Rising Light is a monthly article series highlighting promising photography students from all over the world. In this second article we meet Jason Sinn, from Sacramento City College in California, who tells us about how photography change his way of looking at the world.
Unlike most Photography Majors, Jason Sinn’s interest in photography emerged while serving in the Coast Guard. Though he had been roaming about with a camera for about a year before enrolling at Sacramento City College, California, he was initially unsure about how far up the bar he should set his expectations. Fortunately the synergy between students and faculty, along with the encouragement from the teachers, quickly set the tone for the school year.
“The photo faculty at SCC have years of professional work experience and they’re artists at heart. They connect with their students very well. That’s what made it for me.”
Jason is quite clear about why he chose a path in photography.
“Photography has given me a completely different perspective on the world. Working the usual job from 9 to 5 has never been my style and as a photographer every single day has the potential of being an adventure.
“When I’m shooting, my world transforms. People have more depth. I find them even more fascinating when viewed through a lens”.
Prior to entering school, all Jason knew from lighting was his speedlight. It didn’t take more than a few outings with the Profoto AcuteB2 flash pack for him to recognize the difference between the two.
Greatly influenced by photojournalist and commercial photographer Paul Estabrook, Jason makes frequent references to “the language of light”.
“Estabrook’s view is that you need to bring a story to a photograph, and lighting is one of the strongest tools for achieving that. That lesson always stuck with me”
He is quick to add that he does his best to get to know his subjects before photographing them, rather than shoot hit-and-run style.
“I need to know who they are.”
A photograph Jason takes particular pride in – and one that he believes speaks the language of light particularly well – is his portrait of Philippe Ngabonziza, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide and a co-founder of Building Hope For Africa.
“I wanted the viewer to focus on his eyes. I wanted to, in some form, reveal what he’s seen.”
Powering down his AcuteB2 in order to shoot at maximum aperture for minimal depth-of-field, Jason lit Ngabonziza using a Profoto Softlight Reflector White – often referred to as the Beauty Dish due to its even, flattering light, crisp definition and contrast .
“The Beauty Dish illuminated his eyes beautifully and rendered his skin with what I would describe as ‘clean, focused light’.
“That lighting was perfect for the shot – it brought an immediate story to the photograph.”
Photographer: Jason Sinn
School: Sacramento City College, California
Profoto gear of choice: Profoto AcuteB2 flash pack
Visit his website: www.jasonsinnphotography.com