Light and Dark: A Story Told Through Pictures

May 31st, 2016

 Pacific_Palisades_CA (1)

A Narrative in Shades of Gray

I am an architectural photographer in Los Angeles. My job is to tell stories through photos. That’s what I do. It’s a dream! I’d rather not talk about it, but instead shoot it. Then it will be infinitely clear. The narrative, the moment caught, the tone, the various shades of gray and color, all come together to create the story I want to tell. But as a photographer, I encounter the challenge of light and dark every day. You see it’s not only the lines or the architectural subject in the photo that so much defines a great picture. No, instead it’s the meticulous patience to create the perfect light and dark shadows that truly make a picture exquisite.

Palos_Verdes_EstateFor instance, it might be capturing the moment when the light hits the Spanish tiled roof creating a brilliant gold silhouette exactly where it meets the trees. Or how I light the inside of the home so that it spills out and brightens the yellow light through the picture windows just as the sun sets behind the home. For me, there is no better way to tell a story than through light and dark shades. It’s always a delicate dance though. You straddle the fine line between realism and imagination with every photo. The great 20th century architect, Louis Khan once said as reported recently in an Arch Daily article titled Light Matters: Louis Kahn and the Power of Shadow

A plan of a building should be read like a harmony of spaces in light. Even a space intended to be dark should have just enough light from some mysterious opening to tell us how dark it really is. Each space must be defined by its structure and the character of its natural light.

The best architectural photography in my opinion, is that which reveals the beauty of the structure through realism—exposing the lines and form — while still creating an aesthetic fantasy that captures imagination. When it works, it’s pure joy.

“The Truth is a Snare…”

 

Light and dark – it’s what defines all that we see with the naked eye. It’s the basis of every story we tell. That includes the ones we tell through pictures. A recent article in National Geographic said it best:

By wresting a precious particle of the world from time and space and holding it absolutely still, a great photograph can explode the totality of our world, such that we never see it quite the same again. After all, as Kierkegaard also wrote, ‘the truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught.’

That pretty much sums it up well – the art of creating a great photographic story. And, I’m the lucky guy who gets to bring you a new story each week by illuminating the most stunningly modern and sometimes historic architectural spaces in all of Southern California.

Have I told you lately how much I love my job? Oh right, I just did.

For more architectural photography or for business inquiries, contact photographer Paul Jonason for a consultation today.

 

 

The Power of the Visual Image

April 25th, 2016

Machu_PicchuSMALL

A VISUAL REMINDER  ON THE POWER OF PHOTOS

After watching the Prince tribute on SNL this weekend, I am reminded of the power of the visual image to capture a moment. As a professional photographer, of course I know how important an image can be – it’s my career. But even us old pros need a reminder of how special the art of visual image is sometimes. The capturing of a split second in time in an image can say more than a thousand words ever could. At the end of Prince’s concerts, I had forgotten how he sometimes ends a set. He gets silent and lifts his guitar almost like it’s a God offered for worship. I had a moment where I clicked on that image in my mind, as if it were a still photo image and thought how incredible that one second capture in a still, would be if someone in fifty years, asked, “Who is Prince?”

I experience this kind of visual synchronicity all the time when I am shooting a home for instance, and the sun begins to set creating a sky that I couldn’t have painted any better. Or when a bird flies into a shot, unplanned. A little magic caught by the lens. It’s a different kind of narrative.

With that in mind, I have included what I think is a powerful image from a recent photo shoot. It’s a photo of an old Dodge truck from 1939. Take a look and see if you agree with me when I say, “There is nothing like the visual image to tell a story.”

Dodge Truck 1939

Dodge Truck 1939

 

 

 

Hangin With Lakers Coach Byron Scott!!!

January 15th, 2016

Last year the Digs Magazine crew had the unique opportunity to interview Byron Scott, former Superstar basketball player and now current Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The shoot consisted of a Still photo shoot first for me, then the Digs video crew took over for the filming and interview. Originally from Inglewood, California, Byron Scott has had a long career in Professional Basketball from playing with the Sun Devils to now coaching the Lakers. You can check out the video at Digs TV. Byron Scott is a very personable and professional coach as is reflected in the photos and interview. He has a great out look on life and work.

You can see both magazine covers at http://www.southbaydiggs.com/i/582625-october-9-2015 and http://uberflip.westsidedigs.com/i/586185-october-16-2015. I have only one more thing to say-Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!

 

“Counting Cars” Would Love This!!!

October 1st, 2015

I often photograph unusual properties, many have not been seen by the public for years and years. Recently I photographed a rare property and some of its vintage Automobiles I can only describe in photos. The property structure itself would best be described as Chinese Industrial Modern for lack of a better label. The other interesting aspects were some of the old, rare cars that populate the property. The 1965 Buick Riviera caught my eye first with its super clean, muscular modern lines and stock 445 Wildcat motor. What a stunning example from that era. Next up is the 1939 Dodge truck. It looked like it was out of a movie set and totally at home sitting among the Joshua Trees. This property is currently for sale, for more info contact Cricket Yee at 818-694-5870. The cars are not for sale!








Paul Jonason Photography: Night Time Photography, Commercial Photographer, Architectural Photography.
6520 Platt Ave. #156 West Hills, CA. 91307 | 818-687-8075