Today We Are Juxt has unveiled our new name: GRRYO!
“Griot” simply means storyteller. Grryo simply means storyteller.
Through mobile and social photography, we will continue to showcase art from every corner of the world in the form of visual imagery – both still and moving pictures, interviews of amazing artists, and tutorials and reviews for a community that is continuing to grow every day.
We have shared our passion for this art form since December 2011. Since then, we have curated 12 mobile photography exhibitions around the world. Through partnerships with many mobile photography organizations, we have joined a movement that is open to anyone with an urge to create using their smart phone. These partnerships will continue to grow under our new name. Again our aim is to support this artistic movement through the storytelling aspects of visual mobile technology and fostering of community.
We look forward to opening this new chapter with you.
Welcome to Grryo. Let’s have fun.
What if you had the chance to drop everything and travel the world? That’s what Joe and Kevin did a month ago when they decided to explore the USA and meet Instagramers across the country.
I was lucky enough to meet them both, thanks to Scott and Susan, over at Gas Works Park here in Seattle last week. I got word from Scott the day before their arrival that they would be in town.
“Face Off” by Susan - Seattle, WA
To be honest, I hadn’t been following their #roundaboutusa adventures but once I heard about it, I had to look through the gallery. I read about their meetups with photographers they met along the way but what really drew me to them was this story by Breanna Mueller:
“Lately I have been following along a journey of two amazing photographers and Instagramers who are making their way across the US. Every day is a beautiful new place, picture and story that leaves me feeling as if I were there along with them. Thank you @sittingingodspalm and @sweatengine for taking the Instagram world and myself along with you thru #roundaboutusa. Following your inspiration, I will attempt the same on my mini 10 day journey up the Chesapeake Bay on board the 52 foot GB3. Although my journey and overnight stays are planned, I hope I still find some adventure along the way just as you have, on my own #roundaBOATusa :] My first instagram video of our wake departing from the Lynnhaven inlet. Hope you’ll come along with me… calm winds and following seas.. xoxo”
So awesome, isn’t it?!
“All American” by Bethany - Seattle, WA
Being from the east coast myself, I found an instant connection between them. I wanted the world to see and listen to what they had to say so I asked if they would take part in an impromptu interview. Needless to say I was stoked when they accepted the idea!
The following is my first video interview so bear with me… I tried to edit it as best as possible ;]
As a special tribute, photographers across the USA were kind enough to send me their favorite image of their meet-up with Joe and Kevin which you’ll see throughout this article – pretty spectacular!
These are for you, guys! Continue to follow your dreams!
B: Bridgette // J: Joe // K: Kevin
B: How has traveling together been so far?
J: So far, traveling has been very easy for us. We’ve been able to get along very well, and surprisingly, we still like each other!! The funniest part of this is, we met only 2 weeks before we decided to go on this two month trip together. So, I’m amazed that not only do we not want to strangle each other, but we actually work so well together, that it would seem we’ve been friends for years.
K: Traveling together has taught me a lot. Every decision on this trip has been a group decision – and this something I had to get used to. Other than that, it has been a major blast since our departure from New York City. The trip has evolved into something way more meaningful and dynamic than had anticipated.
“Joe and Kevin’s first visit to the very small town of Columbia City, Indiana .
From the first day of this groups meeting, long-term friendships began.” by Dave
B: What have you learned about each other?
J: What I’ve learned about Kevin, is that now, he feels free. I’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot of the things we’ve been doing, traveling, jumping out of planes, cliff jumping, etc.. He has not. So to see this new found, childlike, zest for life, it actually is quite endearing. I’ve also noticed how driven, passionate, creative, thoughtful, and sensitive he is. I can see how he is searching for not only the perfect sunset, sunrise, or cityscape, but he is also looking and hoping that he will find the one, who he can call his own. He’s a very sweet guy.
K: I had only known Joe for 2 weeks prior to this trip. But from his photographs I thought he would be my perfect “partner in crime” for this trip. And I’m glad I was right about that.
During our time together, I’ve gotten to know Joe very well. He’s driven (pun intended), focused, and adventurous. His energy and enthusiasm pushed me to places I would never thought of going. Joe’s very vocal about making the most out of every minute – so that’s definitely a major contribution to this trip’s success.
“J0-bombs-Joe Murray style!” with Jolene - Columbia City, IN // Photo by Kevin
B: Has this trip been what you’ve expected? What has surprised you the most?
J: This trip has taken on a life of it’s own. It’s been incredible. I originally was supposed to take this trip alone. I had an Investor who was willing to give me a lot of money to take a lot of pictures of landscapes, and my bike. I was going to write a book, and he was going to push it. When I met Kevin, he told me how much he dreamed of doing what I was about to do, and I said, “come along.” When I went back to the Investor, he didn’t like the idea of us going together, because we would have a lot of the same shots, which would make images harder to sell. I was sort of forced into an ultimatum. The money, or Kevin. I took Kevin. We put our savings together, and decided to live out our dream. We originally thought this trip was about pictures. It evolved quickly into something more. The people. The people is what made this trip worth while. The connections, and relationships we have made, are more important than any picture I have, or could have taken.
K: Absolutely not. This trip is much, much more than anything I had in mind. Initially my plan was to explore and experience some of the most beautiful places this country has to offer. I wanted to go home with unique, refreshing photographs that are worthy of being put in a portfolio or photo album. And I also wanted to meet people and get to know their stories.
“Into The Unknown” by Ryan - Chicago, IL
B: What cities have you been to so far?
K: We’ve visited many major cities along the way since our departure from New York. Some of the most memorable ones include New Port, Augusta, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, Jackson Hole, Seattle, and Portland.
“Touch and Go” by Ivan Vega – Chicago, IL
B: Where do you plan to go next?
J: After today, we will head to San Francisco, to hopefully get into the Instagram Headquarters. What we’ve realized, now a month in, is that this whole trip would be nothing without Instagram. It’s amazed us each, and every day, how the community that makes up Instagram, has skyrocketed our idea, of living for today, and getting out of your comfort zone, to live that life you’ve always wanted to live. So, we want the people of Instagram, to know that because of the community they’ve created, they’ve helped in changing our lives. We want to work with them, to push others to do the same. This way, everyone can just be a little happier!
“In Instagram We Trust” by Jason Peterson - Chicago, IL
B: Tell us about Skydive Chicago and any other adventurous things you’ve done.
J: My whole life I’ve been extremely adventurous. This is a trait I attribute to my beautiful Mother Sallie. I was always climbing trees to the highest, most brittle branch, climbing mountains with no ropes or nets, jumping from cliffs into clear and murky waters, skydiving, etc. I’ve always been that type. So, adventure has always been very important to me as a way of life. I need it to feel happy.
I thought I had it all figured out until I realized I actually didn’t, back in Chicago. I was taught a valuable lesson from the crew Skydive Chicago. They made us seem like being there, was just the perfect way of life. I walked through the Hangar, day one, after a long drive, tired, sweaty, probably frowning, while everyone inside had a smile, ear to ear. I quickly realized why. For them, this was heaven.
