Truly thankful to God for all of his many blessings.
I know that times are extremely hard for everyone, especially financially. As someone who makes their living working as a photographer, I too have been challenged with finding alternative ways to earn income during this crisis. With that being said, for anyone who’s ever been interested in owning a beautiful copy of my work for their home or office, I’m happy to announce the launch of my first print store. Now you can choose from a variety of my work and purchase prints to be delivered right to your door. There are various sizes and framing options available. New photos which span my 20 year career will be added to my gallery regularly.
To check it out please visit me here: https://robertnjones.darkroom.tech
Wishing Queen Terri a very special and Happy Birthday today!!! I Love You!!!
Happy Anniversary To Me
With each passing year it becomes even more unbelievable to think about how my journey in photography all started. Every year I fall deeper in love with art form, and my appreciation for the opportunity to engage in it daily grows substantially. Being allowed to continuously learn, practice, experiment and ultimately grow is one of the greatest experiences in my life! I’m thankful for continuous blessing.
Discovery & Saying Goodbye
On September 9th, just a few short weeks ago, the photographic community lost not one but, two of the world’s most captivating artists. Just moments after learning that legendary photographer Robert Frank had passed away I, like most others, dedicated a post on my social media accounts to express my condolences as well as my appreciation. Immediately after I hit send I read a message from a fellow photographer saying that legendary Canadian photographer Fred Herzog had also passed away. It was such an unbelievable coincidence that I had to google it just to make sure that the information was accurate. Unfortunately, it was very true.
I discovered Robert Frank’s work many years ago when I felt lost as an artist, looking for a new direction for my own work. Robert Frank’s book, The Americans, is the gold standard for street and documentary photographers worldwide since it’s release in 1958-59. After viewing just a few of the photos online I knew I had to purchase the book for my personal collection. I now own a copy of The Americans, along with a few of Mr. Frank’s other books, so I fully understand the gravity of losing an artist of his magnitude. One of the lessons I learned from his work is, to be honest in the images I capture. Take photos that tell the truth regardless if it’s good or bad. Photography is not always pretty because the world is not always pretty. Stay true to yourself, your vision, and take photographs from your own heart.
I discovered Fred Herzog’s work because, I’ve always been a huge fan of all the Kodachrome film photographers. Being mostly a color photographer myself I’ve always admired the uniquely beautiful color palette that the mythical Kodachrome film was able to create. I was always on the look out for the early adapters of color photography, so Herzog’s work struck me immediately with it’s distinctive painterly beauty. I’ve also been fascinated with the natural beauty of Canada’s landscape since I was a small child. The marriage of Mr. Herzog’s photographic style, with the charm of the 50’s Canadian street aesthetic appealed to me heavily. The way Fred routinely captured the city of Vancouver for decades was beyond inspiring. He quickly became one of my absolute favorite photographers solely based on his documentation of the Vancouver streets. I own a few of his books as well and they are some of my most prized possessions. I look to them as a constant source of inspiration and motivation.
So what is inspiration to me?
Inspiration is impossible to quantify because, it’s influence is felt long after the source is gone. Therefore, it is immeasurable and everlasting. I’d like to thank these 2 men for their endless inspiration.
Although Gordon Parks is my single greatest inspiration, I will never deny the influence that so many other great artists, such as these 2 men, have had in the pursuit of my own photographic expression. I am truly grateful for their example.
Happy Birthday to my younger brother Marcus. I hope you enjoy yourself and have lots of fun. I wish I was back home to help celebrate with you. Cheers! I love you man!!!
“There’s gon’ be some stuff you gon’ see
that’s gon’ make it hard to smile in the future.
But through whatever you see,
through all the rain and the pain,
you gotta keep your sense of humor.
You gotta be able to smile through all this bullshit”.
– Tupac Shakur
In honor of my youngest brother’s birthday today I wanted to share a photo we created back in March. This was one of the first photos I took with my brand new Leica M10P. Thanks to my brother Antonio for helping me out with the session, and I’d like to wish him a very Happy Birthday!!!
Happy 18th birthday to my son Nas. I love you Jr.!!!!
18 years ago I picked up a camera to document the growth of my first born child, and I have never looked back. I’m thankful to God that I’m able to do something that I love so very much!!!
I was fortunate enough to have you both until I was 42 years old
You helped raise me, and love me, may God bless your beautiful soul
Although I’m sad, I can’t be mad I suppose, because one was a jewel 💎 and the other was a rose🌹
I’ll always love you both forever! Your son, Robert ❤
Black & white photos taken a few months ago while out and about.
