Instagram Photographer of the Year, Grad Matt Black, Doesn't Snap Sunsets

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Photo of Matt Black

SEATTLE TIMES -- Black, who indeed did win Time’s 2014 Instagram honor, photographs Central Valley farmworkers: their sunburned faces, their modest homes, their physically demanding lives. He photographs agriculture: the expensive tractors, the abundant yields, the dramatic sweep of a once-arid land transformed into the world’s most impressive food-making machine. Too often lately he photographs drought: the cracked earth, the dust, the human misery. And, like the pioneering photographers of the 1930s such as Dorothea Lange, known for her searing Depression-era images of the Dust Bowl, he photographs migrations.

Ever since he graduated from San Francisco State in 1994, the 44-year-old Black has stuck to a career path that many would consider noble — and others plain foolish, at least from a financial point of view.

Photo: courtesy of Matt Black