JASON WINSHELL PHOTOGRAPHY
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AT A DISTANCE

STATEMENT

These photographs are an exploration of the relationships people have to each other, to their environment, and to culture. These relationships create natural social dynamics, which impart a visceral sense of place and time. Through photography, I examine how social and physical distance influences those relationships, social dynamics, and the perception of social information. I do this by creating degrees of immediacy in the photographs. Immediacy provokes a gut reaction in the viewer, followed by a need to understand what the image is about.

Communicating immediacy is all about process for me. I participate without any special privileges or protective social insulation. I immerse myself in the experience — in the moment. This is true whether I’m taking photographs of people on the streets or children at a birthday party. I often shoot at close range (to test personal space), insinuate myself in crowds, and talk with people. At times my camera becomes a proxy for an uncomfortable stare. I expose myself to social risk by steering toward unpredictable encounters rather than navigating around them.

The physical surroundings and moment in time are inseparable from the dynamics of the social elements. They form the lattice where human activity takes place. The settings I choose for my photographs have a discernible influence on behavior or encourage people to reveal themselves honestly.

I do most of my shooting in San Francisco, my home of more than 20 years. Its urban environment provides the social density necessary for my work. The photographs in this book were taken between 2006 and 2010.

Jason Winshell

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