Eat The Darkness

by matthew ratajczak

Archive for September 2008


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I need your help. I’m afraid there’s no other way to put it.

I’m going to be leaving my job as a newspaper staff photographer in the near future, moving on to begin my new life as an unemployed, I mean freelance, photographer. There are several reasons and/or circumstances, some out of my control, that are bringing about this change. I will go into all that in more detail at a later date. I will say I’m very excited about this new opportunity, and nervous as hell too! This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but always found a reason not to do it. No more excuses, the time is right. 

To make this a reality though, I need stuff. Lots of stuff. Expensive stuff. It sucks, but it’s just the way it is. It will be a gradual process, but there are some things I just can’t do without. The basics. The essentials needed to get the job done.

Over the years I’ve been spoiled with company camera gear, a company laptop and everything else needed to do my job. There was never a need to go spend thousands of dollars on equipment that I didn’t really need. More importantly though, these years have been spent at a newspaper that barely payed a living wage, definitely not enough to afford or save for expensive cameras, lenses, computers, lights etc…

So I’m having a print sale/fundraiser to help me purchase much needed camera(s) and lenses!! I’ve selected 10 photographs that I hope you like. Some of the photographs are from my personal “Convergence” project, a series I’ve been working on for a while that shows the often overlooked or unnoticed details of where man and nature subtly intersect with each other. And some are just random moments with the natural world and my daily life.

Each photograph is available as an 8X10 ($40) or 11X14 ($75). If you want something bigger, let me know and I’ll make a special order. I’ve set up links below each photograph that will take you to a PayPal site so you can purchase using your credit/debit card or PayPal account. If I know you, and you’re good for it, you can pay me with a check or cash and just let me know which print(s) you would like. The photos will be printed on Kodak Endura lustre finish paper by White House Custom Colour in Minnesota.

If there is a photograph that isn’t included here, or maybe you have something more specific in mind, let me know, I might be able to accommodate you. However, many of the photos I’ve taken over the years don’t belong to me. The newspaper owns the copyright, so therefore I cannot sell them. Also, please note that the photograph itself is slightly smaller than 8X10 or 11X14. These are the sizes of the paper the images are printed on. On it’s longest side the photo will be either 9-inches or 13-inches. 

I know money is tight for almost everyone out there as the economy continues to tank. So I understand if you can’t help right now. But before you say “screw this guy, I can’t afford it,” consider that you can get an original photograph for cheap, less than what most people spend on coffee or lunch in a week. And if you go with the bigger print, It’s like you taking me out for dinner. I know it’s less than what a lot of you blow at the bar on a Saturday night and way less than a new pair of jeans or shoes! It’s a small investment to make in order to help out a friend. You’ll feel good about helping, AND you’ll get a nice print! Come on, I know you want to do something nice. And don’t hesitate to buy more than one. They would also make great gifts. 

Thank you so much. Take a look at the photographs below. Hope you enjoy and feel moved to make a purchase.  


8X10 ($40 unframed) 11X14 ($75 unframed)


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(8X10)   (11X14)


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^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


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^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


Thank you for your support! It means a lot to me.

All Photographs Copyright © 2008 Matthew Ratajczak. All Rights Reserved


Written by eatthedarkness

September 18, 2008 at 11:33 PM


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Love Radiohead as much as I do? Like killer animation? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, go check out the In Rainbows Animated Music Video Contest over at aniboom. Make sure to check out the other submissions that didn’t make the final cut as well.

I really love what Wolfgang Jaiser did with “Videotape.”

Written by eatthedarkness

September 16, 2008 at 1:34 AM

Posted in Music

PSC & Shoot! Shot Dead

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Just one day after I signed up with PhotoShelter I received an email telling me that they were shutting down the Collection part of the business, their stock photography venture. I was hoping to begin adding a lot of my work that I actually own the rights to (the newspaper really has me by the balls when it comes to all the work I’ve done for them over the years). Here is an excerpt from their official statement:

“Today, we regret to announce our plans to close The PhotoShelter Collection, our stock photography marketplace, effective October 10, 2008.

Going forward, PhotoShelter will focus our energy and resources on enhancing the PhotoShelter Personal Archive our original product that today provides thousands of photographers worldwide with bulletproof backup storage and robust ecommerce capabilities for managing image sales online. We will continue our commitment to developing new ways to use technology to advance the art and business of photography.”

Continuing to move forward with the personal archive side of the business is a plus. So all is not lost. You can see the entire statement (here)

Unfortunately though, there was another sucky result of the Collection shutting down. The death of Rachel Hulin’s PhotoShelter blog “Shoot! The Blog”. A daily internet staple of mine. I really enjoyed stopping by to see what she had to say and what visual treats she had to share.

Fear not. The blog’s demise was only a minor hickup. She’s back for the attack (man, I love being able to make a totally unrelated reference to Dokken’s 1987 album “Back For the Attack” in my blog. I really used to listen to them. This is really only cool in my own mind right now at 11:37 p.m., I know this. Don’t worry, I don’t listen to them anymore).

Anyway, most of you already know all this. But in case you don’t, go check out Rachel’s new blog (here). Thanks Rachel.

Written by eatthedarkness

September 14, 2008 at 11:39 PM


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My friend Romain Blanquart’s self-published book “One” is finally available for purchase on his website.

I wrote about this way back in May, thinking he was going to have all the details worked out and books ready to ship. As you know, things are never that easy, especially when it comes to putting something creative out there for everyone to see. Well, he finally got it done and I think it was worth the wait. In addition to the book, you also get the choice of one of six prints. Not a bad deal. So go to his site and check out a preview of the book, pick out a print, and then buy it!

All Photographs Copyright © 2008 Romain Blanquart. All Rights Reserved.

Written by eatthedarkness

September 8, 2008 at 10:32 AM


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It’s intriguing how a random encounter with something in passing can epitomize your current emotional and physical state of being.      

Copyright © 2008 Matthew Ratajczak. All Rights Reserved

Written by eatthedarkness

September 4, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Posted in About Me, Photography