, the Hasselblad 500 C/M, is a square format camera. I’ve been noticing a large increase in the adoption of square format (especially in design/photography) – maybe it’s just me being aware.
I love cameras. Show me an interesting camera and I’ll try to get my hands on it. The Polaroid we played around with was the SX-70 from the Impossible Project.
One of my favorite feelings is being completely stunned by visual or creation – whether it’s rendered, captured, created by hand, or simply nature itself. That sudden burst of energy from your chest, leaving you on the verge of tears – that’s what inspires me. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve been creating visuals in my head and have been exploring different means of creating them. I picked up a camera and was instantly hooked. I can create a visual in much less time than graphics programming, 3D modeling, or drawing. I don’t have much free time on my hands so it’s the perfect solution.
Photography is a number of things to me, a few being exploration, imagination, and expression. I can travel back in time, enter someone else’s mind, see things the way someone else wants me to and even things that my eyes aren’t capable of.
I use the native camera app to take photos most of the time. VSCOcam has become a favorite of mine for editing and I occasionally use Snapseed and Photoforge. Inkwell & Rise. 1 in 10 with Lux.
New York CIty – cityscapes, landscapes, streets, people; that’s a pretty big subject. I love the city as a whole. I’m inspired by a lot of different things and I tend to focus on spatial relationships, lines (vanishing points, geometric shapes), color combinations, symmetry, parallax, top down and low to the ground perspectives. I try to get the shot that you don’t normally see.
Coming from an SLR camera, I’ve trained my eyes to be in the 17-50mm range. Even without a camera on me, I’m constantly analyzing my surroundings as if I’m looking through the viewfinder of a camera with my favorite lens attached. Sometimes I’ll even stop to take a mental image, blinking my eyes to officially “burn” the image into my mind. Weird, right?
Am I allowed to say @ColeRise? Well yeah, him.
@JayZombie looks like she is having a blast 24/7.
I also enjoy your Urbex stuff as well.
Thanks Matt for taking the time to share your process. Looking forward to seeing what you capture next.