Each week we select and profile a photographer from our #SFGuide community on Instagram. We believe these photographers capture the everlasting beauty of San Francisco and the Bay Area. For a chance to be featured on our Instagram feed, or here, on 49Miles.com, tag your photos with #SFGuide.
This week’s featured #SFGuide photographer is Matthew Lockyer (@big.matty), an Arborist from Livermore, CA currently residing in Modesto, CA. Scroll down to view Matthew’s amazing work, and learn more about what inspires him as a creative.
#SFGuide Featured Photographer
Name: Matt Lockyer
Place of birth: Livermore, CA
Currently reside: Modesto, CA
Something I would like viewers to know about me: I am colorblind
What is your favorite spot to shoot in San Francisco, and why?
Treasure Island or Battery Spencer.
When and why did you take up photography?
I took up photography shortly after my father passed away, October 22 2015. I started because I wanted to find beauty in my surroundings I know I had previously failed to see.
What do you love about photography?
I am constantly seeing beautiful places in the right conditions and at the right time and I have a much different and better appreciation for life, nature, and our planet than I had previously.
How do you decide what to shoot?
Mostly for landscape photography it depends on the weather conditions, reading satellite images and other information. For aerial shooting the same applies, however I like to go out and shoot from the hip and do street shooting from time to time. That’s the most rewarding thing honestly when I just go out and don’t expect to walk away with anything but then I get a great shot. It’s a rewarding feeling that enforces the have a camera at all times and shoot as much as you can type of life.
What’s your favorite part about going out to shoot?
Definitely the people you have with you and around you and meeting other artists who share the same passion.
Which location did you have the most difficulty getting to, and how did you do it?
Mt. Tamalpais to shoot the fog waves. It’s very tricky to be at the right height and find the fog, and a unique composition all at the same time.
What is your dream shot? (Where, what time of day, what’s in it / the subject?)
It’s probably in Iceland somewhere. I don’t really value location over conditions. I’ve photographed the Aurora in Alaska, but then wished I would have planned it better. I’ve photographed in Switzerland on the fly yet later wished I would have opted for a photo tour instead of shooting from the hip. I would probably utilize photo tours to get the most out of areas I am unfamiliar with.
What is your favorite app to use for photo editing on the go, and what are your top 3 favorite filters?
I don’t ever edit on the go. I used to get excited and process and post as soon as possible. Now I take my time with edits more than before. I really need to go back a day later and look at the same photo and see if I feel the same. Favorite filter is AOV Gettyphotography “Bay Bridge”. I’m colorblind so I almost always ask someone else for help or a second opinion.
How does Instagram and the #SFGuide community inspire you?
Instagram and the #SFGuide community inspires me to always push harder to do better and always exhaust all creative options before I pack up and leave. Don’t forget to zoom in (and out) and look for other shots you haven’t found in the “bigger picture”
What type of camera do you use? And what is your dream camera?
Nikon D810. My dream camera at the moment is the Nikon D850 however in the future I think medium format will be what I gravitate towards especially for aerial photography and landscapes.
What are your favorite settings in your idea shot?
It depends on the shot really but typically I use ISO 64 or ISO 100 and f/16 for landscapes. Sometimes shorter exposures are better. Not everything has to be a long exposure. For shooting waves at the ocean I typically like to use 1/5-1/10 of a second exposures.
What advice would you give to new or rising photographers that you wish you had received when you first started?
Don’t get caught up in only trying to shoot the areas iconic locations. Just go have fun!
What do you love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area?
I don’t currently live in the immediate bay area although I have lived in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco. Just go out and find something to shoot wherever you are. You can find beauty anywhere if you know what to look for. There is no shortage of comps to shoot regardless of where you live. If you live in the desert look into Astro photography, if you live in the city take advantage of what it has to offer. And if you live anywhere near the ocean then always take the time to visit and photograph it.