To see Walt Jones rushing among LA's concrete and post-production studios, you wouldn't think he spent his youth hiking and paddling northern Minnesota's woods and lakes. But after learning to tie knots and stay warm in the outdoors, he came inside and partnered with others during high school to produce shows for local cable, design theatrical lighting and write computer programs.
As he built this early résumé, Walt developed a love for creative technologies and collaboration. This led to work as a rock concert roadie; a lighting designer for plays, music, opera and ballet; a software developer during the dot-com era; and a television producer. Those proclivities also trumped his need for untamed nature when he found a home amid LA's creative, fast-paced culture. For the past half-dozen years, Walt has focused a split lens on tweaking and twisting reality for Hollywood while seeking reality's essence with his own photography, both near home and during regular escapes. Between traveling to some of the world's wildest places, he has pushed pixels to help build a long list of film projects. He shared an Academy Award for Achievement in Visual Effects for work on The Golden Compass. And his photographs grace walls in Los Angeles-area galleries, as well as in private and corporate collections around the world.
Walt discovered a passion for photography when he realized a used Nikon FE could help him record his lighting projects. But he found much more when the camera captured dancers sculpted by his lights. From those early experiments with composition, exposure and zonal compression grew a love for grabbing and saving moments when light, shape and form gather to tell new tales. That love helps define Walt's photographic aesthetic: He embraces technology to get things done, while eschewing any manipulations beyond straightforward enhancements readily available in his darkroom.
As a photographic artist, Walt Jones swings a double blade to slice what's shared from what's different between the organic and the constructed, the abstract and the concrete, solitude and congestion. He's drawn to the ancient and natural, even as he builds with man's newest, most powerful creative tools. His concepts and compositions emerge from mathematical precision, yet each includes at least one intentional flaw.
|I make photographs to reconnect with the organic world. There's so much reality we overlook in our daily routines. I try to find and share it.
-- Walt Jones
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