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Matt Cates - Travel Photography
from Matt Cates:
These photos represent travels I've been able to make thanks to my service in the military.  The manipulation
of the images brings out a sense of the feeling and wonder I experienced as I saw these places.  Hopefully,
that sense will be passed on to the viewer. 
These are not merely snapshots from a tourist, but represent meaningful periods of my life. 
For example, GOTHIC DOTS (PARIS) was taken during my first assignment to Europe.  I'd taken the
channel tunnel across from London to Paris, a dream of mine since I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma. 
The awe I felt seeing Notre Dame could not be captured with my camera. 
It needed to be enhanced in order to truly bring out the essence of the dream-like moment, as I felt it. 
Next is HOT RANGE (KABUL).  This was taken while deployed to Afghanistan and the photo shows young
children scrounging for spent brass in the dust, at the foot of the Hindu Kush range.  They are being watched over
by an armed Afghan soldier.  The image was burned into my mind, even as I took the photo.  I wanted that
burning sensation to be represented visually, thus I enhanced the image so that it appears fire-hot. 
CLOUD MOSQUE (ISTANBUL).  This is a photo of the famous Blue Mosque in Turkey, and seeing the 
massive size of this beautiful and sacred place for the first time was breathtaking.  It was not far from this place
that I met my wife; thus it holds a special place in my heart.  I altered the image so that the trees appear
almost to be clouds, lifting the mosque above the earth, which is almost how one feels when entering the
holy place. 
Finally is STREAM GRID (SOUTH DAKOTA).  The freezing winter could not stop me from taking a stroll
out from my ex-girlfriend's house and as I walked, I found I'd gotten lost.  The cold, the feeling of loss from
spending time with my ex, and finally the experience of being actually lost made me feel very disconnected. 
I tried to find a way to convey this feeling through the photo and decided a segmented, warped, negative look
did the job best. 
Photo manipulation is a new hobby of mine.  My primary hobby these days, after recently finishing a MFA in
Creative Writing, is writing short fiction stories and working on the revision of my first novel, The Crimson
Web of War.  But as I gear up to go back overseas, I will continue to seek out inspiring images to alter
and share with others.
Mosque - Istanbul
Goth Dots Paris
Hot Range Kabul
Steam Grid Rapid City