Skydive Chicago is very unique in the sense that it actually is a community. Not only can you camp there, but the people who work there, live there. What I quickly realized, is that these people, were no different than me. They were chasing something, and that something was happiness. No matter what it was, all they wanted to do was jump. I asked Alex, head of Marketing, what they did in the wintertime so that they can keep that happy grin, and he replied, “we chase the summer.” That quote is going to stick with me forever, and I’ll mold it to make sense for me, and my life. They’re travelers, thrill seekers, but most importantly, they’re ALIVE. I’ve skydived before in New Jersey, but this place was different. This place opened my eyes. It reminded me what I was here for, why I decided to leave everything behind. It’s because in order to really be happy, you need to find that passion, whatever it may be, and fight tooth and nail, to make it your life. I walked out with a better understanding of what I already thought I understood, and it makes me think, now that I’m following my dream, the “sky” is no longer the limit.
“A Skydive Chicago Sunset” by Holly - Ottowa, IL
K: Skydive Chicago has changed my life in a drastic way that was completely foreign to me. Never before had I imagined jumping off a plane at 13,500 feet above sea level. I was so eager to try yet extremely hesitant about it.
I can’t say I remember much of it to be honest. For the first few seconds after jumping off the plane, my body was in a state of total denial and confusion. I was disoriented, shocked, and overwhelmed by the foreign sensation of free-falling. The sensory overload was an experience I can’t properly describe – yet I’m sure I’ll remember it forever.
There have been many exhilarating moments like this throughout the trip. For example, I went cliff jumping for the first time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That was similar to skydiving in terms of free-falling, yet completely different because of the intensity of diving into Phelps Lake at the end.
Photo by Sam Bakshian - Minneapolis, MN
B: Where do you sleep? How do you find places to stay? Do you pre-book?
J: The sleeping issue is one that has become a complete different way of life for us. I was used to sleeping in a nice, comfy queen size bed, waking up to a nice breakfast, and hot cup of coffee. I miss those days, haha! Now we do a lot of camping, and sleeping out of the car. Before I met Kevin, my idea for this trip was to live very simply. I wanted to see how I could survive, living with nothing but the clothes on my back, sort of, and out of my car. I soon realized that the idea I had, was a better, more glamorous story, than what reality has shown. Kevin still laughs, because I actually am very comfortable sleeping out of my car. I don’t know why that is, but its true! We often will pay for a camp site, and he will use his tent, snuggled up cozy in his sleeping bag, and I will very comfortably sleep out of the drivers seat. This has occurred more often than not. I think it actually really bothers him that we are paying for the site, yet I sleep in the car, but to each his own. We will also, very often sleep in parking lots of hotels, and thanks to the community of Instagram, we’ve slept in many homes of people we don’t know, and even tented on people’s lawns! It hasn’t been the Ritz, but who needs the Ritz, when we’re meeting and experiencing all we have thus far. I don’t!
K: We have a large selection of lodging options – and by that I mean we don’t have any plans at all. Let me explain what I mean.
This unsponsored trip is largely based on serendipity and kindness of others. With the help of Instagram and other social media – we have been invited to people’s homes or backyards where we’d camp. Because our funds are limited and our budget is extremely tight, we have yet to stay at a hotel. I’d say camping in a campground once every few days is what we’ve been able to afford. And there have been times when we slept in our car (mid-size SUV) for 2~3 days in a row.
The way we’d connect to people is that we’d often announce our arrival or plans prior to entering a city or location. We would ask if anyone wants to hang out and show us around, and we’d tell them our stories and about our trip. Quite often people would come forward and offer lodging suggestions after getting to know us. And there have been times when complete strangers opened their doors to us as well.
“CAUTION” by Kevin Kuster - Chicago, IL
B: How are you documenting your travels? Where can we find your images and videos?
J: In order to see our pictures, you can find them on Instagram, by either our names – @sittingingodspalm (me) or @sweatengine (Kevin), or you can find each shot of ours from this trip under the hashtag #ROUNDABOUTUSA. We both have a passion for pictures, and I have always had a passion for writing. You can read all about our daily adventures on each post that we show. What I’ve noticed, and Kevin agrees, is that he is an Outstanding Visionary. He sees the picture way before he takes it. That makes him, in my opinion, the better photographer out of the two of us. I learn something new from him every, single day. When it comes to writing, I find that to be more my passion. Together, we are a great team, because we both bring a different passion to the table, which helps us reach greater heights each day.
“Cheese Balls” by Kevin Kuster - Chicago, IL
B: Have you traveled outside of the USA? If so, which was your favorite place to visit?
J: I have never been out of the country. My dream though, is to see the world the way it was meant to be seen. Not through others pictures, or stories (though others’ journeys are what inspire me), but through my own experiences. I want to live everything first hand. The world is way to big for me, or for any of us to stay put. This trip is step one of a thousand. I cant wait for step 2!
K: I haven’t been out of USA for about 20 years – believe it or not. And this is my first time traveling since entering my adulthood. I would love to spend a lot more time seeing this country if I had another opportunity like this. And also I want to see the rest of the world one day.
“May your travels be safe, and your adventures wild.” by Eric Mueller - Minneapolis, MN
B: What’s the meaning behind your usernames: @sittingingodspalm & @sweatengine?
J: A lot of people often have asked me why I chose @sittingingodspalm as my username. The truth is, @Joe was taken. So, I went with my second choice. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become very faithful, in the sense that I feel that everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe things happen by chance, I do feel I’m part of a plan that I will never be able to predict or understand, so I’m going to go with the flow. The “flow” is the Palm Of God. It doesn’t matter what God you believe in to me. It doesn’t matter what higher power you believe in either. To me its all the same. God will put me where he wants me, so in the mean time, I’m sitting in his palm, waiting for him to place me.
K: Prior to this trip, I was a biomedical engineer, designing orthopedics devices. I am also very passionate marathon runner. When I signed up for Twitter, I picked @sweatengine because I’m a sweaty (from running) engineer. Here’s something funny about my username: someone once thought I was “Sweet Eugene”.
“Little Bro Lu” by Kristin - Minneapolis, MN
“Had the pleasure of meeting up with two inspiring IGers who are living the dream and traveling around these great United States. I’m still amazed at how @instagram is bringing so many interesting and wonderful people together.
Have a great and safe rest of your trip @sittingingodspalm and @sweatengine!”
by Matt Treiber - East Calhoun Beach, MN
”~ lights, camera, action! ~” by Michael - The Badlands, South Dakota
This was a Behind the Scenes look at me getting a shot of Joe setting up his shot of me on that windmill.
Joe’s gallery has the final product.
And Kevin was the consummate DP on the set.
“Insta Pals” by Bridgette Shima – Seattle, WA
“Union Station Hangout” by Fayth – Chicago, IL
[ Gold Stars, Part 2 ] by Dana Marie - Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN
“Rise Above” by Eric – Toledo, OH
Joseph D’Amelio 3rd
Joe is from NJ, the only boy, and youngest of four, with three older sisters. He currently lives out of a 2013 Ford Edge. While in NJ he was working as a Butcher, trying to be a NYC Police Officer, but decided to leave everything behind to live the “American Dream,” to see the world through his eyes.
