Eat The Darkness

by matthew ratajczak

Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category


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Copyright © 2009 Matthew Ratajczak/Scripps Newspapers. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew Ratajczak/Scripps Newspapers. All Rights Reserved.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m still here. Just been busy with life. I’ve been doing a little work to Matthew Ratajczak Photography, adding some new portraits and a story about alligator egg hunting on Lake Okeechobee, shooting almost every day for my real job, doing some freelance, dealing with brush fires and the smokey stank that won’t leave my truck or clothes, not sleeping very well and thinking a lot about the upcoming move to PA for Jessica’s new job and what it all means in the grand scheme of things for me professionally and personally.

But enough about me. Tomorrow’s the big day (shit I guess it’s already tomorrow, didn’t realize it’s after 2:00 a.m.) for my dear friends John and Judyta. This incredible couple will be saying “I do,” we hope, and tying the knot at the beautiful Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Fla. I couldn’t be happier for them. We wish them all the happiness and luck in the world as they begin this new chapter in their ever evolving story. Looking forward to dressing up and sharing this special day with them. I still don’t understand what a beautiful, smart and lovely woman like Judyta sees in John, but what do I know. Just kidding buddy, I love you man!!

So for the few people that actually check this blog every now and then, sorry for the big gaps. There just seems to be chunks of time where I don’t have much to share or anything worth saying. I’ll get on it and try to be a better blogger.


Written by eatthedarkness

March 28, 2009 at 2:32 AM


with 2 comments







All Photographs Copyright © 2008 Matthew Ratajczak. All Rights Reserved.

Written by eatthedarkness

December 30, 2008 at 10:39 AM

New Website!

with 3 comments

I finally launched! It’s still coming together and not perfect, but I really wanted to get it up. What’s up there now might not be what’s up there a week from now since I will still be refining and tweaking the content in the coming weeks. Thanks for looking!

Written by eatthedarkness

November 12, 2008 at 1:39 AM

Posted in About Me, Photography

I’m Still Here, Sort Of

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I want to apologize to all five of my loyal readers. Most of my free time has been spent trying to get my new website ready to go live. I’m close but not quite there. And then there is just life and all the consuming details of it. I promise to try and write more often and show some new work, but it might be a little while before I really get back into the groove.

In the meantime, to help satisfy your thirst, I’m happy to share that Alec Soth is back in the game. He is back blogging via Magnum. Check it out (here).

I also want to thank everyone who bought one of my photographs through my recent print sale here at Eat The Darkness. Your support is greatly appreciated and means a lot to me. The goal was, and still is, to help raise money so I can purchase some much needed camera equipment as I prepare to make the leap and go freelance. There’s more details in the original post. The sale is still active, so feel free to check it out and make a purchase. The holidays are getting closer, a photograph or two would make a lovely gift for your mom. I might even post a second round with some new photos.

I do have to say I was really surprised by the results of the print sale. The people I thought would jump all over it and help me out didn’t, and people I really didn’t expect to help, people I don’t talk to or see all the time, or people I haven’t seen or talked to in years, did! It was amazing. This is not a jab at those people who didn’t buy, believe me, I understand, kind of. I was just so pleasantly shocked by the people to who did buy a print, it’s not what I expected. Again, thank you so much. I’ve raised a nice little chunk of change. Far from my goal, but a good dent none the less. I don’t understand why more photographers don’t do this. There is so much amazing work out there that only lives on a website, a hard drive or a dusty DVD. Get it out there, make it available, share it, sell it, buy and sell art now!!!!

There are several photographers that I know, and many that I don’t, that if they made some of their photographs available for sale at affordable prices, I would definitely buy. Then again, many of them would probably not want to sell their work at a price most of us can afford. 

Anyway, thanks again for your patience, and thanks to all of you who supported me.

Written by eatthedarkness

October 20, 2008 at 11:10 AM


with 3 comments

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)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


(8X10)   (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (8X10)    (11X14)


^ (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


with 4 comments

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


with one comment

I’m bracing for a wet and windy evening tonight and all day Tuesday as Tropical Storm Fay makes her way across south Florida. This kind of storm just annoys me. It’s not a bad-ass hurricane that will keep me busy shooting for a week or two with tons of overtime, earning crazy hurricane hazard pay from my employer. I was able to finance a two week trip to Italy in 2004 thanks to Hurricane’s Frances and Jeanne. (Let me clarify something though, I would never wish a hurricane or any sort of natural disaster on anyone so I can benefit financially or professionally. They truly are a pain in the ass and can obviously affect people’s lives in a very severe and devastating way). 

As of right now, late Monday afternoon, it looks like Fay is just going to be an obnoxious soaker, dumping tons of much needed rain, and producing 40 mph winds, max, for us on the east coast. So Tuesday morning I’ll be out on the streets at 7 a.m., thanks Kelly, looking for storm related photos, getting soaked and steaming in my rain gear since it will still probably be in the 80’s or 90’s. I LOVE Florida!!!

Written by eatthedarkness

August 18, 2008 at 4:37 PM

Posted in About Me, Miscellaneous