About Jon

I am thirty-five years old and live with my partner Joanne in Toronto, Canada. I shoot film and create hand-made photographs using historical and alternative processes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some crypto-luddite -- far from it. I just spend enough time staring at a computer screen as part of my day job. The tangibility of the silver and iron processes is a tactile counterbalance to the fleeting ephemera of the digital world. I love the anticipation of waiting to see what will come out of the fix, or seeing a platinum print appear like magic in the developer. In my alternative process printing, I work primarily with platinum and palladium, argyrotypes, kallitypes and cyanotypes. I am still perfecting my technique, but learning more every day.

If you'd like to know more, you can check out my LinkedIn profile and find out what I'm up to on Twitter or Tumblr. I also shoot snapshots on my iPhone, which you can find at my instagrid. To find out more about this site, getting prints or licensing and how to get in touch, expand any of the sections below for more details:

Site History


In 2003, after much prompting from Rannie Turingan, I started a photoblog called groundglass. I kept with it for three solid years, and in the process managed to get published a few times and even see my shots hanging on the wall at a couple galleries. By 2006 however, between my then day-job and personal life I just didn't have the time or energy to continue to do it justice. So I put things on hiatus for what I thought at the time would be a couple months.

But some times life has other plans. Since I slowed things down at groundglass I ended my marriage, got outsourced, burned myself out, quit my job, moved in with my girlfriend, found a better job, got promoted, and helped care for my mother until her death at home, surrounded by her family, in early 2008. I'll always miss you, mum.

And so two months became two years, and in many ways it was like I was a completely different person from the one that started groundglass in 2003. It was hard getting motivated, but thanks in part to a much needed kick in the ass from my partner, I started taking photographs again. With all that happened though, a fresh start was in order. My world is very different from what it was, and so too I think is the way I see it through the lens.

At the end of 2009, I took another year-long hiatus from posting my work online due in part to time constraints stemming from my busy work schedule. I started posting again in May 2011.

Posting Frequency and Expectations


Updates will be as often as I'm able, considering my workflow. I want to have fun with this, and not turn it in to another chore. Since I'm gravitating more towards 4x5, the process of making a photograph can be very slow. You could send me out with a DSLR for a couple of hours and I'd come back with 200 images. With a 4x5, I'd consider even just a single photograph in the same time-frame to be a good outing. It deliberately slows you down and forces you to contemplate your decisions. There is no "spray and pray" when you're using a loupe to focus. As such, this is not necessarily a "daily photoblog". Instead, it is an outlet for me to share my particular aesthetic, as I continue to learn and understand the processes I've chosen to explore. Consistent? Hopefully. Daily? Probably not.

Technical Details


I mainly shoot in 6x6 (Bronica SQAi, Yashica Mat 124G) or 6x7 and 4x5 (Chamonix 045n-1, Super Speed Graphic). I don't plan on getting much more specific than that with each image, at least not regularly. I'm trying to avoid too much focus on gear, as I find it tends to distract from both the process and the image itself. If you're really curious, feel free to check out this list at my old photoblog for the full compliment. In the darkroom, I'm a Rodinal junkie for the most part -- although I'll also use HC110 or PMK Pyro when the mood strikes. I rarely shoot 35mm these days, as I find myself more likely to pick up a digital SLR or point-'n-shoot for the more casual stuff.

The images here are all monochrome -- that's not to say that won't change, however. I'm not sure if I want to post the occasional color shot here, in case its too jarring. I may just set up a separate area for them. When I have something in colour to post, I'll figure it out.

Other Places You can find my Photos

In print / meatspace:
The Toronto Star, June 9 2005 -- Sharing a slice of city life
Eye Magazine, March 24 2005 -- As dense as we want to be
Toronto Free Gallery, March 16 - April 23 2005 -- PUBLICity Photography Exhibit
Spacing Magazine -- Issue Three, Issue Five
U&I Magazine -- Issue One

On the web:
Surface Online, February 2005 -- The Language Issue: Polite Payphone and Stencilled Alleyways
Spacing Magazine -- Spacing Photoblog
Slashdot, November 02 2004 -- Photoblog Revolution
File Magazine, September 2004 -- Photograph: Drained
Coolstop, April 15 2004 -- Best of the Cool Daily Pick
Photojunkie Magazine, April 2004 Issue -- Tutorial: Fun with MTPhotoGallery (archived locally)
CBC Radio 3 Issue 2.27, March 12 2004 -- Feature: Point, Shoot, and Post
Photojunkie Magazine, January 6 2004 -- Photoblog Spotlight

Shutterday "Your Life would suck without whom?", May 2009 -- Favourite Selection

Photo Friday:
Photo Friday "Words", July 5 2012 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "In Shadow", July 24 2009 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Best of 2005", January 10 2006 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Statement", November 1 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Analog", August 31 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Sunset", August 9 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Atmosphere", April 12 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Neglect", April 5 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Clean", March 22 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Status", March 1 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Glamour", February 16 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Emptiness", February 9 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection
Photo Friday "Man", February 2 2004 -- Noteworthy Selection

Buying a Print


If you are interested in getting a print made, most of my images are available for purchase at sizes up to 12x18. I can produce both traditional silver halide prints and carbon pigment piezographs on archival cotton photorag. That's really just a pretentious way of saying I can create both traditional and inkjet prints, except it makes it sound like I actually know what I'm doing. Contact me if you're interested.

Copyright and Licensing


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Is it art? Can it be? Who knows or cares! It is a vital new way of seeing, it belongs to our day and age, its possibilities have only been touched upon. So why bother about art? A word so abused it is almost obsolete. But for the sake of discussion, the difference between good and bad art lies in the minds that created, rather than in skill of hands: a fine technician may be a very bad artist, but a fine artist usually makes himself a fine technician to better express his thought. -- Edward Weston