My name is Zachary Matenchuk living in Manitoba, Canada. My profession is in education, but I have a strong passion for photography and the outdoors in my spare time.
My story on how photography grew on me and where it began is quite relatable to anyone. I started using my phone to capture moments from daily life. When I first began I had no idea that I would develop a strong interest in learning how to photograph. I just took photos of everything and anything with little idea at what I was doing. As I had gotten older though the interest grew more. I travelled more and, with that, I brought my phone with me to be able to retell these moments.
In 2014, I decided that it was time to invest into a camera system that would be just as versatile and lightweight for the hiking and the travelling that I love to do. I compared weight and a viewfinder that was similar to the technology of how a phone would showcase. The system I seemed to find most compatible with these attributes was an Olympus system. The OM-D series was budget and user friendly.
I started using an Olympus E-M10 (Mk I) with the standard kit lens; M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5~5.6. This kit was perfect for anyone looking to start investing into photography. The camera is lightweight, and the menu system is very simple. The live viewfinder is even more helpful, it lets a user know what the image will look like before the shutter goes. The kit lens was perfect for landscape, portraits, and everything in between. Another huge benefit to the OM-D system is the amount of freedom for focus points. The system works for you, without you having to rethink if the subject is in focus. I still use my 14-42mm for anything involved with landscape.
In 2019 I decided that it was time I improved image and video quality by getting my hands on the Olympus E-M5 Mk II. This camera was lighter, faster and the focus points were even more improved. I with this new camera body I also decided to upgrade to prime lenses; M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8. This has become my main camera for all my work. I have noticed that Olympus doesn’t change much to each series and that’s what makes it enjoyable to work with. You can pick up any body and put it with any lens and go. Very easy and comfortable to use.
Photographs don’t have to be complicated. It should be fun and require minimal effort to express the feeling. Which is exactly how I capture my images; raw, candid and nostalgic. Most of my work revolves around the weather and the conditions that accompany it. I look for the softest light and warmth. I find that the middle of the morning is the best time of day for that certain style of lighting. The results are soft colours and very much how the moment was when I took the photo. I love that style.
Passion is at the forefront of where all my ideas come from. I find my best work when I don’t have any idea until it presents itself in front of me. That’s when I notice the passion erupt and my camera being in use the most. I try to isolate my subject and place it in a certain way that best describes that moment. I like to make it seem very natural and without any effort, that’s when my favourite photos come out from.
Everyone has a look that they wan to be recognized by. I too have struggled to find it, but after 5 years of testing and reediting that style has finally shown itself. I like to work against the trends and avoid what is most popular so I have an even better edge to being recognizable. I pull back away from the blues and reds, and bring out the greens and yellows more. This gives the image a more warm and soft look.
At the end of it all, we have different stories and perspectives, which I encourage anyone to share. That’s the beauty of photography and the arts. They are a way to translate our views so that everyone can enjoy it. Stay focused on the story you wish to share and stay passionate. We all have an eye for the world, just get out there and capture it.
“My name is Zach Matenchuk. My current career is in education and teaching students with special needs. I live in Winnipeg, Canada. I have a passion for photographing landscapes, portraits and stories.”