The Photomedia Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 8518 Erie PA 16505 USA

Matthew Chase-Daniel:
Reconstructed Landscapes

Landscape and nature photography generally represents a
straight and truthful depiction of our environment. But as
Matthew Chase-Daniel sees it: “However accurately
photography has captured images, it has not always
represented the way in which we see. Seeing is a dynamic
activity. A traditional photograph captures a brief moment in
time and place. The camera is still, focused on one particular
spot and the shutter opens and closes in a fraction of a
second. How we see, however, is vastly different. We glance
about. We focus on minutiae at our feet, than scan the
horizon. We watch the play of shadows on the land as clouds
blow by overhead. We walk down a beach or down a forest
path, collect shells, watch flocks of birds fly on the wind, see
waves gather momentum, crest, break and withdraw.”

Chase-Daniel’s photo-assemblages alter our traditional view
of landscapes. His meticulously gridded compositions
restructure elements from a particular scene into a cohesive
whole that becomes a reinterpretation of the very same
scene. He notes, “In my series of photo-assemblages, I work
to capture this elongated experience of seeing. I do not
photograph only one moment in time, but rather a group of
moments, selecting the most essential details of a place.
Creating works of art this way draws on the traditions of
photography, painting, and cinematography.”

Like a scientist or bug-collector, Matthew Chase-Daniel
carefully gathers images in the field. “This process might be
completed quickly, or may take hours or days. I often return
repeatedly to a certain place,” says the photographer, “waiting
for a particular convergence of elements such as light, tides,
or weather. Sometimes I move very little or not at all while
collecting the elements. At other times, I may walk, climb
trees or a ladder, wade into the ocean, or paddle across a
bay.” Once the scene is captured, the second phase of
arranging the pieces begins. This process of editing is where
the image becomes elevated from just a beautiful scenic to
something more than the sum of its parts when he chooses
the photographs “that flow together to express the original
experience of seeing a place through time.”

More of his work can be seen at his web site,
www.chasedaniel.com. If you are interested in purchasing
works, please contact