Brooding, haunting and striking are just some of the words that first comes to mind when one tries to describe Jason Peterson’s black and white street photography. Producing a stunning feed that has earned him legendary status in Instagram, Peterson’s photographs may very well lure the fictional Dark Knight to come out just to reside in the visual world he has crafted. Capturing images that perfectly fuses human subjects against the vast and scenic city environment has catapulted him to staging an exhibition called “Concrete Jungle” at the iconic Royalton New York early this year. Apart from all the accolades and raves being directed at him, Peterson also became the subject of the latest episode of AdoramaNYC’s Through the Lens documentary series which honors photographers teeming with unmatched inventiveness.
Drawing inspiration from his favorite photographers Harry Callahan, Hiroshi Sugimoto & Ray Metzker, Peterson has created a unique style that has now amassed more than half a million followers on Instagram. “I love the scale of urban landscape versus the human condition. I love capturing the moments that constantly happen and go by unnoticed,” he says. Shuffling his time between New York City and Chicago, where he serves as Chief Creative Officer of the multi-national advertising agency, Havas Worldwide, has provided Peterson the opportunity of capturing the beautiful skyline and the vigorous street vibes of both cities. “In New York, the hustle and the never taking “no” for an answer. In Chicago, the talent and energy that exists there is without ego. People are ready to make cool things without the “what’s in it for me” attitude. And the architecture is unbelievable,” Peterson describing the two cities to Back of House.
Initially a doubter of digital photography, he was only persuaded by a friend to try Instagram over a year after it first came out. “It began almost three years ago when a friend at work told me to check out the Instagram app. I never liked digital photography and I thought Instagram was just another Hipstamatic filter pack.” Fortunately, for all of us digital photography enthusiasts, the passion grew on Peterson and eventually showered us with almost a couple of thousands artistic imagery through his Instagram feed.
“Dark, classic, high contrast, black and white” is the premier style of branding that Peterson has achieved in associating his images to his many followers. “First and foremost, I always look for light. I’ll return to the same location over and over looking for when the light is just right,” he tells iPhone Photography “I love classic black and white photography and I’m influenced greatly by the ability of the masters to create a style and look that stands up over a career. Harry Callahan is a huge influence on me,” he adds.
Peterson shot most of his images posted on Instagram using an iPhone but has dabbled in using a Canon 5D Mark III and most recently a Leica M Monochrome. To see more of Jason Peterson’s work, check out his website and follow him into the dark @jasonmpeterson on Instagram.