“I’d really like to mention, that the generosity of people has been incredible. The Relationships I’ve made through this trip, has blown my mind. For us, the trip really took off in Ohio. A fellow IGer, Eric (@Littlecoal), let us not only camp on his lawn, not only show us all his favorite spots to shoot, but he also introduced us to a few really good guys. Dave (@Kewiki), Kevin (@KevinKuster) and Jason (@JasonMPeterson). These four guys have pushed this trip so much for us. Eric made us feel like we were a part of his family. He is a very faithful good person, and to me felt like a big brother. Dave took us skydiving with his amazing family, who also made me feel like I was a brother, rather than a stranger he had just met. I wish we could have spent more time with Kevin, who featured us, and our story on his feed, along with giving us a ton of advice. Jason is a powerhouse. He has pushed this trip more than we have, hooking us up with more people to meet, and for me, he’s been a bit of a mentor. These four guys, have made this trip better than it ever possibly could’ve been. My favorite city thus far has been Chicago. They welcomed us with open arms. @Ivanvega, @relaxocat, @brandonexplores, @ryanpostal… these people made us feel like family. I miss them.
What I came to see, is that though I occasionally miss home (always miss my family), I often miss people who I’ve met along the way, and who I only knew for a day, or two. That amazes me more than anything else. This trip for me is just the beginning, I want everyone to live the way Im living, through their own eyes, and experiences. I would never say, “everyone should quit their jobs” to do what we do, but taking a day, or weekend trip, and step out of their comfort zone, to do things they’ve never done before, I feel would make the world a little warmer, a little happier.”
Email // Instagram
Kevin Lu is a biomedical engineer and marathon runner from New Jersey. He loves photography and enjoys outdoors activities. He’s left everything behind and taken a huge leap of faith to be on this road trip around USA, in hopes of inspiring people to see and experience the world differently.
Tel: 201-696-5366 // Email // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram
We Are Juxt believes that mobile photographers/ artists tell stories through the photographs/ images and art that represents their families, their environment, themselves. This is important because of the level of communication that is portrayed in imaging today.
We want to support the mobile arts community by having a place for artists to share, discuss, and critique (if requested by individual). These dialogues help the individuals and the community to grow.
We look forward to you and your art. We thank you for your contribution to the mobile photography/ arts community. To submit YOUR work click here.
While browsing through the submitted images, I found myself drawn to these brilliant abstract and composite pieces. This particular style of mobile art is something that has always amazed me. To start with a raw photo or two and end up with such a creation, truly expresses the creative vision of the artist. These images made me feel like I was stepping inside the mind of the artist for a few moments and I wanted to share them with you. Please enjoy this collection and make sure to visit the We Are Juxt Facebook group to view all of the wonderful images and submit some of your own! – Josh St.Germain
“Mother Of Violence” by Rino Rossi
Facebook // Website // NEM
“The shot was inspired by some sequences of the film “Let the Right One In”. Innate violence, but also decadently romantic.
Starting from the image of Eli, the protagonist, I superimposed with Photo Texture a frame of a flower captured with a Slow Shutter. Then I improved the image with Snapseed and so I further reinforced it with a texture by Alayer”
“Broken” by Andy Alexandre
Instagram // Facebook
“I’m Andy, I’m french from Marseille, and my way is to use only iPhone to take and to edit pictures.
I Like to work on bodies and faces with different mood and touch.
All male bodies part are mine.
For this one, It was to show some scar and pain on a strong body.
To start I use “Standby” to shoot myself with timer.
To add this broken mood on my arm, i use IcoloramaS. I play with parameters inside deforms in effets folder.
The result is on all the picture. So i use Image blender to keep only the part what i want to show (arm here).
I use Vintage scene for this paper background.
And finally mextures to add some scratch for a vintage atmosphere inside grit and grain (i love scratch lol).”
“The Prince” by Patricia Larson
Instagram // EyeEm // Flickr
“In this picture I wanted to mix the natural with the abstract and show that the result is very pleasing to the eye, sometimes landscape photography helps us to inspire us.
I called the prince because that is part of a series I did, where I photographed several very large trees and this was the smallest, which does not prevent it in the future be the King!
Camera: to straighten the pic a bit and for a touch of silver to Silver Gelatin filter.
Fragment: To insert abstract images.
Icolorama: to insert the letters.
Stackables: to give the appearance of old paper.”
“Heartbleed : Grieving” by Meri Walker
EyeEm // Website // Flickr // Blog
Apps: longexpo, oggl, afterlight, snapseed
“I made this image to help me process the grief that slapped me upside the head the day I learned about the Heartbleed bug in the internet. If you don’t know what Heartbleed is, please Google it and learn about it today
Heartbleed makes the Target credit card leaks back during the Christmas holidays look like a chigger bite. None of us can afford to ignore it. We must all take steps to protect ourselves as best we can.
The news about Heartbleed hit me hard because I’ve been sharing and learning on the internet since the mid 1980s. Long before we had a graphical browser, much less Google to help us find one another. As one of the original signers of The Cluetrain Manifesto (Google that, too, if you’re interested) I’ve spent almost half my adult life sharing the best information I have with others so the whole human race can get smarter faster, around the globe, without having to travel to world-class libraries. Some of us saw early on what the internet could do, not just for scientists and people in the military, but for everyone. So we started sharing our “seeds” online year after year after year and, over the last 30 years, we have watched human intelligence blossom like never in the history of Man. Some of us oldies think of the internet as our community garden
Seeing bugs like Heartbleed strike such a devastating blow to our garden – compromising everyone’s ability to connect safely, freely, and securely online – makes me want to scream and vomit. And a lot worse.
These days, when I’ve got overwhelming feelings, I thank God I’ve got my iPhone to help me communicate – first with myself – and then with others online. It’s a freakin’ miracle that we’ve got these devices in our pockets
So, I made this image late in the afternoon of the day I first heard about Heartbleed. I was walking my dog, Blaze, and it was getting close to dark. I was pissed and sad and cold and confused. But my neighbor’s tulips and some other bulbs were beginning to bloom. And they were so beautiful, they cheered me up. Even in the almost dark.
I whipped out my iPhone, peeled off my gloves, and used LongExpo to make some shots of them, collecting as much light as possible using 2-second exposures. I made a bunch of shots, breathed in the fragrance of the hyacinths, and forgot my angst for a while, until my fingers got so cold I couldn’t hold the phone.
When I got home, I fed Blaze, made my own dinner, and started apping the shots watching the news. I wanted as much color out of the shots as I could get, so I worked them over with Snapseed and then imported them into Oggl, running them through some potential combos until I found a good one. Then, I alternated back and forth with Afterlight and Snapseed, bringing up the light and color in some parts and taking it down in others. The crack and the dust were a last-minute serendipity as I was playing with Afterlight. As I laid them into the frame, the tears began to pour… About 15 minutes later, I felt better.
Creative self-expression doesn’t fix tragedies that have already happened. But it can help us feel a lot better to stand in the truth as we see it and allow ourselves to feel what we feel
“Blackest Eyes” by Jane Schultz
Instagram // EyeEm // Flickr
“This image is one from what turned out to be an unplanned, non-sequential series of exploratory self portraits. The photos used to create this image were shot on iPhone native camera using a newly acquired backdrop. I started the edit by blending two sequential images in Filterstorm. After cropping, refinements to contrast, form, brightness, and saturation were made in SkipBleach and Facetune. A touch of DOF, and the image was finished in Camera Bag.”