Some color & black and white street shots from Old Town 2017.
According To Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary A Jewel Is Defined As:
Here is a short poem I wrote in memory and honor of my wonderful grandmother, Emma Jewel X Orsborn.
Sunrise: May 18, 1928 Sunset: January 6, 2018.
“They say no one is perfect, you’re the exception to the rule
Because, God crafted perfection when he created this Jewel.”
As a photographer light is the most important element to creating images. Through photography I’ve gained a better understanding of light, and the importance of light. Light is something that we all need, the critical source for our very sight, but also a power that we all take for granted. We’re usually unconcerned with how much we appreciate having light, until it is taken away from us. We’re also unconcerned with how difficult our daily tasks would be without it, until we have to try and function without it. Such is the case with the following example.
It seems that whenever it rains near my house the power goes out. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if it’s a heavy or light rain. I’m not sure what the technical issues are for this particular area or house? But never the less, it’s still a pain to deal with regularly! Power outages are never convenient, but they’re especially inconvenient when you’re right in the middle of preparing dinner! I was preparing dinner for my daughter and I when suddenly all of the power went out. Thankfully the food was almost done, and the oven retained enough heat to finish cooking even without the power. This was the second power outage we’ve experienced in less than 3 weeks time. In fairness, these outages tend to only last a few hours at worst, but on a hot summer night, or a cold winter night they can be brutal. The images that I’d like to share are of my daughter as she tries to enjoy her dinner despite the darkness.
These unedited photos were intended to capture some of the frustration of dealing with a lack of light while doing something important. All of the photos were lit by the flashlight from my iPhone, as well as a single candle that I found. The light that I provided my daughter was not included as a way to expose the photographs, but rather to assist her in finishing dinner. The idea of photographing her was a complete afterthought.
(Please click on each photo for larger view)
My ethnic princess series was created to depict a more realistic image of princesses to young women of color. The idea is to show girls of color that royalty looks just like them, as opposed to the traditional notion that we’ve been conditioned to accept throughout history. The series is meant to convey the message that you are beautiful and important just the way you are, so be proud of the skin that you’re in. Having a daughter myself, my goal is to get more people involved and have more representations from children of all different cultural backgrounds.
This first set of images feature Princess Madison.
(Please click on each image to enlarge)
A beautiful sunrise I was fortunate enough to capture, handheld, while out walking one morning last month.
Last month I reached an important milestone in my life. I just wanted to take some time to show myself some love and also share this moment. If you know me at all, then you know I gotta keep it real, so if that offends you please move along…
Despite the lack of support from my own family, friends, and former associates, I continue to carry on. Despite the lack of respect or credit as an influencer from the local photographic community, who by the way, will sing my praises privately, then try to disrespect me or ignore my contributions publicly, I continue to carry on. Don’t worry though, I know EXACTLY what I’ve brought to the game for the past 10 years in the city in which I live, whether they’ll ever recognize me for it or not! I’m also very aware of my influence back in my hometown for the 7 previous years as well. No I’m not on anybody’s “team” or a member of anyone’s “crew”. I don’t party or hang out, but it shouldn’t matter, because I’m an individual. I don’t die to fit in, I live to stand out! Please don’t get me wrong, I’m open to collaborations if creatively they capture my attention, or if they’re beneficial to my growth. But in the end I stand strong alone!
People often ask me for advice, but I think one of the greatest lessons you can learn from me has nothing to do with a camera at all. If there is anything you can take away from me, I’d say it’s my perseverance. Do what you love because YOU truly love it, not strictly for fame, money, or attention and you will always be successful. I do what I do for myself, but I choose to share it with the world. If you like it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. If you’re creative and passionate, then never let anyone stop you from doing what’s true to YOUR heart! If people don’t support you, or understand your dreams and goals, it’ll be disappointing, but don’t give up! Take satisfaction in knowing that you’re doing something for YOU. Understand that it might feel as if no one cares at times, but someone out there is watching. There are people who “get” what you’re doing. It might not always be those that you were expecting. The unfortunate reality is, the people closest to us can’t always see the greatness in us! Often times they won’t support us until people from the outside start to. Eventually they’ll come around when others start to recognize your ability. It’s sad, but true.
With that out of the way, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank each and every person that has EVER shown me any love throughout any stage of my career. I will NEVER STOP creating!!! If you riding with me, stick around cuz it’s only going to get better!
