High Desert: Polaroids by Nate Matos

High Desert: Polaroids by Nate Matos

“It began with a cheeseburger. As we drove 5 hours to relive a childhood memory at a diner in Bend, OR the appeal of the area around us was clear. Vast sweeping landscapes being capped at either end with snowy peaks surrounded us, but where we were, and what we saw was dry. The arid homes, leafless trees and bright blue sky is what we would remember.”

Photographer Nate Matos’ series “High Desert” features the arid landscape of central Oregon. “Through the pursuit of documenting central Oregon, ‘High Desert’ seeks to showcase the stark difference in topography as seen through instant integral film.”

Nate Matos is a Portland-based photographer whose work showcases the natural landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Working with film as his sole medium, Matos’ choice is less about tonality or loyalty to analog processes, and more about creating tangible work. “Photography to me is like trading Pokemon cards on the playground of elementary school. I see images as things to collect, and film lets me keep those collections in a tangible way that other mediums simply do not allow. Film for me [is] the easiest way to prove to myself that something has been accomplished. I know this idea doesn’t align with that of most film shooters, but is seems to explain my compulsive behavior, and is what has continued to bring me back to central Oregon over the past 2 years while I continue working on this series.”

The “High Desert” series was taken between 2012 and 2014 with a Polaroid SX-70. More of Matos’ work can be found on his website and Instagram.

In addition to his photography work, Matos is also a host for the Pdexposures podcast - a podcast dedicated to “all things film photography.” Episodes are released every other Wednesday, and can be found on the Pdexposures Network Website and on iTunes.

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Sean Shimmel's picture

Worthily anagogic... but I wonder if it will all be swallowed by the pedestrian style of Instagram.

Nonetheless... keep up the excellence and intuitive, creative vision

David Vaughn's picture

Pretty neat. It's kind of funny because I actually just found some 70 year old negatives from my roommate's grandma. These kind of remind me of the look of those negatives, although these are obviously in much better shape.

Also; did anyone else say "Of course he's from Portland?" lol

mfmg's picture

It's too bad the "shoe tree" is no longer there. People keep trying to start a new one, but it hasn't been successful.

Katy's picture

I think his thoughts on film are pretty interesting. I also like to shoot film along with digital and it's always interesting to hear other people's reasoning behind the continued use of it.