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Posted on Dec 28, 2015

Library gallery showcases local photographer

Sunset over a wheat field. The Columbia River and Rock Island Dam. A Douglas church at night.
The photography of Quincy resident Joel Mattson is being shown at the Quincy Public Library through mid-February. The collection includes 11 photos showing a range of subjects, including landscapes and photos using long exposures and time lapses.
Pam Barrow, a member of the Quincy Valley Library Foundation, described Mattson as a humble man with much passion for his art. Something that shines through in his work.
“He is a very self-effacing photographer,” Barrow said. “(He) just does it for the joy of taking pictures.”

Mattson took this photo in Douglas. Photo by Morning Song Photography.

Mattson took this photo in Douglas. Photo by Morning Song Photography.

While this is his first art show, Mattson, 22, took up photography as a 13-year-old.
“I picked up a camera then,” he recalled. “My buddy had one so I had to go buy one, too. It was a Nikon A1000 – a point-and-shoot that cost about $110.”
He has come a long way since then. Mattson, owner of Morning Song Photography, placed first and third two years ago in the Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day photo contest. The photo of a church, which is among those being shown at the museum, has been entered in Foothills magazine’s contest, although judging is not over.
“I have a couple of friends who’ve gotten their stuff in there, so I thought I might as well try,” Mattson said.
He holds high standards for himself, often criticizing photos that other people rave about.
“Everybody says ‘what a great photo’ and I say, ‘no, it’s a piece of junk,’” he said.
The self-employed lawn care professional doesn’t hope to support himself through photography. For him, his artistry is a hobby.
“I don’t see myself freelancing,” he said. “It’s just a hobby. I think it’s great just doing stuff like this (library show).”
There are many projects Mattson would like to delve into.
“Last summer I wanted to get up in the hills and do time lapses,” he said.
His goal is to keep a wide range of photos in his portfolio rather than sticking to a particular niche.
“I think it’s hilarious how most people get a camera and they shoot just one thing, whether it’s portraits or landscapes. I’ve shot weddings as a backup. Weddings are pressure.”
Although Mattson’s subjects are varied, he tends more toward photos of nature, weathered buildings and other inanimate objects. He chuckles when mentioning the reason why.
“With stars, wheat or a tractor, they just sit there,” he said. “It’s easier than telling someone to stand still.”


— By Steve Kadel,