PORTSMOUTH & SOUTHSEA'S No.1 for ARTS, CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

Created Local Instagram: @MattHocopan

In the thirty third edition of our special features celebrating our favourite south coast based Instagram users, I catch up with Matt Hocopan (@MattHocopan).

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Matt Hocopan, and I am a 23-year-old designer and photographer based in Southsea. You can usually find me near local skateparks, where I typically shoot extreme sports content such as skateboarding or BMX riding, but I also love photographing local features such as the sea and its surroundings, thankfully these spots are in abundance in the South UK area.

Can you tell me more about your photographic experience; is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby that you’ve developed?
It’s a little bit of both actually, I have always been fascinated with taking photos since a very young age, and thankfully (being a Gen Z kid) I have always had the opportunity to have something to shoot with, be it either a phone or a compact type tourist camera taken from my parents. I would then go to the skatepark to capture my friends doing cool tricks in the air, and eventually purchased my first DSLR. I have also went on to study Digital Media at University, which mainly helped me to hone in my editing and colour grading.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
Most of my life I spent shooting with Canon DSLRs, that is something I am very familiar with. I have had many different ones, currently I am using a 7D but I am actually in the middle of the process of switching to Canon’s Mirrorless series, mainly to reduce weight and size. I have also recently purchased an iPhone 11 so I can shoot and edit on the go, without having to carry my DSLR with me.

Exploring the theme of local, the south coast has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph?
Southsea Skatepark would be my favourite one, with its iconic bandstand and old school type concrete bowls. I also really like the Old Portsmouth area, so many hidden places to explore and shoot there, but I am constantly on the go to find new locations.

For you what makes a good photograph stand out?
For me a great photograph can be anything, it can be very minimalistic or it can be full of action, really depends on the lighting and the mood it gives out. However I have a soft spot for landscapes and photos with great architecture. You will also never see me miss a photo of a sunset. On the technical side, I love when warm tones are matched with a darker moodier style, I could look at photos like that for days.

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others? 
I think I definitely take photos more for others, and that means that I like taking photos for other people but I also take photos mainly to be looked at by others and just for them to enjoy, and hopefully inspire them to go out and explore and make some great photography happen themselves.

Are there any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
If you are interested in showcasing local extreme sports talent, @oldskoolpaul on Instagram is a must. On the global scene, I highly recommend checking out @justkay, his compositions are just incredible and breathtaking, also @phlyimages for extraordinary underwater photography.

If you would like to get involved or know of a photographer that you think should be on our radar then please drop me an email at stu@strongisland.co.


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