“Monday Morning” by Liam Nisbet
Instagram // Facebook // Website
The shot is of part of the glass honeycomb ceiling of the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland, and I took it while I was there for a few days in March and April
The ceiling is an incredible structure, in fact, the entire building is pretty amazing! It’s external shell is constructed from hexagonal steel pods, or prisms, and the whole place looks like a giant bee hive! This particular section of ceiling was above an area at the end of a very long staircase, and I almost missed it. I was so busy taking shots of the windows and corners, I didn’t think to look up! When I did though, I saw everything around me reflected in the mirrored panels above, and the scene was quite surreal, with tables upside down and stairs going nowhere
When I returned to Edinburgh, I was looking through all the photos I took in Iceland, and I kept passing this one by. It just didn’t seem to speak to me in the right way. However, one Monday morning while at my desk in the office, I was feeling like I wanted to be anywhere but at work, and I was really missing Iceland. I saw the image again, and I thought “this would work in black and white”, so I started editing it. It took me a while to finish it though, because the lines were a bit confusing, and I had difficulty deciding how to crop it. Several versions later, and I settled for this one. I called it Monday Morning because it confused the hell out of me, which was kind of how I felt that day
It was shot on an iPhone 4S, and edited with Snapseed. Firstly, I straightened it a bit, then cropped it (several times!). Then I switched it to black and white, before increasing the contrast a little, and making a really minor adjustment to the structure. All in all, not too much editing involved with this one
The inspiration came out of a documentary that i saw at Easter holidays here in Greece about the woman behind Christ , Mary Magdalene and her role to his life and to the community that period .. a really misunderstood figure of theιr time and i just wanted to give the attention that she deserved to have for being the only one so close to his suffering … my intention was not to offend the religion. I was clear to my model of what i wanted naked body but i had to cover the nudity cause art for some people is something weird to their mind so i had to walk to their lines (and i hate that ). Anyways i had the shot i opened the photo to Blender and i used as a layer for the cross a widow to get that shadow behind her as a cross .. then i opened the image with the app mono.vu and i used for the texture the mono6 filter .. saved .. opened with artrage app to paint the blood from her hand and finally to make the image look so intense i used the filterstorm PRO the tool sharpening and the image was ready intense and beautiful as i wanted
This one started out with a photo taken in Hipstamatic. I liked the photo but I wanted to play around with a self portrait using some of the apps I haven’t had a chance to use too often to see what they are capable of. So first it went into Perfect365 to add some “makeup” and smooth out the skin. Then into Smoosh to adjust the hair. Next thru iColorama for color adjustments and to add a more neutral background and some texture. Went into Procreate to play around and added a fence style texture to the face. Back thru iColorama for the multiple exposure effect. Finally it was put thru Scratchcam to mute the color and add some texture. This was by no means a direct route to the finished photo. It went thru 34 stages to finally get to this point
This image is a composite of a native cam iPhone shot taken at a state park taken on a misty morning and a slow shutter cam pic of a boy in Central Park. A juxtaposition. After cropping and converting the image to black and white, I applied texture, and then the effect seen in Art Rage.
Find My Heart in India by Anna C.
*[REWIND] Originally posted on We Are Juxt on August 15, 2012
I love stumbling across beautiful feeds and more importantly I love India. I traveled there with my father many moons ago and fell in love instantly. When I was tagged to Jessica’s, @jessuckapow, feed I was blown away by the humanity that stared back at me from their neat little boxes. I could almost smell the markets and hear the vendors. Looking through her feed and reading her blog brought back so many happy memories. I do hope you will take the time to soak in the sites and sounds that are Jessica’s life.
Oh! P.S. she is an Andriod photographer! Wahoo!
A: Anna J: Jessica
A: Tell me a story about India. The one that you always want to tell when people ask you about India.
J: I was in Goa and during “the season,” as everyone calls the time between November and March, it’s flooded with tourists so during this time a contingent of what the locals call “gypsys” come to town to do their seasonal begging. Some are rather aged, some are children, many are younger women who have infants and small children with them. A lot of people consider them a nuisance and treat them like crap, which is difficult to see. I was sitting at my favorite falafel place and had just finished filling one of the gypsy’s bottles with fresh milk for the infant dangling at her side as a feeble looking woman with the harsh years etched into her face approached wanting money for food. The restaurant owner, Shimon, offered her chai and a sandwich and with much appreciation she squatted under a tree to wait. I smiled at her and she shyly smiled back at me with a toothless grin and we watched Shimon’s young daughter, Gia, play around the outdoor patio. All of a sudden, his daughter slipped on a chair and tumbled towards the ground. This woman, who looked like she couldn’t run from a bull if it charged down the street, bolts from her squatted position and dives to catch Gia, managing to save her from a massive thud. She brushed off her knees as Gia wailed in shock as Shimon came out to help and the woman gently passed Gia to him. He placed his daughter into the safety of the cushions on the floor and went back to preparing the food for the woman. Witnessing the display of compassion from two beautiful people, who belong to different rungs of Indian society, which is very rare to see here, was incredibly touching and epitomized the goodness in humanity. The black and white portrait I sent you, is the woman who helped Gia that day.
A: Tell me about your life right now. I know your traveling. Where have you been were are you going? Why?
J: I don’t know if I would consider what I do “traveling,” because I REALLY don’t like the whole traveling part of traveling and I usually find a place I like, stay for a few months and suck up all I can from where I choose to live. I’m more of a gypsy, you can say. Since December 2010, I’ve volunteered on a bridge construction project in Lesotho, Africa, visited a number of friends in Europe and Australia, meditated and bummed around Thailand, and a few visits home to Seattle to see friends, family and tie up loose ends but a majority of my time has been studying yoga and meditation in India and I plan to stay here for rest of the year.
My first trip to Lesotho, which was only for a few weeks, in 2008, initiated a dramatic change in me. I looked around at my well paying corporate consulting job, which I was great at but hated, my recently purchased home, my car, ALL the crap I owned and thought, “what am I doing?!” For the first time, as an aware adult, I saw people living a simple life, they had just the bare necessities and they were HAPPY and I…was not. I received the biggest present after returning from a volunteer trip to Peru in early 2010 – my company was eliminating my job! They offered me the option to either take the “promotion” or take severance and after a few moments of being completely bummed out, I smiled, accepted the separation package and never looked back. I had a few little trips planned with my new freedom but there is a familiar story with most long-term travelers and it always seems to start the same way, HEARTBREAK! All of a sudden, my planned 6-week trip to Africa turned into 3 months and now, I was planning a trip to India to throw myself into studying everything there was about yoga.
Heartbreak starts so many journeys but it doesn’t sustain long term travel. Once you leave the comforts of everything you know, for more than a few week vacation, you taste what else this world has to offer. You see just how small and insignificant we are as individuals and realize, globally, everyone just wants to be happy. When you’re thrown into new challenges, new obstacles, new surroundings, unknown languages, customs and people, you also realize just how big of a foreign world you have inside yourself. I thought I was leaving home to understand the full depth of yoga, what I’ve recently come to realize is that I actually left home to understand the full depth of ME. India has a suction cup attached to me, the more I’m here the more I’m learning WHY I’m actually here and when I’m not here, my plans have always been about getting back here. It’s the kind of country that will guide you everywhere you need to go, as long as you keep your eyes and heart open for all the opportunities that present themselves. It’s such a weird and beautiful place!
A: Wow! it must be hard to be so far away. How are you using mobile photography/ social sites to connect with the people you love?
