“Photography was always an interest of mine growing up in New Jersey but I really didn’t pursue it until I drove across the country when I moved to San Diego. I had traveled a little before then but getting to see the vast changes that you see heading from East to West across the different parts of the country really ignited the passion that I still have to this day for photography.
I prefer landscape photography for its sheer beauty to me in color, composition, and lack of human influence. However, I also enjoy city and architectural photography as well as simple everyday photography of people, plants, animals and various new places I encounter throughout my life.
I believe I am still learning as much each day about my own changing style and technique as an individual as I am about photography as a whole. Currently, I prefer to shoot landscape from a very low perspective often times from just above the ground looking outward. This point of view, to me, shows everything leading into the picture and towards the main subject in a way that really tells the whole story and gives me as a photographer, as well as the viewer of the photograph, a humbling feeling of the beauty before them.” ~Jon Barnes
Adelman Fine Art represents Jon Barnes in San Diego California.
INTERVIEW WITH JON BARNES
AFA: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role?
Jon: “I have to say Robert Downey Jr. Not only do I like him and think he is a great actor, but he has been through a lot as an actor and as a person, which is what I think makes him so diverse in his talents. I feel like I have gone through so many ups and downs in life. Sometimes I spread myself too thin, but I just have too many hobbies and various aspects of life that I enjoy and too little time. I think there are many versions of me that I play in life. I think he could play every one of them well.”
AFA: Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
Jon: “Ansel Adams has always been someone that I looked up to for his work in the national parks. I think he set the standard for a lot of landscape photographers today. Locally, I am a big fan of Peter Lik and Tom Mangelsen. Tom has incredible wildlife images and experiences that he shares with the world and Peter Lik has set a high standard and bridged the gap a lot in bringing photography into the fine art world.”
AFA: If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?
Jon: “I would travel with my family. I would want to see places I have never seen and enjoy the time with my daughter making my last days an unforgettable and cherished experience for her.”
AFA: You offer so many different ways to show your work…Which substrate is your favorite?
Jon: “I definitely prefer printing my images on aluminum. There are several surfaces and I like what each of them does for certain images. To me there is a big jump in seeing one of my images printed on canvas from paper but when I see my image on aluminum it transforms itself into fine art.”
AFA: What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
Jon: “I think when someone sees one of my images they don’t realize all the planning, time, effort, and fine tuning that goes on in getting the image I ultimately end up with. I find myself to be a perfectionist in my work and that means shooting the same image several ways and over several days, weeks, or even years sometimes to get it right. All the planning that goes in to make sure the weather and light cooperate always pays off in the end, but when you just look at the finished product that can get overlooked sometimes.”
AFA: Do you have any hidden talents?
Jon: ” I played beach volleyball semi-professionally for years. I love sports and I attribute some of that competitive nature that I have to what I learned from playing them over the years, but those are less hidden talents. I think being a math guy and that I can juggle would answer the question more directly. “
AFA: In your process, what is your most important tool besides the camera?
Jon: “Creativity. I read something recently that said the least important tool a photographer brings with him on a trip is his camera. I love that line! As far as the technical side, I fall in love with my wide angle lenses. As an amateur I always thought I wanted more zoom and to get closer to objects. However, as a landscape photographer you realize more and more that to share the beauty of nature you always want to see more, so the wide angle lens is my best friend.”
AFA: What would your family say is the most annoying thing that you do?
Jon: “This question is funny because probably one of my best characteristics in making me a good photographer can also be the most annoying to others. I think it is that I am so particular. I can picture my wife nodding to this answer as I write this. Sometimes I am so focused on making everything exactly right that I forget that everything does not have to be exactly right all the time and rarely is in life.”
AFA: Where has been your favorite location to photograph and why?
Jon: “My recent trips to Utah and Wyoming were real eye openers. Both of them were amazing. Wyoming for its wildlife and secluded feeling. Utah for its varied, dramatic landscapes. I think my two favorite places have been the Pacific Northwest with all the waterfalls and hikes through the green, lush areas and the California coast. If I had to pick one place though it would be the coast. I grew up visiting the Jersey shore all summer every year. I have always been a beach guy, so the sunsets and varied coast of California is something I could shoot every day and be happy.”
AFA: What has been your favorite aspect of working with Adelman Fine Art Gallery?
Jon: “It sounds cliché but it’s the people. Not only are the Adelman’s amazing, fun, genuine people, but the other artists I have met there are so welcoming and nice. I look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come and I see nothing but good things for the future of Adelman Fine Art.”