I had a conversation with photography magician Carl David Jones about his journey as a photographer and what he has planned for his work this year.
Having planted the seed for his passion in photography during his time in university, Carl went to Seoul to teach English after confessing that his degree in engineering did not excite him much. While in Seoul he started the street style blog, SOL-SOL Street, and this is when the vision of himself as a professional photographer began to take shape. When he started the blog in 2013, Seoul was still a relatively new city for him. Walking through the streets Carl was fascinated by the how well people dressed, and started photographing people every day. “As I travelled to Hong Kong or South Africa I would take my camera with me, asking people wherever I was if I could photograph them. It first started as Korean street style but now it’s wherever I have been,” Carl explained. He met up with a well-known Korean photographer and worked as his apprentice for about a year before spreading his own wings.
Carl’s most recent obsession over the last few months has been experimenting with 35mm film, with the aim of grooming himself into a film photographer. When discussing where this new obsession came from Carl explained that he prefers the head space he has to be in while working with film. “I just felt like people weren’t making images anymore. They were just clicking away and burning through those digital images and not really concentrating on making a picture. With film, you can’t see what you are getting. It’s very limiting. You have to concentrate and get into the zone of making the picture,” Carl explained. His new love for film ties into the low-fi, gritty feel he creates in his images. “I like taking an image for what it is and a location for what it is,” he explained.
Another new adventure of his is creating 3D gifs using a film camera from the 80s, which he received as a gift from his roommate in Seoul. “The camera has four lenses, so it takes one photo from 4 perspectives. When you get the film developed, you make the gif,” Carl explained. He has incorporated this into the shoots where he works with film. “The 3D gifs can give another perspective to the story,” Carl explained.
At the end of this month Carl will be travelling to Bali and then Hong Kong where he will be meeting up with people for a small project he is working on. The results of the project should be dropping in May. He is also planning on taking SOL-SOL Street in a new direction this year. Keep an eye out for these new developments. Carl is currently not represented in SA.
You can check out more of his work on his website.