J: I don’t know how I would be able to do what I do without Facebook, Blogspot, Skype and Instagram. I’m ridiculously close to my family and friends and being away from them is so difficult but I know I’m doing what I need to for me right now. The way I view my photography is sharing my eyes with those I love and sharing experiences I wish they could have with me, in that moment. Some of those in my world may never find it in themselves, for whatever reason, to make the changes they really want to make in their life. Some want to join me but I know “life happens.” I know how hard it is to break from a very comfortable routine, to be terrified of making that first step and risk leaving the security you think you’ve built for yourself, all for what… the unknown, the moment? I’ve had so many friends thank me for allowing them to live vicariously through me but when I’m sitting on a cliff in the Himalayas, watching the thick fog dissipate to reveal the most majestic view I’ve ever witnessed, being able to snap a photo, edit it to capture the beauty and mood my eyes see and upload it to Instagram, which I’ve made my photo journal, makes me feel like they are with me. They thank me but really, I should be thanking them. The support and love they have all showered upon me has been a huge driving force and I don’t think I could ever thank them enough. Sharing myself, my experiences, my stories and my lessons through my writing and my photography is the best way I know how to show them my gratitude. I’m here for me with the full awareness that all I do for myself is only what I would love to share with everyone else.
A: India is a beautiful place. How does your life influence your photography ?
J: My entire life, up until 2010 had been so calculated, meticulously planned and organized. When I decided to make a change, I threw all that away and the personal transitions I’ve experienced through yoga have shifted me to enjoy the present, not brood in the past or day dream about an unknown future. I’m no longer looking for the top of the ladder, I’m just enjoying my present stair and with each photo I take I want to capture the essence of what I’m experiencing, right then! I toyed with the idea of having consistency to the feel of the photos I take but when I tried that, it just didn’t work. The only consistency there is in my life is that there is no consistency, which is true in all our lives. I want my photos to epitomize that reality and to be as true to what either I’m feeling or the environment is feeling. Visiting foreign lands, specifically 3rd world and developing countries, ignited my passion for photography because I saw so much unique beauty in the faces, architecture and landscape, a beauty that wasn’t necessarily produced meticulously or manufactured specifically to be beautiful. Often times I’m in places where most in the Western would view them as destitute, disgusting or ugly but finding the beauty among all the filth, the rubble, garbage, dirt, grime and poverty is where I find the magic in life.
A: One last question. Is it all worth it? Leaving everything behind, striking out on your own, and finding a new place you can call home?
J: Nothing in the world would make me want things to happen any differently than they did. I studied for a very short time with this bizarre-o tantra yoga teacher and while he said a lot of crazy stuff like, I should drink my own menstrual blood (ummm EWWWW!), he did say something that struck me. “Before you meet a girl, be happy. Meet a girl and be happy. If the girl goes away, still be happy.” I was so happy before I met this woman, was just as happy when we met and became good friends, was just as happy, ok, maybe a lot more, when we started dating but after it didn’t work I was a complete mess. Something was wrong with that picture and I knew it. Everything changes, everything goes away, relationships change, people leave or they die, jobs come and go, houses are built and destroyed, cars go vroom and then go kaput (or BOOM as was the case with mine) but through it all, the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, we should still be… happy. This whole journey isn’t necessarily embracing my independence from others or from things because I still learn so much about myself through the relationships, of varying degrees, I have with everything, from people to my towel. I am just learning to be completely happy with the relationship I have with myself and that’s more important than any relationship I’ll ever have with anyone or anything else. I’ve never felt so grounded and for the first time in my life, I can’t attribute my happiness to anything in particular and it feels amazing! So, I think it’s worth it…if I didn’t, I’d probably be doing something else.
Thank you Jessica for sharing your heart and your home with me. I am so excited to be able to travel with you through your words and photos.
To read Jessica’s travel blog go here.
To see Jessica’s photos go here.
“Lucifer Rocks On”
The City of Angels by BP
Email / Twitter / Instagram / EyeEm
* [REWIND] Originally published on We Are Juxt on September 7, 2012
Southern California is home away from home.
I took every opportunity to get out and shoot, especially the Streets of LA. It’s my first time to since finding how much I really like doing street. My son’s godmother (who is from LA) always told me I should shoot down there. That if I could get lost (metaphorically speaking) in Seattle when I go out to shoot, then LA will be totally crazy for me. Well my son’s godmother, this is for you!
I shot the streets. This time around I took down notes. Notes that helped me remember the moments I shared with folks when I talked to them, both strangers and family/friends and just my own thoughts and opinions – I wanted to make sure I caught the moments outside of the shots I took. I had the opportunity to walk one of Sam’s routes in DTLA with him. Sam is a street shooter who I totally respect. I got to see his process, his style. It’s great to see others at work. I was so caught up in watching him, that I only took a few shots and then my battery died. Earlier that day, I had shot the fashion district – specifically around Santee Alley. That in itself was a crazy ordeal. Santee Alley is a swap meet of sorts – used to be known to sell bootleg brands until it got broke down by the Feds. Rumor has it it is run by some international cartel. Not really hard to believe. I had a lady chase me down and call me out (I’ve never been called out before. She thought I was “filming/recording.” You just know they still trippin from the Fed raids). After this encounter, I noticed two guys following me and my cousin just about every where. It was nerve racking for sure. That’s definitely a “neighborhood block watch.” It was one of them stories I’m definitely going to share in another article. That one will be about some of the craziness of shooting street.
“The No-Music Ice Cream Man”
Sidenote: For all you street photography purists; only 2 of these photos was where I asked to take their shot. Can you guess which two?
I wanted to see what I could do in LA. Although time was REAL limited, I wanted to take some opportunities to capture what I saw and heard in the City of Angels. The light is real harsh mid-day. I wanted to try for those shots. All of these shots were taken either on Melrose, Venice Beach, Hollywood and Highland, or Downtown LA. All of them were taken between the times of 12-4 PM. The light is truly unforgiving during these times. I saw it as a huge challenge. I tried my best.
“Anyone able to take Spidey back to Burbank? Meet Hitch-hiking Spiderman.”
Hollywood and Highland. The famous Walk of Fame. Full of tourists. I MEAN FULL of tourists. It was overwhelming to be honest. We had just gotten back from visiting the “Wild Card Gym” owned by Freddie Roach, where Jamie Fox, Mark Wahlberg, and of course the pound for pound World Champion Manny Pacquiao train. Come out of the elevator from the parking structure and bam…OVERWHELMED by the tourists. Along with the tourists come the likes of Spiderman, Dora, Bumblebee, Samuel Jackson, Zorro…just a whole mess of people dressed up in these costumes for tourists to take pictures with…at a price. I tried to take a couple shots of these folks…one saying I owe money and the other (dammit all to hell it came out blurry) of Cat woman, flipping me off and calling me a whole mess of names with cuss words in the front. I even saw one of them “taking a break.” She looked nothing like a celebrity. My cousin whispers to me, “all the costumed folks are either homeless folks or drug addicts…you have to choose wisely to who you give money to.”
Ain’t that some shit.
This is not the Walk of Fame you see on the TV and movie screens. The removing of the masks and costumes is pretty indicative of the society we live. Without going into too much social commentary, we are all trying to live the good life, and some of us have to hide behind things in order for it to show some fruits of labor (shoot I’m in this bunch for sure).
“The Mannequin’s Mannequin”
“This photo is going to make you famous.” – Al, DTLA Street Musician
Downtown LA is rich with amazing architecture. Unused and abandoned, its a deserted land full of new highrises shadowing some great detailed old relics of the past. Forgotten to the Staples Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the new Cathedral, these buildings scream stories to those who try to listen and pay attention. I talked to a friend and his wife about it. They would tell me of stories of coming down with their parents, who owned a business in the area and even back then, remember being scared to come down after sundown. It wasn’t just the people in the area after dark, it was the buildings that shared its anger towards LA citizens.
