Aaron Hobson’s Cinemascapes

A spontaneous reaction of photography. Interview with Aaron Hobson.
September '14

When I first saw your works, they reflected Tom Waits to me, do not know why… Maybe your panoramic approach to places, light, characters and the stories. Like Tom Waits’ songs, you seem like you are just opening the door to show us an inner world, with just one view and let the rest to our imagination. What is your general inspiration while taking the shot? How do you “understand” that this is the moment?

You know you are not the first person to mention the Tom Waits connection.

Most of my work is autobiographical with a bit of exaggeration thrown in here and there. My inspiration comes from within and finds a way to the surface once I am on a new scene or location. I tend to find a unique location, set up the camera and just be myself. So I do leave a lot to the viewers’ imagination, just like meeting someone for the first time, you immediately draw conclusions about them by the way they’re dressed or how the act, my stories are a greeting to the viewer and then they react to me and draw conclusions.

In my view, your #cinemascapes are fairly autobiographical. You and your wife on a road with just car light etc… What do you in an ordinary day? If you were in, let’s say New York, would it be the same?

Most of my work is autobiographical with a bit of exaggeration thrown in here and there.

Ha-ha. These scenes would seem a bit odd or out of place, but my current body of work is indeed autobiographical, but with scenes from my distant past. In my youth and early 20’s life, for me, was out of place and bizarre. I did find myself in situations that were troubling and disturbing. Far from the daily life of suburbia or wealth, my story reflects the urban settings and situations that face many Americans. My current location of isolation in the mountains is only a small part of it. I grew up in large cities and I believe I can portray a middle ground between big city life and rural Americana.

Being in isolation in these years seem a bit unrealistic to me. Since the communication spreads like an illness via internet etc. However, you have created simply amazing shots from your isolated life, when did you feel first decide to be a photographer, graphic designer?

I grew up in a household with a father who was a photographer. He shot editorial and advertising work for most of his life. I have always been around cameras and studios, but never had the time or patience to try it myself. It wasn’t until recently with the slower pace of life, and a home with wife and child that I felt like I had the time to pick up the camera and “play” around with it. I guess this series is the result of those 15+ years that I wasn’t shooting.

Sometimes, there’s a feeling I get from your works that you put the so-called main character as secondary element but the place, stuff and light as first instead. It seems like you do not decide to draw the image but the place you chose is making the decision. Do you normally “plan” your shots?

Exactly. I find locations that draw me in emotionally. I am intrigued by the setting, lighting, smell, decay, or beauty. Sometimes my character steals the show and is more evident and sometimes he just becomes part of the scenery. It all depends on the location and mood of the day. So, no, I do not plan my shots. I plan my locations, but the shots come from a spontaneous reaction.

One last question; snow or darkness?

Darkness. At least the darkness does not last six months like snow. ✪


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