GET TO KNOW ME: JONATHAN B. CASIÁN

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My name is Jonathan, I live in the US, and I don’t necessarily shoot in any one set of styles, though I do have a proclivity for photographing people and buildings. I shoot with my Canon A-1, 35mm being my format of choice. 

I am a scholar of philosophy and psychology (by profession and identity). I seek to understand the significance and nature of the human experience, as we find ourselves thrown into our own realities, or worlds (philosophy), and I study the power that language has to heal (psychology, psychotherapy). Photography is just an extension of these investigations. 

I got into photography after the great thinkers of philosophy and the great writers of poetry enlightened me to the nature of thinking and experiencing. This opening up to reality compelled me to document it and share it. 

Just as the poet captures the essence of a moment – of a snapshot in time – in his prosody, I seek to capture the same in a picture. For, where the meaning of the words comes second to the raw, beautiful experience of the mere sound of the poem’s itself, the meaning generated from the subject of a picture come second to the composition, colors and textures. I focus on the way forms, color and textures play with one another and tease our vision. These meaningless phenomena generate the meaning of the subject for me – not the other way around. These raw elements of reality tap into our primordial sense of being and tell stories upon our gaze. Thus, I simply try to capture both the beauty and ugliness of the world as it presents itself to me through the viewfinder. I believe that photography – shooting and viewing – is just a powerful way to interact with, document and experience the world in its purest form.

I also shoot strictly with film. The experience of capturing light itself onto the physical film is richer than it being processed as 1’s and 0’s through computer chips. I believe that digital technology, it all its power and splendor, gradually strips us of the task of engaging with our worlds. We should learn to balance the power of invention with the responsibility of being. Film is slow and deliberate for me, the way the unfolding of the world takes care to disclose itself to us. We must be patient. Film has taught me to be patient. 

Lastly connecting with others is a fundamental drive we all have. For better or worse, we’re social creatures, and we thrive off of creating unique relationships with one another. So please feel free to reach out and connect. 

I also plan to start a film photography and poetry collective project with other analogists and poets in the future. The goal of that is to combine stories and experiences to showcase the simultaneous unity and diversity of the human experiences. So keep an eye out for that too. 

 

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