Matt Shalvatis

An American, and a photography enthusiast living in Kiev, Ukraine. Formerly of New Jersey, USA. I like to explore the places and history of Kiev and Ukraine, and exploring different photographic styles and possibilities. My travels have so far taken me to South Korea, 30 of the US states, Belize, Canada, Mexico, Ukraine, Turkey, and Egypt.

I started taking photos quite a few years ago. While in the US Army, I was assigned to a duty in South Korea. While there, it just seemed normal and natural to buy a camera and start taking photographs. I've been doing it ever since.

My first camera wasn't much. It was just a 110 film format camera. Remember those? Well if you do, you've probably been taking photographs as long as I have. Congratulations. While the camera wasn't much, I was happy with the quality of photographs that I had taken. I guess I had caught the photography bug.

~ My Photography Philosophy. ~

OK, maybe philosophy isn't the best word for describing what photographers do. But here goes…

• I'm not a photographic purist. So many people will tell you that to be a serious photographer, or to get anything beyond a "snapshot," you must do this and you must do that. Nonsense. I break these so-called rules more often than I follow them. What counts for me is that I like the outcome, and hopefully a few others like it too. RAW vs. JPG? Five photo HDR vs. one photo HDR? Straight out of the camera, vs. post-processed? 100% realistic vs. pure fantasy? If I like the final picture, I post it. And so should you. It's all good in my book.

And I like to see variety in others photos too. That's why I'm here on 500px. I certainly don't like everything I see, yet it still might inspire me in one way or another, even if the only inspiration I take away is "I don't want to do something like that."

While, as a photographer, I very much want every photo I post to look it's best, as defined above, there are times when the story behind the photo is much more important than the final outcome. So, I will post those as-is, or with minimal processing.

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