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Jake Urban
Old Wood

digital photograph
32″ x 18″


Alex Rowe, Illustrator & Children's Book Artist

Alex Rowe
Illustrator & Children’s Book Artist

Artist Statement
“I have explored many mediums as a photographer including 35mm, Polaroid, alternative processes, and digital. But all comes back to the same vision. I am capturing a moment. Freezing time in place forever. I view this as a unique aspect of the artist. People do not normally get to remember something exactly how it is, so I try to capture things how I feel them.

Whether achieved through digital or traditional methods,  I apply textures and tones to bring out qualities in my subjects that suggest a surreal, dream-like state. I hope this makes the viewer aware of the subject in an unusual way. That the qualities of the bridge make the viewer feel how the bridge, although not alive, is like an ageless sentinel that has helped countless people cross from side to side. That even before it was bridge it was something else,  and like our memories of the bridge, it will alter and wear away with time.”

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Video Transcript

“I really enjoyed this piece. The texture, the atmosphere, the kind of quality of the space that you’re bringing out is really, really cool. And it’s funny one of my favorite parts about it is, you’re doing such a bold thing with the composition where like the whole bottom of the piece is pretty much just, the floor. But the textures and the light and the subtlety of variation between the lightest light and the darkest dark you’re bringing out in there, it’s really exciting to look through.

I think the problem that I’m having with this piece is there are so many points of high contrast and bright light, that I’m not quite sure where you want the focal point to be. Considering where you want our eyes to go as viewers and then balancing that piece out a little bit more, I think it really takes this piece to the next level.

Above all, you really showing a nice knowledge of using lines to guide the viewer’s eye through the piece. I think overall, I think this piece is really nice, most of all the textures in the atmosphere.”

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7 responses on "Jake Urban"

  1. Thank you all for the amazing feedback! I agree, when I compare this to other pieces I’m working with in the same series my attempts to make the bridge and atmosphere the subject don’t quite cut it. So I guess I have to decide if I should revisit this piece or if it’s better to move on. And I can apply your feedback for next time!

  2. What a compelling piece! I absolutely love spending time exploring the fabulous textures you’ve captured and getting consumed in the overall mood of the image. Like mentioned in other comments, I am having a hard time finding an area to focus on as the contrast is quite intense throughout the entire piece. Perhaps you can focus on this intense contrast in certain areas, and detach from it in others, creating a greater balance and a clearer indication of a focal area. I can’t wait to see more of your work!

  3. What I really enjoy about this piece is the starkness of the contrast that creates an eerie, theatrical atmosphere which is really intriguing. There’s certainly a painterly quality to this photograph, I think probably because of the way you’ve emphasized the rich textures throughout the piece. Have you considered taking any of your photographs and adding other media on top? Given that texture is so present in this photograph, it seems like those visual qualities really would lend themselves to perhaps painting on the photograph, or even tearing up the photograph and rearranging it as a physical collage. Not sure if you have any interest in going in that direction, but it’s an experiment that I think would be a lot of fun to try out some time!

    • I REALLY want to try photo encaustic. My favorite professor from college did a workshop on it last summer but I couldn’t make it. I’m going to be on the lookout for other opportunities. In the meantime, painting could be interesting. I have acrylics and oils left over from school. I should do some research and give them a try.

      • You talk about certain textures being important to you. Another medium you could explore with (if you haven’t already) are transfer methods like matte medium and Citrusolv (a type of run of the mill cleaner fluid that is great at transferring ink) with your photos. The Citrusolv especially yields some really interesting, gritty transfers. Using analog methods in conjunction with photography can really help create that “frozen” moment you’re looking for.

  4. You have a great eye for composition, and I’m really fascinated by this piece. I agree with Alex’s assessment that the image is pretty consistently high-contrast all-around, and more consideration could be given to where you want to draw our eye. You’re so good at capturing those moody textures, however, so I would also suggest thinking about how you can use that as a tool to create focal points in future pieces…. Where do you want to give us those details to explore, and where can you step back a little? I look forward to seeing more of this work!

  5. I loved hearing about this piece and reading the artist statement. This image is so compelling, as Alex mentioned, with the mood and perspective you have achieved. The presence of time in this piece is very mysterious, from the slight green coloration and partial haziness to the confounding composition, you are setting up an image that seems worn or weathered in a particular way. It has an almost 70’s era feeling to it. I agree with Alex that having a bit more shadow could be an extra step in helping achieve a greater balance and really capture the depth of space. Beautiful, beautiful job!!

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