An ode to his love for Jazz, 'Round Midnight is the first of a three part series by Pedro Jimenez, widely known by his moniker Lucestrana. One of the most talented street photographers we know, in part one he speaks about what it was like for him when he first began. Shooting all his photos in film you'll see no presets, no post Lightroom edits from his work.
Part one features shots taken with his Nikon F90x and Olympus Stylus Epic DLX. The film used is varied; Kodak Portra 160 & 400 as well as, one of my favorites, Fujifilm Superia 400.
There was a period in my life where there was only darkness. I’m not talking days, weeks or months; it was probably more time than I would like to admit. I’ve heard people speak about being sad or being depressed and I never truly understood them. This was until I found myself in a situation that didn’t make sense to me. Nothing made sense. I would live my life and feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just an empty vessel.
Friends, family and strangers all passed me by like I was a ghost. Not because they didn’t mean anything to me, it was because I couldn’t see beyond the situation I was living at the moment. It was as if I was blocked by something that would follow me day in and day out.
One day I was walking along the street and I stopped to look at something, I forget what it was, but for some reason when I stopped I took a picture. I looked at my picture. Then I smiled. For the first time, In such a long time, I smiled. For the first time in a long time, I felt something.
I share this because we all have a spark to the way we express our true self. A moment, feeling or situation that sparks something within us that makes us say, "Regardless of what the world has to offer, this is the best I can offer myself. This is something I understand." Personally I admire people who create things for themselves. I admire people who are true to themselves. There are people out there who are so unique and interesting and in their own special way. These are everyday people. The strangers I see on the street, yet I don’t understand. The lives I strive to capture but yet fall short to frame. For the longest time I felt unsatisfied with my work because I wanted to capture a genuine vision of life, not a model posing. I always thought I would need the right friends or people to embody what I wanted to capture in a frame. I was looking for inspiration in the wrong places.
Street photography has made me see and understand a beauty to life I never did before. Those friends and models I was looking for, were right in front of me. The city is always in passion. All those special and particular moments of life I have been searching for have been found on the streets of Toronto. For me it’s Toronto, but for you it might be someplace different. It does not matter where you live your life there may be something inside of you that is yearning to create. You could say, “I live in bumfuck nowhere. There is nothing interesting here.” YOU are something interesting. The place we grew up in will always bring out the best in us. An artist always has such a difficult time accepting what is inside them and what surrounds them.
These are the things that are essential in order for us to grow. Especially as human beings. My biggest mistake in approaching photography, has been to believe that my pictures are beautiful. The moment is beautiful and it can never be duplicated. My photography only catches a fraction of how beautiful life really is. Regardless if I continue to share my work or not. I've come to understand that my photography is really just an extension of myself. I’ve found something that makes me feel profound and I hope you find the same for yourself.
I hope you feel something.
To be continued...