“It was like the buildings, beautiful by way of architecture, turned into scary horror movie dwellings…the ones only the stupid people would want to break into.”
The city needs to replenish this area to make it vibrant again. DTLA is too beautiful to stay like it is. Who am I to say this though? It’s been this way for decades.
DTLA is where I really saw the parts where not too many tourists want to go. The “Skid Row” in DTLA is nothing to mess with. Sam recognized some of the homeless folks that he had taken portraits with and we took some photos of them. Again I was more enamored with Sam walking his streets. We came across a sidewalk with about 7-8 homeless folks. A couple of them singing songs. Sam approached them and a couple of them obliged with their photos being taken. The guitar player who was the more interesting of the bunch was real elusive. I didn’t want to push trying to snap his photo so I ended up talking to another man away from this bunch. He told me a couple of his stories despite not wanting his photo taken. He said these streets were hard, but since he’s lived on them his whole life just about (27 years) he didn’t really know any better. He just knows its hard because people like me tell him so.
“I’m still alive and thats really what counts don’t it man. I mean, it would be fucked up if you were out here taking photos of dead bodies and shit. I ain’t dead, by no means am I dead.”
“They know of each other, but don’t know each other”
Melrose Avenue was a typical spot for me. Boulevard for urban style and wear. It’s like the anti-thesis to Rodeo drive. I actually think its considered the Fairfax district. It’s supposed to be the alternative area. Reminds me a lot of Capitol Hill or the Ave in Seattle’s U-District. It’s the boutiques and the tattoo shops and other shops like this that give this street character. Street art lace the buildings and alleys that compliment the neighborhood persona. It was just OK for me. It wasn’t like I haven’t seen anything like it in any other major American city.
“Venice Beach 911″
Venice Beach. The infamous Venice Beach right?!? It was like I walked onto a movie set. Palm trees line out the beach horizon. Tourists and locals alike all in one spot. The latter trying its damndest to squeeze out a penny. Street performers, muscle builders, store vendors, tattoo shops, skate boarders, the basketball courts…all centered around the police station. I would say that the amount of police in Venice was based on a quota system for sure. Maybe 15-1, 20-1, general public to one police officer. Heavy concentration around the hustlers selling their hip hop CDs south of the basketball courts. Scene of “White Men Can’t Jump” and “American History X” plays in my head when I was walking through this part of the beach.
Many years ago when I had first come to Venice Beach, a friend of mine told me that there were days specified for when the “gangs” of LA would come out. For instance Saturday was the day the Bloods would come out. Sundays the Crips. It’s crazy to walk through and think of the under belly of places, like its a beach, really?!? There are designated “gang days.”
I think from the places I shot in LA, Venice Beach was the one that was like a playground feel for me (as far as shooting). It seemed that everyone really wanted to have their photo taken whether they knew it or not. It would seem that I was taking a candid shot and then afterwards walk away feeling like, “damn, did they know I was taking their photo?” It seemed like a show, a small amusement park at times. I actually heard a tourist tell his wife, “I think next we should go to the skateboarding area. I heard that they put on a great show over there.” His wife responds, “Sure but Muscle Beach is supposed to start with a few bodybuilders and I don’t want to miss that.”
My friend who told me about the “gang days” grew up in Venice Beach. She said this the epitomy of LA (at least to her). Los Angeles is a tourist trap, hiding all of its glory in smoke and mirrors. Sometimes you can tell its fake, other times it inspires you to become what you may think is real.
“The Dodgers Fan”
My friend, Chris, told me, “It’s like the Dodgers, right…either you love them or you hate them…if you love them, you are ride or die…you hate them, you can’t wait to see them falter…Los Angeles is exactly like the Dodgers. Actually the Dodgers is exactly like Los Angeles.” This coming from someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles.
Really it was fun to shoot down there. Possibilities were endless for a photographer. The City of Angels does not disappoint for sure.
So hopefully ya’ll enjoy the photos and enjoy my memory notetaking ramblings below.
It’s this love hate relationship.
Boulevards seperate fast cars and money from street vendors and bootleg DVD’s.
It’s the beauty of America.
Gangsters who are classless, nameless, raceless, and faceless.
Their names can be Aniston or Acevedo. Chavez or Clooney. Kardashian or Kortajarena.
Their addiction can be money.
“We all love ice cream”
The freeways are the veins; ill-thrust between pockets of countries that carry us – flush inside the ugliness of Pre-Americana and Post-New World Order.
405 to San Diego. I-5 to the Valley. Sunset sleep walkers searching for the next fix – on life, love, and hate.
We walk by them everyday with ticker tape parades and news channel slogans.
Homicide rates up, unemployment rates up, heat index up.
Human consumption up, human compassion down.
“So a hair stylist, his dog, and a photographer walk into a bar”
We became them in another life. I saw myself in the reflection of the window and I disappeared.
It’s the Maserati blazing down the 101; bobbin and weavin past us. Blonde hair, hands raised, celebrating nothing but the gas prices spent on their 6 digit whip.
It’s the Toyota Previa; full to the top with boxes of tourist paraphernalia; slang at the corners of the fashion district, hands raised, celebrating nothing but the chance to haggle down; stealing milk and bread from hungry children’s mouths.
I saw the real citizen. Ugly with dislike for Obama and Romney. 4 for $4 sunglasses, tipped at the point of the nose, slip middle finger – disdain for anything other than Los Angeles. Now I understand the love for the Dodgers and the Lakers. They represent the golden ticket. It’s the stars in their eyes.
I can hear them when they wake up in the morning and tell themselves, “I’m gonna make it someday.”
“Hats and Agua”
It’s her love for being in this dirty moment. His want to get that hit passed his costume uniform standing on the stars of Hollywood as a fire truck sits in wait for the next heart attack. It’s chance to give a show to the masses. That Hollywood sign up on the hills hides their addiction real well.
I saw the real citizen. Louis Vutton and Deja Vu sellin’ the same shit to all of us. It ain’t about the backroads, it’s about the quick slant to get the fuck out.
Cat woman by day, stripper by night.
Spider man by day, dealer by night.
Seek the shade, the sun is unforgiving. It’s light will show us the truth and noone wants to hear it. Don’t go downtown in the dark. You may not come out. It’s been dead there for years. Those people been dead there for years.
There was an earthquake the other day in Beverly Hills. It gave the Kardashians type folks a chance to get out to the hood. Ryan Seacrest has another idea for a reality show. It’s him looking at himself in the mirror. It’s pretty fucking dramatic. and real.
It will probably only last one season. The networks don’t want this kind of shit. Leave it to the indie studios. They aren’t in it for the money.
If they do it’s real low so watch you’re back.
“Live for Now”
“The Modern Day Samurai”
The homeless become landscapes and structures. Step over them, or around them. They are mute because when they do choose to have a voice, it ain’t loud enough for anyone to hear.
What you doing man with that camera phone? This ain’t some child porn shit right? It’s not, then take a shot of my good side.
Play me a song again.
Dance man, Dance.
Some angels here choose not to fly anymore, others are always flying above us, they just don’t know where to land.
