The Urban Journey series has roots in the early 1990s and John’s first serious exploration of photography. Wandering the streets of San Diego with a Pentax K1000, he sought out what Henri Cartier Bresson deemed “the decisive moment”- the moment when cinematic narrative emerges from the chaos. Rather than wait for the perfect scene to appear, however, John began to orchestrate the scene as a director.
Unlike Bresson’s work, the Urban Journey images are built from multiple stills in post-production. In this body of work, John carefully scouts out the perfect location, then waits patiently for all the elements to appear - the gathering between 50 to 100 images to build the composition. The result is the seamless integration of bits and pieces from dozen of images composing a narrative that is at once familiar, yet beyond placement.
Much like the Landscape Abstracts series reveals the essence of place, the Urban Journey series reveals the essence of a universal narrative - a narrative that the viewer, free from the confines of specificity, is invited to interpret through the lens of their own personal history. The panorama format references wide-screen cinema and further evokes the narrative quality of the image.
The photographs are shown in their original state as taken and are not digitally manipulated in post. Using a proprietary proofing process to achieve the most accurate colors possible, John prints straight to canvas utilizing a state-of-the-art digital darkroom with a wide-format printer and archival inks. Once printed, canvases are given a protective UV coating, stretched over custom-designed stretcher bars, and framed with handmade, locally built wood floater frames, made to order in dark walnut or painted black.