City Views - Jacksonville

Buildings and structures provide a wealth of visual stimulation in a dizzying array of textures, forms, repetitions, contrasts, and juxtapositions. A city’s fabric is composed of interrelated structures and spaces, revealing a characteristic “signature” and style. Jacksonville is extraordinary in its presence, firmly grounded along the St. Johns River, and reaching in all directions. The skyline is inviting, dramatic, and unique. Among its elements of building, bridge, roadway, and water, exists visual curiosities for all to discover and enjoy.

In August 2009 I began a series of images examining the structures in Jacksonville’s urban core. There are many familiar scenes - the view of the skyline from the south bank of the St. Johns is one most photographed. I began to use a longer lens to explore each building, and the juxtaposition of buildings against each other. I found it interesting how a more detailed view can radically change with small changes in position. The possibilities found by arranging shapes became the objective.

Most people who frequent downtown are desensitized by familiarity. The focus is on navigating the traffic and finding a parking space. Or seeking the lunch spot for the day. Then it’s back in the car and off again to repeat tomorrow. Commuters to the city often do not take the time to explore a place visually. It is rare that someone finds beauty or curiosity in a place that doesn’t seem to change. My purpose is to expose an aspect of the city that is uncommon. To show a view of our city that is unexpected and never before seen, even though one may walk past the same view a thousand times.

Jacksonville is a very approachable city and affords many opportunities for visual exploration in varying light and weather conditions. With the river and several accessible bridges and boardwalks, one can find multiple approaches to a single structure, a group of structures, or the entire skyline. I have many ideas of views yet to be photographed and eagerly anticipate the creation of future “city views.”

April 2012