“Meditations and Lines”
I pieced as best as I could the thoughts and lines I wrote down. I didn’t want to make each line a caption for a photo as I think all the captions could work for any particular photo. I hope ya’ll dig it.
SHOUTOUT to the LA Folks/ Shooters. Next time hopefully we will shoot together.
OH yeah…I love my family!
20 years ago Rwanda experienced the horrors a genocide of Tutsi and moderate Hutu by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100-day period from April 7, 1994 to mid-July, an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed.
And now 20 years on from those horrors, Annette Tryde Akman, has visited the country for the second time to continue documenting the work done by the Akilah Institute for Women and the lives of the young girls who attend the Institute. On both occasions she was joined by people who she met on Instagram, people who shared her passion for photography and making a difference in less fortunate parts of the world.
I spoke to Annette about her trip there, this is what she had to say:
Over thanksgiving last year, I arrived in the beautiful country of Rwanda, Africa, to produce my second book for the Akilah Institute for Women, and attend the Akilah graduation ceremonies. The Akilah Institute was created by my dear friend Elizabeth in 2009 to provide college level education for the young women of Rwanda in the areas of hospitality, entrepreneurship and information systems.
And here I was for the second time, with Robert Stacy, my great friend who I met through IG. While my first Akilah book was technically based in studio and glamour lighting, this second book’s concept was a departure from my comfort zone into the a brand new genre of documentary photography. As any good IGer knows, you bring your camera phone everywhere you go, and in my case I added a Nikon D800 to that arsenal as well as a Fuji x100s. I walked with all cameras on me and used them interchangeably.
The concept of the second Akilah book was “Educate a Girl, Educate a Nation”, so Robert and I decided to travel with the girls to their family homes throughout Rwanda, using the public transportation that the girls would use to get to their homes, and shoot the students with their families. We wanted to show how much impact one woman’s education has throughout her community.
As the Akilah student gains market relevant skills and on graduating, gains a job or starts a company, she lifts her whole community into wellbeing by putting her siblings through school or paying her mother’s medical bills, and contributing to the betterment of her community at large. There is a high return when investing in girl’s education; they tend to pay it forward with profound results.
And thank goodness I had invited Robert along! Anyone who has seen Robert’s work on IG understands his ability to intuitively empathize with his subjects, and his photojournalist credentials speak for themselves through his images. Plus he’s tough as nails. Some of the girls lived hours away from Kigali, and Robert and I soon found ourselves taking motorcycles, buses and walking to get to their homes. At one point Robert was three people to one motorbike, on an uphill mountain path! I fared slightly better, and will remember the powerful interactions I had with many Rwandans by traveling throughout their country. I’ll never forget the woman on the bus who was with the boy that she was about to adopt. It’s not one of my ‘best’ shots but I love the way that she is looking at her kid, and how happy they both are in this moment.
The genocide is still largely present in the history of the Akilah girls’ stories, as most of them were young when the war broke out. Claudine told me that she was the only survivor of her siblings. Two of her siblings had been killed during the genocide, and two had been lost.
After a long period of depression, when Claudine was 12 she embraced Christianity and was reborn into faith. Every day for her now was full of powerful hope and joy for the future. Claudine credited her education with a large part to play in her rebirth because it provided her with opportunities to express her new vitality for life.
And I’ll confess, I was deeply challenged by shooting in this new genre of documentary photography. It has a set of rules and etiquette that I was teaching myself by jumping in feet first. And Robert’s advice greatly helped. He explained that a certain type of energy needs to be present when shooting under the conditions of documentary photography.
So I will share with you the most valuable lesson that I learned in Rwanda about being a photographer. It was essentially to become … not invisible … but … a silent witness to a deeper narrative unfolding visually.
I learned, a little bit, to become empty and to let myself be entirely open and present to the truth of the moment. For me, trained as a director, producer and cinematographer – this was previously impossible. I’m used to telling my story, my way. And this is why I’m now completely hooked on documentary photography. Never before have I had to be so deeply present to the truth of people and a moment, to be able to see with my heart and respond with my soul.
Throughout my trips to Rwanda, I have come to love this country and her people, and respect their wise leader Paul Kagame. The genocide is only 20 years old this month of May, and yet the strides that the country has taken to integrate the lessons of the evil that occurred are miracles of humanity.
It is my hope to continue to do this kind of work for non-profits the world over. My special passion are women’s issues, and I’m driven to empower women through my photography. But hey, I love people and as long as what I do heals communities and helps people, I’m there.
The Secret Life Of Insects by Joel Adam
My “Bug Set” began when I discovered wasp’s in an alcove of my front porch.
I knew the wasp’s had to go but before eviction I thought I’d exploit these little guys with my iPhone and Olloclip.
I’m not much of a macro photographer. I’ve done the typical flower shots with my own twist and style, some good and some not so good. This was a subject I found worth exploring.
As I took these macro shots I wondered if my subjects had cognitive thought of their observer or were their instinctive thoughts strictly to “protect the hive”.
It was awkward getting these shots. I had to stand on a bench to get real close with the macro. I can honestly say that I wasn’t concerned with being stung. Having a bunch of tattoos means I’m no stranger to the sting. My main concern was dropping my iPhone and Olloclip.
I’ve always envisioned my work being album covers, t-shirts, or any other cover art. Not so much as being framed and hanging in an exhibit. Of course, I have had my work hanging in exhibits and that’s awesome. With this set I experimented with graphic design, texture, abstraction, and of course macro. Apps utilized in this set include Snapseed, VSCO, Repix, Decosketch, Shockmypic, Phonto, Mextures, Halftone, and the Olloclip phone app. My apologies if I’m forgetting any.
I’ve taken close to 70 shots during this set. I didn’t have a tripod or anything to stabilize the shakiness of my hand. At one point I was actually leaning the iPhone against the nest. An obvious invasion of privacy that caused the wasps to to get into attack formation and swarm over my phone. It’s good to have boundaries.
I think not having a stabilizer worked for the abstraction. I’m not know for making pretty pictures and a lack of instruments actually became an advantage in my macro opus.
The bug set, or as I’ve named it “Insect Requiem”, started three months ago. The wasps cannot stay here for much longer but I’ve developed an attachment to my household guests. I guess this happens when you’re working with a particular subject for a long period of time.
I’d be hard pressed to smoke out the wasps with bug spray, so my plan is to simply risk a few stings and remove the comb and let squatters relocate somewhere suitable that isn’t on or in my house.
No insects were harmed in the making of this photo set.
We Are Juxt would like to thank Joel and his insect friends for sitting in and doing a guest spot today. You can find Joel and more of his fantastic art these places:
IPA // Flickr // Eye’Em // Backspaces
Nostalgia by Mohsen Chinehkesh
One of the things that makes street photography so fascinating for me is the fact that it’s like an unpredictable journey. In any moment there’s a chance to face an unexpected appealing situation or subject and, needless to say, with an iPhone you have no excuse to miss it. This photograph comes from such a moment. I was walking back home when I suddenly noticed a guy with a literally old-fashioned look. Tight suit, chapeau hat, long boot-like sideburns, mustache, etc. Such an outfit which remembers Iranian of the years before 1970′s (or 1360′s in Persian calendar) has a nostalgic impact on most of them. For me he was almost like a time traveler! I looked around to find a suitable place in his direction and there was an old brick building right next to a large modern shopping center. I stopped by the building and the guy reached the scene simultaneously with a woman wearing a black Chador which somehow completes the nostalgia. Definitely this photograph has some exclusive significations for Iranian but no one can blame others for what they see in any picture!
