A LOOK AT A LOCAL INSTAGRAMMER
In the fourth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we feature one third of local band The Boy I Used To Be, Max Jones (@jax__mones).
Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?
I’m originally from Reading, but came to Portsmouth a couple of years ago to study music and sound technology at university. I instantly loved the place, Southsea especially; it has such a thriving creative community. I’m currently splitting my time between Reading and Portsmouth, but I always make sure to get back to Southsea at least once a week to see my friends and my band.
Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
I use a Canon 500D and a Canon 18-55mm lens. It’s actually my partners though; so whenever we go out to take photos, we have to share. It’s probably really annoying for her. I really should think about getting my own, but I’m folding towels at a day-spa for a living at the moment, and there’s surprisingly not a lot of money in that business.
I edit all my photos on an iPhone app called Afterlight. I like to make my pictures look a bit ancient, all drained of colour and grainy, and Afterlight’s really good for those kind of effects. It also has a great double exposure tool that I tend to use.
I instantly loved the place, Southsea especially; it has such a thriving creative community
Whenever anyone likes one of my photos on instagram, I always make sure to have a look through theirs too; I’ve come across some amazing stuff…
Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, but I only recently got my hands on to a decent camera for the first time. One of my final group-projects at university involved recording sounds at four of the areas most iconic locations. We used these to create an interactive exhibit where users could explore Portsmouth’s sonic environment. We decided to include a visual element to the exhibit too, so I asked to borrow my friends DSLR to shoot the accompanying videos; and it was that process that peaked my interest in photography.
Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
Mostly just for myself, but I do enjoy sharing them to see what other people think of each one. Whenever anyone likes one of my photos on instagram, I always make sure to have a look through theirs too; I’ve come across some amazing stuff.
Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?
Portsmouth’s amazing. It’s so compact but so diverse. The seafront’s obviously just one great stretch of opportunity, and there’s some really nice architecture down both Albert and Castle Road. I really like bleak stuff though, so my favourite place to take photos so far has probably been the Highland Road cemetery.
Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
Lofigram (@lofigram) is probably my favourite account on Instagram. It’s so consistent in quality and definitely the biggest influence on what I do. The bleaker, the better.
R. Adam Prieto (@radam2) is great too. He recently collaborated with Toro Y Moi to create a music video for his song ‘Half Dome’. It’s basically a load of stunning time-lapses, shot around Yosemite National Park, set to a sweet song. Its well worth a watch.
Locally, my friends Callum Sanderson (@calsanderson) James Davis (@jamesjohndavis) and Sarah Perry (@sxrxhpxrry) are all creating excellent stuff and are definitely worth following.
The seafront’s obviously just one great stretch of opportunity…