Peace and love to all the positive individuals everywhere! To all the creatives, keep your fire burning and your light shining bright! Support REAL artist y’all!!! ♥️
Here’s a few portraits of my friend Jerry that were taken during the worst part of the tropical storm Irma. He is homeless, yet he told me, “Not to stress out over life’s issues”. “As long as you’re alive and healthy, you have a reason to smile and be happy”.
The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma was far reaching, extending into parts of Georgia in the form of a tropical storm. Although the damage was far less than expected in the Columbus city area, strong winds toppled large tress, and power lines. The winds also scattered debris across the city’s streets causing some roads to be blocked off. There was also some minor flooding, power outages, as well as school and work closings. On the worst day of the storm I spent most of my time out walking the streets trying to document the damage. Below are a few samples of just some of the things that I saw.
(Please click on each image for larger view)
Just thought I’d share a random urban landscape taken in downtown Columbus.
For years I’ve awakened to the soft neon glow of this particular alarm clock.
This photo gives you a personal, yet very misleading look into my life. It says a lot about my daily sleeping habits. You see, some days this is when I wake up, while on other days this is when I go to sleep. There are many causes for such a sporadic pattern of sleep, mostly work, which I’m certain other creative individuals can absolutely relate to.
Having an active mind full of ideas can keep you up all night, cause you to wake up early in the morning, or disrupt you at any moment in between. It’s this same creative surge that can fuel your passion, while also draining your spirit. Being an artist of any kind is never easy. It can be a constant battle within yourself to outwardly express what you see and feel inside. Creativity can cause you to become a habitual dreamer incapable of manifesting ideas into reality, living totally inside your own mind. Or it can cause you insomnia from constantly trying to artistically execute your thoughts in your physical life. This never ending traffic of mind games is mentally exhausting! If you’re like me, and have been battling your entire life, you already know that eventually it will catch up to you physically.
This is where I currently stand. Growing older and finding it increasingly difficult to find ways to win these internal battles. To find a steady balance. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being an artist! I love being someone who can see things that others cannot. I love having the ability to create something out of nothing. Or being able to take something that exists and provide a unique re-interpetation from my own perspective. I truly believe it is a gift from God. I just wish that this gift didn’t have to come with burden of this curse wrapped around it.
Thanking God that I’m blessed to see another day! Another year.
I remember the day you were born. That day was my very first lesson in learning how to let you go. Having to leave you at the hospital to go to work that night was hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wanted to stay with you, to hold you, look at you, let you become familiar with me. My first child. But I had to let you go…
When you finally came home, each night that I left for work I would be so sad driving away, because I didn’t want to let you go.
When we put you in daycare, it was the first time that I had to leave you alone with strangers, and everyday that I walked out of that door I had to let you go. I would stand in the window and watch you until I didn’t have any time left to give.
Your first day of school, I was so happy for you, but so nervous. When the bus came to pick you up and carry you off I cried like a baby. I stood in the street and watched as the bus became smaller and smaller, until it eventually disappeared. There was nothing I could do, I knew I had to let you go.
Since then, there have been so many moments, so many times where the only thing that I could do was stand by and let you go. It never gets any easier.
Now here we are already, senior prom! Look at you. You’re so beautiful! You look just like your mother…
Once again I have to see you off and let you go. I’m so proud, but so hurt.
I know soon you’ll go off to school, or move out on your own and I’ll have to set you free.
Eventually you’ll meet someone, fall in love, get married, and that’s when I’ll lose you. That’s when my heart will truly break…that’s when I’ll really have to let you go.
I always knew these days would come, yet I’m still not prepared.
I love you so much!!!
You will always be my baby, sometimes I wish you could stay that way.
Why do I have to let you go?…
I never want to let you go!
But I know I must…
Today’s photos are a continuation of my previous post on shooting on the street with an 85mm. Although this isn’t a lens review, I will speak on the aspects of the lens that I enjoyed. The lens that I was testing was the Zeiss 85mm. At the end of the day I chose the whitewater rafters to test the autofocus speed on fast moving subjects. The focus was accurate and fast. The image quality was also excellent. The details in these shots are amazing! I wish that I could post the photos at their full resolution so that you could see all of the fine droplets of water the way I see them on my computer. I also enjoyed the build quality, color rendition, as well as the bokeh. Purchasing this lens is an absolute no-brainer! I highly recommend this lens specifically for portrait photographers, but as you can see it is versatile enough for other applications if necessary.
(Please Click On The Photos For Larger View)