I took the photograph with Hipstamatic Classic (John S + AO BW) and then re-edited it with Oggl (Foxy + Uchitel 20) to reach a more vintage look.
IG | oggl | EyeEm | Flickr | Backspaces | FB | chinehkesh.com
Winter Sun by Lee Atwell
The weather has been unusually sunny this winter in the Pacific Northwest which has provided unusual opportunities to capture urban shadows. Normally our short winter days are filled with clouds and rain and it can be difficult to feel inspired to take photos. However, on this particular day, after walking across a pedestrian bridge that crosses a railroad track, I was struck by the looming shapes of the shadows cast by the people coming towards the bridge.
I used the Hipstamatic app with the Tinto 1884 Lens and BlacKeys SuperGrain Film with Flash Off
Soho by Robin Pope
The image was taken in Soho and been meaning to use this wall as a backdrop for some time and this person in the photo seemed to work well. I used the iPhone camera to take the photo and processed through Snapseed and Noir.
Untitled – Iris River
I wanted to capture the closeness of the community and families who came downtown on a very cold New Years eve to celebrate the festivities together.
App used: Snapseed
Hazy Shade Of WInter by Sheldon Serkin
We’ve had a lot of opportunities to shoot in snowy/rainy conditions in NYC this winter, with what seems like one storm after another hitting the city. I captured this image shooting through a car window on one of those snowy days, as two New Yorkers trudged their way to work. Shot with oggl, processed with the Diego lens and Uchitel 20 film.
// IG // Flickr // Tumblr //
The term painterly, among other things, refers to a type of painting that is blurred, broken, or imperfect. I tend to be drawn to photographs that have a painterly quality to them. There is something about the fluidity of watercolor that makes me feel like I am in a dream. When executed well, a photograph can make you feel the wind in your hair or the sunlight on your face. I tend to take a more dark or dramatic approach but I still appreciate some sunshine and softness every once in a while.
Texture is another aspect of imagery that can be really intriguing. I have been exploring more ways of adding texture in the post process editing. I have found that many apps make cheesy textures like those brick overlays or the ones that look like sandpaper. I found one called ArtRage that is pretty cool. You can use your picture as a transparency under your painting or drawing. It allows you to select the type of paint, brushes, etc. that you would like to use. You can trace and make an image that flows well with your photograph. Once that is done you just layer it on top with an app like ArtStudio.
I feel like this is a way for me to combine my long time love of paint with my new love for photography. A vivid color added to a soft photograph creates such a stark, unexpected, and appealing contrast. I like the idea of knowing that each brush stroke is like a roadmap of where the hand has been. It tells a story that many forms of expression just cannot compare to. So, why not have my cake and eat it too?
At the dawn of the new year I got to spend some time at the two Food Lifeline facilities in the Seattle area. After each day spent with the people there, I left with a smile on my face. The employees and volunteers feel great about what they do each day, and they most certainly have good reason. Food Lifeline provides 82 THOUSAND meals a DAY to Western Washington food assistance programs such as food pantries, hot meal programs, shelters and after-school programs. Food Lifeline is one of three organizations distributing food in Washington State. For food banks in your area, visit the Feeding America Food Bank Locator. They would be very happy to hear from you; there is always a need for donations and volunteers.
Around this time every year, food banks in the U.S. begin to run out of the donations received during the winter holidays. The good news is that Stamp Out Hunger is this weekend! This Saturday, May 10, throughout the U.S. you can leave non-perishable food by your mailbox and your Postal Carrier will do the work for you. Postal Carriers deliver the donations to Food Lifeline (or your local food bank) where it will be inspected, sorted, and re-distributed to local agencies in the neighborhoods in which the donations were made.
We encourage you to take pictures on Saturday, May 10 of the blue bags by the mailboxes, the postal carriers doing double duty, or best of all, YOU volunteering at a sorting event (contact your local food bank for volunteer information)!
Tag your photos with #WeAreJuxt_SOH2014 and we’ll post our favorites here on the blog. If you get involved by volunteering or speaking with the Postal Carriers, let us know in the photo caption; we’d love to hear your stories!
But I digress. I wanted to tell you about the fun I had talking with volunteers and staff earlier this year. Martina Machackova and fellow _uxter, Rachel White volunteered their photography chops to help Food Lifeline flesh out theirstaff page. I couldn’t help but use my iPhone to capture all the action.
I got a tour from Heather Stock, the Volunteer Coordinator. They take good care of you there, ensuring each time that you have the training you need to stay safe and insure the high quality of the goodies that Food Lifeline distributes.
I talked with some of the volunteers and was impressed with their enthusiasm and dedication to the cause. Everyone there seemed to radiate with the knowledge that the hunger situation is urgent, and were there to do what they could to help. I wandered around and captured what I could. I was awed over the quantity of products donated by individuals and companies.
Can we all agree, that’s a LOT of potatoes about to be distributed? I mean, Wow!
…but when you consider that there is still an estimated 308,000 meals missing EVERY DAY in Western Washington alone, those potatoes seem to shrink in size.
Food Lifeline is lucky to have Hank Nguyen, who drives his forklift around with goods to be re-packaged, like it’s a high-speed choreographed ballet. Truth be told though, he’s an even better dancer without the forklift.
Stephanie Jamieson, the Agency Relations Representative, was kind enough to show me around, which unfortunately included a tour of the enormous (REALLLLY cold) freezer. If it was a test, I definitely failed. I don’t think she expected me to complain so loudly. Once out of the freezer though, I loved hearing her and her co-worker Blue Brown, talk about working there.
Staff and volunteers often go the the extra mile to ensure that food gets out to the agencies before it perishes. At Food Lifeline, it’s untenable to contribute to the 70 BILLION pounds of food that goes to waste every year in the U.S., so they do what they can to get it distributed. Imagine a HUGE ripe banana delivery on a Friday afternoon. Now imagine those 308 THOUSAND people in Washington State alone who were hungry today. Those bananas are no small potatoes.
After the tours, I walked around and talked to some volunteers. Tommy Baron, and his mother Susan were there from Puyallup, WA volunteering all week. Tommy was earning high school volunteer credits. Great idea, eh?
Volunteer Michelle Peterson was sorting and inspecting fresh fruit donated through the Grocery Rescue Program to be sure it meets the high standards for food safety.
George Baird, who has been volunteering three times a week for a year, explained that volunteering at Food Lifeline is a great FREE gym for retired folks!
Ed Boese has been volunteering for the last 5 years and apparently never disappoints with his hard work, cheer, and colorful outfits.
I stayed later in the day than I’d intended because I heard that the Pack 64 Webelos Scouts were coming! They repackaged brownie mix. Now THAT is a smell to stick around for.
And after all that super-sweet Webelos cuteness, I had to go brush my teeth, so I headed home. Next time, I’ll wear a down parka (in case I’m coaxed into the freezer again) and will likely put down my phone and help with the repackaging. The urgency is palpable and it was hard to stand by and not help. You can read more about how Food Lifeline helps to fill the hunger gap, and how crucial SNAP and other government plans are to the balance.
That’s it for now, but we look forward to seeing what you capture (and donate!) this Saturday, May 10th, for Stamp Out Hunger.
Use #WeAreJuxt_SOH2014 on your images and share your stories.