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Illuminating The Streets With One Spark

What can you do to bring new life into a once thriving metropolis, is what our community has been asking themselves lately.  The city of Jacksonville, Florida has been struggling to ignite the interest of hundreds of thousands of suburban residents to frequent its once thriving streets in the recent past.  During the second week of April, 2014 the streets of Jacksonville were on fire with One Spark.  This movement hit the city with a godly thunder-clap, and might possibly change the way we look at finding and funding new ideas.  One Spark is a crowd funding initiative for anyone with an idea to register and promote themselves into possible funding based on crowd votes and investor interest.  This year there were 249,000 reported attendees, more than $360 thousand dollars in awarded crow funds  in addition to over $3.25 million dollars in possible capital investments (source,  Not only did it give anyone in the world the opportunity to share promote their product or idea but it pumped life into the city streets and gave myself more hope and pride in the future of my hometown.

Earth Guy – ProShot Camera, edited in Fantasia Painter

Around the World…Cup – ProShot camera app, edited in Fantasia painter


Jacksonville is a very diverse city though its diversity is rarely as mingled as it was during this event.  Candid shots and street shooting is a foreign style of photography to me but I figured this was the greatest opportunity I would have and I chose to keep my Nokia Lumia 1020 on hand as I explored the festivities.  As I walked through the streets, I found great ease capturing the life around me.  With the extended battery pack there is an ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand and a shutter button that makes candid shots easy and discreet.  I used this opportunity to try different settings within the 1020.  The native camera worked effortlessly as I snapped away at my intended targets.  As I explored it became late in the afternoon, the sun was falling heavy on the horizon, the buildings loomed over us and the shadows were king.  With a few adjustments to the shutter speed in the ProShot app I was able to fire away at my subjects and came away happy with the results.

 Corner Taco – Native camera, edited with Oggl

 Streets are alive – Native Camera, edited with Oggl

Burlesque with a bit of SciFi – ProShot camera app, edited in Fantasia Painter


What I noticed as I walked through the streets was not only life and excitement but a sincere sense of community.  Each corner you pass there were food trucks, beer and hard cider vendors and interesting people both dressed in costumes, suits or matching uniforms all hoping you’ll find interest in their product and help them realize their dream, whatever that may be.  This crowd funding was impartial to inventions, music, art and food, if you have something good you can share it here.  This sense of opportunity kept the streets live with music, spoken word poetry, street performers and a man on a bicycle that I can only describe as belonging in a Tim Burton movie.  I have to say I have an interest in people watching which I believe is what brings so much fascination to candid and street photography.  That myriad of mysteries that make up a stranger on the bus, on a park bench deep in thought or passing by on the street just enjoying their evening, pure and unaffected by knowledge of the observing lens recording these seemingly unimportant moments.

The man with the plan, a casual observer – ProShot Camera app, edited in Fantasia Painter

Boneshakered BigWheel – ProShot camera app, edited in Fantasia Painter

Eye see Joy – Native camera, edited in Oggl 

Project Atrium (Shaun Thurston exhibit, MOCA) – ProShot camera app, edited in Oggl


From all of this years success we have been seeing updates from OneSpark’s founding team meeting with media giants such as Time magazine and NBC, and they are currently preparing to hold a OneSpark event in Berlin, Germany.  I have been looking for my golden ticket idea for years and continue to each and every day.  Not only were the overall winners provided with financial backing to expand and make their ideas a reality but everyone that entered got the opportunity to share their ideas, put themselves out there and give hope a chance.  There were only a few named winners of this event but I feel that the true winner is the community that came together for five days in April, pumped new life into the city and hopefully walked away with new found inspiration and pride in their community.

For more information on OneSpark check out:


One Comment

  1. Great work my man! I love that last shot.


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