Cityscape photography of Jon Deboer

detroit_skyline

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I am a photographer and graphic designer based in Detroit, MI. I moved to the Metro Detroit area in 2006 to attend Lawrence Technological University, and graduated in 2010 with a BFA in Graphic Design.

I started photography after taking film and digital photography courses as part of my graphic design education. It took between a year and two years of shooting after those classes for me to begin to understand what images I really wanted to create, and I am still discovering and understanding that better every day. Photography is the first and only medium I have discovered that allows me to truly express myself creatively.

Much of my photography is focused on the geometric lines, shapes, patterns and symmetry of the city.

I think my fascination with these aspects of the city is directly influenced by my interests in architecture and graphic design. I also love how these aspects of the city can be enhanced by the right light and shadows. I prefer to shoot in the late afternoon, especially with my street photography, to capture bold contrasts between the light and shadow areas. I believe that all of these aspects of my photography lend themselves to black and white conversion. In many cases, color becomes a distraction from the lines, shapes, patterns, etc., and the viewer becomes more focused on the color of the image than its other qualities. One of the reasons I prefer to work in black and white is that I want the viewer to notice those geometric qualities of the photograph, because those are the qualities I am drawn to while out photographing the city. Another reason why I work in black and white is because I often seek to express an emotion or mood that I experienced while photographing a scene, rather than simply depicting the world as it appears to the eye. I believe that black and white photography allows me to most accurately express how I felt, not just simply what I saw.

I am inspired by photographers on sites such as flickr and 500px daily, and have been fortunate enough to meet some of them in person as well. However, I also enjoy studying the work of classic street and documentary photographers. It’s difficult to name just a few influences because I am inspired by so many different photographers.
However, some of my favorites include Henri-Cartier Bresson, André Kertész and Rene Burri. I am also inspired by the landscape work of Micheal Kenna and others.

I am currently working on several projects, with no clear end in sight. Currently, the majority of my work is based in the city of Detroit. I would love to extend my street and architecture series’ to other cities in the U.S. It is hard for me to stick with one aspect of photography for too long and I enjoy switching things up stay interested. I’ve even started a series of color images at night that I approach in a different way than I approach my black and white work.
It is important for me, as a photographer, to always be curious and always be inspired by what I am photographing.

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