David Jackson is a Canadian photojournalist, in this showcase feature we focus on his On The Streets series. This series documents the homeless people of Toronto, Canada.
Hi David, could you tell us about your photographic background?
Well it all started when I was young and had access to my fathers camera. I’d take the camera on endless canoe and fishing adventures and bring back pictures for my parents. Quickly I realised the story telling potential and began shooting on each outing. Today, I always have a camera and I am still using it for the same purposes — to tell a story.
This has led perfectly into a world of photojournalism and the never ending search for the next story. I shoot for publications such as the Eganville Leader (print) and the Canadian Olympic Committee, focusing my personal work around people with humble, genuine, and dedicated passions. I spent June with the oldest Canadian canoe company, Miller Canoes, documenting Bill Miller for this ongoing project.
Your On The Streets series is a poignant illustration of the homeless problem, could you tell us more about the inspiration for it, and where the images were captured?
The images were all captured in and around Toronto, where I attended college, and really the idea kind of stemmed from big city blues. The photos were sort of secondary at first, oddly enough, because I found myself sharing a lot of moments with people I encountered on the streets. Moments like a coffee or just a eye-locked conversation, but the stories were, and still are, fascinating.
Tales of heroism, strife, and individuals proudest moments, and the camera came after I had grasped the subjects feelings- I needed the picture to do them justice. I was 17 and 18 when I shot these photos and I feel the inspiration came first from my subjects eyes of course their stories. Their eyes were hard and definitive, with a glassy grit and striking honesty, I really went for these features with the images — subjects eyes.
Their stories fueled a keen sense of adventure which I possess, and in the city which had drowned much of what I loved-the outdoors- I could transport myself to other places through harrowing stories. I may have left with images but I am forever in debt to the subjects for giving us a chance to talk, thank you.
What is your approach regarding equipment and image processing?
I was shooting on a Canon 5d MkII and mostly finding interesting light, though I find interesting light hits interesting people, so my search was typically easy. A few images used an Alienbee B800 through a beauty dish, but this style is cumbersome and intrusive for these photos typically.
Most images are only edited in lightroom, keeping them as close to straight out of camera as possible. The image of the man with a tear running out of his eye was shot with the Alienbee combo and was edited in photoshop- I believe I used shadows/highlights to bring out his facial definition and a bit of dodging and burning to bring out his face. Mostly, things are simple and organic, I like this style.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and David Jackson retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.