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Why I'm doing street photography

Published January 22nd, 2013

To start I'll introduce my self.

So my name is Jonathan Jones. I'm a British street photographer born and raise in Paris, with my english mum. I was born in 88, so I'm a child of the 90's. I always loved taking picture since I was little. I started with toy camera, than film camera, saw the first digital camera appear and use them. I got this passion from my dad who also loved photography and was shooting film with an old Minolta.

Then My dad past away in 2002 and I continued to take picture while going on holidays and everything.But wasn't the same.And with me getting older I had to concentrate on my " Bac à laureat " the equivalent of the A level in England that you pass when you between 17-18 years old.Then started college and all this.

But in late 2010 my bother wanted a DSLR for he's birthday because he was going to travel. So I bought him a Nikon D5000. And since I was the one in the family who knew most about photography a taught him how to use it. And when he wasn't using it I was the one using it and experimenting with it. Having fun you know.But since it wasn't mine I could use it when I wanted.

So in early 2011 for my 23rd birthday my girl friend and my friends put the money together to buy me my own DSLR a Nikon D90. From this day on I had my own and could use it when and where I wanted. And because I loved walking in the street just looking at people, monument, enjoying the life I Started taking picture of the people around me. Taking the thing that look interesting to me and that i wanted to immortalize.( You can see some of those picture here )

When I started it wasn't very discreet since I was using the lens that came with my Nikon D90 which was a 18-105mm zoom lens. So during the summer 2011 when I was in Spain with my girl friends ( who is spanish ) I decided to bought my self a better lens for street. And I did I bought a Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX. And from that day the street world open to my lens. I could really capture what I was seeing on the street. And with a fixe focal length the auto-focus was quicker. But even if a loved street photography a wanted to try other photography gender. So I did some landscapes also when I bought my 16-85mm DX Nikon during 2011. Not to say I good or anything but I not that bad also for Black and white landscape photography. But for quality is not the same on my ASPC sensor then on a full frame one.

Then after my 2012 birthday I had a go at macro, which is far more complicated than we could think. So I had my try by buying a cheap Nikon 40m macro DX lens. But didn't continue with this.And during my spring-summer 2012 I wanted to have a go at portrait photography to see if I was any good at it. ( During this all time I was still during street photography also ) To tell the truth I wasn't a pro at it. But I did manage to take some decent portraits. But I was having any real feeling when I Was watching those portrait afterwards. So at the end of the summer I decided to stop portrait also and put my self only towards street photography and documenting the Parisian way of life.

And if nearly all my photo are in black in white is only because for me the world is like this. And also it's the better way to show only the emotion of a photo, the atmosphere , the character of it. Most of the time color distract the eye. So I only use color if the photo looks better in color than in black and white.

I when back to street photography because for my it is a way to express my self.To show to the world how I see the world around me. By doing street photography I also capture a piece of life from every people I take a photo of.That way I immortalize those people in time and space.So that their will be remembered. And that's also why I shoot in black and white. Color can vanish with time, color change.But black and white will always stay black and white. I don't always make candid, I also make mystery by not seeing the face of the person, by making people wondering while looking at my shoot. If by looking at a photo you understand it immediately the photo is finish, look at it once and done. But if the photo has some mystery, some wondering, if it's making you think. Then you will be able to look at it a thousand time and still asking your self some question about it. This is what I do. And iI do it even when I choosing the photos that I'm going to keep from a day out shooting street.

And here on 500px I'm sharing with you those photos. I not one of those who will pass hours in Photoshop with their picture to retouch them. I only take 10-15minutes per photos to butt them in black and white. To but back some contrast, light ,darkness and structure to it.And some time crop it if needed. But that's all. That way I'm sure that what you see on my photo is what I saw when I took it.

I may not get money out of it, i'm surely not getting fame out of it. I'm not going to get a job out of It. But I do get a lot of fun and pleasure out of it and that is the more important for me.

-I got 8th place in CONCOURS PHOTO DIGIXO: "PHOTOS DE RUE" a street photography contest in summer 2012

-1st place in october 2012 in Myphotoschool in the categorie black and white

-And got my first publication for street photography in Professional photographer UK of December 2012 page 16 for the PPOTY

It was publish because the sponsor of the street category chose it as their favorite photos.

black man walking

Here just before he past in front of me he was in the shadow and came into the of light. And I snap this shoot quickly and also because I loved the way he was looking dress like he was.

The Umbrella girl

Woman walking with her umbrella under the rain in the middle of the street with a the moment some sun coming through the clouds giving this lovely light. That how sun and rain can work together.

Street Painter

A street artist.This old homeless guy is painting on the ground with some chalk all around paris. He is well known for his work. And each time doing something different.

Walking away

"Walking away" is from the same series as " walking her life". Her a other woman going up the stairs with a different framing style.Her we can see more detail of the woman. And if you look at the down left corner you will see just the head oaf the street musician who was playing there.

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Inés Castellano  over 5 years ago

Well, your photos are really stunning. So famous or not, you should be proud! :)

Jonathan Jones  over 5 years ago