Jeremy Perez-Cruz: On Urban Geometry

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All images by Jeremy Perez-Cruz. Used with permission.

Photographer Jeremy Perez-Cruz called Brooklyn, NY home and has been a designer, photographer and musician for a number of years now. He got into photography from his father–who used to do it on the side for cash. So with that said, Jeremy got into. When he moved to New York and discovered all the crazy ways that geometry plays a part in the city, he instantly fell in love.

For Jeremy, it’s all about creating images that feel like Film stills. Be sure to also check out his TwitterTravel BlogTumblr, and Music.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.

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Jeremy: My father was a semi-professional photographer. When I was kid he gifted me his old Canon AE-1 film camera, which I used to shoot with and take along on tour during my previous life as a musician.

Phoblographer: What got you into shooting urban geometry, the streets of New York and the wide scenes that you encounter every day?

Jeremy: Literally, moving to New York City. It started as me documenting my walk to work every day through Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood – which is incredibly cinematic. Instagram was gaining popularity around the same time and it was an amazing way to share images and find other photographers who were doing the same sorts of exploration.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about what typically motivates you to actually shoot a scene. Like specifically, when you look at a scene, what makes you actually and typically want to photograph it? What is is about the scenes that attracts you to it?

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Jeremy: For instagram, specifically, I’m looking for images that feel like film stills. I want them to feel dynamic, atmospheric and almost painterly in appearance. I’m obsessed with light but I’m also on the look out for reflections, steam, birds, shadows, splashes – anything that can help make an ordinary moment feel extraordinary.

My travel photography is a bit different. The photos tend to be fairly personal and toe the line between snapshots and more intentionally composed photographs. They are very much my specific perspective: I consider what I’d like to see and what I find to be beautiful, and those moments tend to be very candid and intimate.

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Phoblographer: Lots of your images have very minimal edits, though they’re for sure there. Do you feel that sometimes editing gets in the way of actually helping you express yourself creatively or do you always tend to nail it?

Jeremy: I try and capture as much in-camera as possible: framing, light, color. From there I usually start with a VSCO film pack in Lightroom, and then apply my own edits. I don’t do composites, I don’t do photo illustration, I don’t do much cloning or any real spot corrections. I’m much more interested in capturing a pure moment, the edits I make are mostly to enhance detail and bring out the atmosphere.

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Phoblographer: As a photographer, where do you want to be and how do you plan on getting there?

Jeremy: Generally, I’d love to find a way for my work to make it financially viable for me to travel regularly.

Phoblographer: What are your top five favorite places in NYC to shoot and why?

Jeremy:  Two Bridges:

  • There is a stretch from the Manhattan bridge (not he north side) to the South Side Sea Port (to the south) that I’m obsessed with. The variation in scenes, people and architecture mean that every visit will generate an unexpected and new moment. My favorite time to shoot there is in the early morning, when many of the residents are doing Tai Chi, unboxing deliveries, fishing, smoking or bicycling.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park: It stretches from Brooklyn Heights to DUMBO and has a ton of different scenes to work with. There is the downtown manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the old piers, sports complexes, and a variety of tall grasses and trees.
  • Times Square: I hate times square 99% of the time and most New Yorkers avoid it at all costs. However, the 1% of the time when it’s in the midst of a downpour or snowstorm, it becomes almost magical. The crowds thin and the light reflects off of everything.
  • Red Hook, Brooklyn: It’s not far from my apartment, there is a nice variety of abandoned buildings to explore, a waterfront to watch the sun set, views of 3 boroughs and beautiful cobble-stone streets.
  • Chinatown, Manhattan: Tight alleys, steam, street merchants, lots of foot traffic. China town is a micro city in and of itself. Always an interesting collection of people and places to explore.

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Phoblographer: Lots of your imagery tends to play not only with lines, but haze, reflections, and contrasty silhouettes. What photographers really influence your work?

Jeremy: Most of the street photographers I really admire don’t have a lot in common with my instagram images; William Klein, Gary Winogrand, Robert Herman, Robert Frank and Vivian Maier are all favorites. I credit my friends Jaret Ferratusco, Jonpaul Douglass and John Deeb for being constant inspirations and mentors over the years I would say my instagram photos are more inspired by cinematographers like Jeff Cronenweth, Emmanuel Lubezki, Darius Khondji and Roger Deakins.

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