Area Artisan: Keith Mathews
Keith Mathews was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and is a photographer and a musician, residing in the Cameron area with his wife Angie. Keith holds two bachelor degrees from Missouri Western State University and masters in education. He works for Cameron Group Care and has his own business "Timeless Images" Photography. His photography services include special events, portraits, photo restoration and commission work.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who was also a photographer, Keith took up photography in the 80s. When his grandfather passed away Keith received all of his photography supplies including developing equipment.
"I set up my own little darkroom and printed off my own stuff, it was all black and white...I was probably around 17 years old", Mathews said.
Focusing on nature, people, animals and landscape images in color or black and white. His passion is evident in the choice of photos he takes.
"The world has shown me through the camera lens, its beauty and how it's sensitive and full of emotions. Every picture is a story and the composition of a picture is the soul of a photo", he said.
Night photography and light painting are his personal preference. Night photography involves long exposure (also known as slow shutter, or time-exposure). The process involves a long duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, or smearing the moving elements. Keith commented that he doesn't feel still photos have as much emotion or movement in them.
"I want my photographs to have emotion and I want the person looking at that photo to feel the emotion too, he said.
Light painting, on the other hand, is a somewhat different concept. Starting in a dark room, the shutter is opened, and then a light source is used to illuminate specific areas. The camera then captures whatever illuminates. Keith uses a variety of lights, once he even used a small toy light! He explained that much of the work is trial and error and he can take as many as 500 photos just to get one or two perfect shots.
Keith has shown at Gallery 504 in Kansas City and at several small shows in the immediate area. His future plans are to finish up a series he started several years ago and to continue a new one he has recently started. The first series, entitled "Night Music", is a compilation of his light paintings involving musical instruments paired with his light painting touches. The second series uses long exposure to capture fountains and in the Kansas City area.