POV

Best of Instagram: jonesybrooklyn (Casey Jones)

Best of Instagram is a new section of CBK showcasing the pictures of some of our favorite photographers on Instagram.

Interview by CBK - teo@citizenbrooklyn.com Photos by Casey Jones -jonesybklyn@gmail.com

Photo ©Casey Jones

Tell us a little bit about your history as a “Phonetographer”? When did you start and why? How have you developed since the beginning? Do you have any background in traditional photography? Etc.

This all started last year when I bought my first DSLR camera, a Canon Rebel T2i. Almost every weekend I would go out and just shoot by myself or with friends. It was a great stress reliever for me, and I was learning how to properly use the camera. To get a different perspective, I also took pictures with my phone. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the potential of photographs captured on a cell phone. After experimenting with Instragram and editing some of my older photos, I began researching different editing apps and snapped photos to experiment with different editing styles.

Photo ©Casey Jones

It has only been a couple of months, but I have learned a lot. When I first started on Instagram, I was eager to post a ton of pictures each day, but I soon realized that I just had a bunch of random shots on my feed. This was fine, but many of the shots were superficial and didn’t have any real meaning behind them. Thus, I try to be more selective when I shoot, and more selective with what I post.
Other than a high school photography class, I have no professional training in photography.

Photo ©Casey Jones

Give us some insight into “phonetography”; what equipment do you use and which apps for shooting and post-production?

The hardware I use is… An iPhone 4S.
An ōllo clip for wide angle and fish-eye shots.
A photojojo lens for zooming (It comes with a tripod but I haven’t used it yet).

Photo ©Casey Jones

The software I use is…
For Shooting
Camera+ for my shooting app. It automatically stores photos on light box, which can be synced and backed up to the cloud.
Pro HDR, occasionally.

Photo ©Casey Jones

For Editing
Snapseed, Colorsplash, PhotoForge2, and Dynamic Light.
Phototoaster, occasionally.

When and where do you do most of your shooting?
I shoot mainly in subway stations and on subway trains during my commute to and from work. When I’m not commuting I shoot things that interest me, such as: graffiti, flowers, old signs, animals, etc.

Photo ©Casey Jones

If this set of photos were a story what would it be? How do the photos relate to each other in your mind? Is there a purposeful mood or theme that goes deeper than the face value image?

The Subway is almost the pulse of the city – keeping the rhythm of the day, bringing people to and from work, connecting friends and families. A commute can make or break a New Yorker’s day. The subway practically comes with its own language. While commuting to Manhattan on the R train, I saw the same people at the same time everyday. I spent almost an hour on the train, five days a week with these people and after awhile I felt like I knew all of them intimately. Pretty soon, these “strangers” became subway acquaintances as we graduated from rarely speaking to saying hello. I was impressed by this entire phenomenon, and always thought it would be cool to capture these moments in an eloquent and respectful way: unnoticed subway moments.

Photo ©Casey Jones

Do you intend to expand on these current themes, or do you have other ideas in mind for the future?
Yes, I do plan to expand on these current themes. In fact, I’m working on “A City Asleep” and “Waiting For the Train”.

Photo ©Casey Jones

Tell us about your Brooklyn experience and how it has influenced your life and work.
I grew up in a small town and had pre-conceived notions of city life before I moved here. I wound up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; a neighborhood known for it’s diverse, industrious middle-class, and strong family tradition. While living there I felt part of a community and developed a sense of belonging that I didn’t realize was possible in such a big city.

Photo ©Casey Jones

This feeling of community permeated my daily routines, especially on the subway. I would make a mental note of these moments, but soon wanted to capture them more concretely since they so often go unnoticed in a city of eight million people. Depicting this unexpected, softer, and quintessentially human side of the city has been very compelling for me.

Photo ©Casey Jones

2 Responses to “Best of Instagram: jonesybrooklyn (Casey Jones)”

  1. Sean Fbaum says:

    These pictures are amazing. They feel cold and subterranean and yet hold so much beauty. I am following this guy!

  2. Allie Teixeira says:

    LOVE!!!!