Interview | Photographer & Traveler J.L. Wright On Photography Aesthetics & The Volunteer Life

The Wire's Dream | BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion

I am humbled and joyous to have interviewed J.L. Wright for The Wire’s Dream 2nd Collection! J.L. Wright is a photographer and traveler and a full-time RVer who enjoys learning about the United States through exploration. It is J.L. Wright’s wish to start conversations about current issues through the use of an artistic voice. // J.L. Wright On Blogspot

CHRISTINA LYDIA
Hello J. L. Wright! Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions so we can know a bit about you and your photography. Tell us about what photography means to you. How and when did you get started? Do you have any photographers that you look up to?

Photo of Kodak Pocket Instamatic 100, First camera for the 'Pocket Instamatic'-Film. Presented in this box on the 'Photokina' fair in Germany, 1972
Kodak Pocket Instamatic 100, First camera for the ‘Pocket Instamatic’-Film. Presented in this box on the ‘Photokina’ fair in Germany, 1972
Photo of Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick, aged 21, in 1949

J.L. WRIGHT
I had my first job re-shelving books in my elementary school library. It was the last year of Look magazine and I had to remove all the earlier editions and throw them away. As I boxed them up for the trash, I thumbed through the earlier editions I had never seen before. I saw several story shoots by Stanley Kubrick. Pictures where he found repetitive patterns in light and shadow while telling a story without faces. It wasn’t about the subjects but about the backdrop in the photos. It was the lack of clarity and depth that pulled me in. That was the year I got my first camera, a pocket Kodak Instamatic 110.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
What is your most memorable photography experience?

J.L. WRIGHT
Photography was an expensive hobby before digital. I have never taken a class or learned how to process my own film so I spent a lot for out of focus, poor quality images at Walgreens. When I think about all the photos I’ve taken, I’ve only planned a few, mostly still lifes. Sometimes I plan for the light effects and thinking through what vision I’d like to capture in a landscape or wildlife photograph. I got hooked on photography when my wife and I decided to quit our jobs and become full-time RVers.

TWD - JLW Keila | Interview | Photographer & Traveler J.L. Wright On Photography Aesthetics & The Volunteer Life | BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion
Keila

My mother-in-law gave us our first digital camera and told us to post pictures on Facebook so she could enjoy the journey with us. We left Houston and headed straight to Alaska and have been in 43 states and seven Canadian provinces so far. I consider myself the best photographer I know at 55 mph. That’s because my wife and I travel as full-time RVers. She’s behind the wheel and I’m behind the camera with my head out the window capturing the scenes she can’t see when she’s paying attention to the road. 

When I looked through my photo album of this journey to respond to this question, I went straight to the file called Keila. She was our 14 year old Labrador. I made a journal of her last day on this plane of existence and those would be my most memorable images.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
You mentioned that you enjoy traveling around the United States in your RV! What do you enjoy the most about RV-ing and travel? How do you make time to do what you love to do?

J.L. WRIGHT
My wife and I have discovered the volunteer life. We volunteer with USFW, private entities, and will be joining the National Forest team this fall. As volunteers, we receive free campsite in exchange for our work. If you want to follow our adventures, follow our blog: A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime: Quitting Our Jobs, Selling Everything, and Hitting The Road.

We love connecting to the wonderful public lands currently threatened by changes in legislation. Hiking, camping, enjoying ourselves and helping clean and maintain facilities for other visitors is very rewarding. We support the mission of the U.S. Department of the Interior to protect and manage the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage; by providing scientific and other information about those resources to visitors.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
What do you look for when approaching a photography subject? Do you lean toward a particular aesthetic or are you more free with your photo’s composition?

J.L. WRIGHT
I like to frame a shot naturally. I notice the rules of thirds when I see them but always have a computer program to help make them work when I don’t capture what I wanted you to see.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
There is a series photographer that is featured here on TBL Journal named Thaddeus Miles; and in his interview, he talked about how he hoped to achieve unity and diversity with his camera. His work touches on diversity and culture, and serves to create positive narratives and conversation on perspective. In your bio, you talked about how it was your desire to use your artistic voice to start conversations about current issues. I think that is a powerful way to approach current issues! What do you hope to achieve with your photography? What conversations do you hope to have?

J.L. WRIGHT
I want people to see beauty wherever they are. They can look at my pictures and think, I’ve been there but I never really saw it like that. I want people to see what they want to see in person, a mountain lion in New Mexico, a grizzly in Denali, Mt. Rainer, Okefenokee Swamp, or the Atlantic City, New Jersey skyline.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your work?

J.L. WRIGHT
Photography is my second love as I define myself as a poet. I am currently writing my first books, a memoir in verse and a children’s book. I want to use my photography as a support for my word art. In 5 years, I’d like to be able to say my art has affected someone in a way which made them get off the couch and do something be it a walk around the block or a drive across the county.

BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion

THANK YOU, J.L. Wright, FOR ALLOWING US TO KNOW A BIT ABOUT YOU! // YOU CAN VIEW J.L. Wright’s WORK ON THE WIRE’S DREAM 2ND COLLECTION RELEASED ON JUNE 30TH.

 

© 2017 | The Black Lion is a humble interdisciplinary journal that values your voice. Visit the submissions page to learn more about submitting to the Journal’s sections or to The Wire’s Dream Magazine. | Copyright Policy

 
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