Welcome to Oakland Photo Journal, the 2.0 version of gonzophotojournal.wordpress.com. Our shift in address reflects an attempt at a wider audience in what I think is an appropriate moment to share what’s been filling my camera lens for a decade. The new site does not depart from the gonzo approach that initially inspired its pages. I describe my photographic approach as such because like Oscar Z. Acosta’s method in getting and telling a story through an subjective style, exploiting unconventional angles, and often becoming part of the story (as opposed to being a fly on the wall recording time), gonzo photojournalism applies these tools to make interesting photographs in the street studio.
Given the shifts of historical proportion that Oakland is undergoing it became apparent that a space to show its fleeting dynamic splendor, its legacies of resistance towards the status quo, and the way it reflects the best the world can be at times. What this means stylistically in the pictures I make (not take) is that I am open to the grit of the street, the noise of low light in extreme or unexpected photo opportunities, and letting the camera (it’s never the cameraman) be a character in a scene that needs to be reminded that we live in fleeting moments and that that these moments are what give expression to history so formally beautiful it gets elevated to art.
The site features image, text, and the often elusive ora of the universe. The photo journal blog posts tease out the dynamic relation between images and words, exploring the edge of observation and proposition in street photography. The gallery pages highlight selections from my portfolio. These projects in series, both past and ongoing, are photographic phenomenological exercises. My photo series seek to excavate meaning of social phenomena, each frame performs a kind phenomenological bracketing, and invites us to analyze experience in space, in struggle, in rage, in love, etc…
***All featured written and photographic work is owned by the author and cannot be copied or distributed without explicit written consent.
— JMG, Berkeley, CA