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Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/800-sec., f/2.8, ISO 4000

Alpha Profile Spotlight: How This Travel Photographer Captures Decisive Moments Around The World

Street, travel and portrait photographer Jason Jackson captures candid and decisive moments all over the world. In this article, we spotlight his Alpha Universe Profile to learn more about his photography and how he captures these moments with his Sony Alpha cameras and Sony G Master lenses.

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/160-sec., f/4, ISO 1000

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 640

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/3200-sec., f/3.5, ISO 800

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 20mm f/1.8 G. 1/2-sec., f/8, ISO 200

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/500-sec., f/4, ISO 500

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/2.8, ISO 80

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/160-sec., f/4, ISO 1000

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/3.5, ISO 640

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/3.2, ISO 200

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 800

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 640

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/800-sec., f/2.8, ISO 4000

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/100-sec., f/3.5, ISO 320

Jason Jackson (@jasonjacksonimages) is a street, travel and portrait photographer with an observational and documentarian style. He gravitates toward photographing the candid and spontaneous moments of everyday life and capturing how they resonate with the current events in the world at large. We came across his Alpha Universe Profile and connected with him to learn more about his photography and why he shoots with Sony Alpha. Read more below and create your own Alpha Universe Profile HERE for a chance to be featured on AlphaUniverse.com.

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/800-sec., f/2.8, ISO 4000

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/800-sec., f/2.8, ISO 4000

Career Snapshot

I was always interested in photography since I was a teenager, but other interests took most of my time and energy (my athletic pursuits and my career in healthcare as a physical therapist). I was often shooting with various branded point and shoot cameras during my travels but it wasn’t until 2015 that I began to focus on the artistry and technical aspect of photography. That attention to detail and the history of the craft is what helped me the most as I began to focus on specific genres. At the advice of an instructor I chose Sony as my first professional interchangeable lens camera (the Sony Alpha 6000) and I have never looked back. I am a street photographer at heart. It’s my first love. The genre challenges me and demands that I hone my observational skills regardless of the setting. Candid and spontaneous moments of everyday life are what drives me when I am out on the street shooting. That style of documentarian and environmental portraiture is most often in my thought process while out shooting in the street or traveling.

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/3.5, ISO 640

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/3.5, ISO 640

The Challenges Of Travel & Street Photography

The most challenging aspect of this is being able to capture that “decisive moment”. Also, as a Black photographer I do believe that I have an obligation and responsibility to capture the “Black experience” in my work. The visual medium can be a strong advocate for social awareness and change. Being out in the streets here in the United States and abroad, I often keep that ethos in my mind. It’s important to me that a portion of my work is dedicated to capturing the social and political climate and culture of the world around us. The pandemic era set back some of my personal projects with regards to travel and documenting things abroad but luckily, living in NYC means there is always something happening and an endless breadth of material to draw from.

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/100-sec., f/3.5, ISO 320

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/100-sec., f/3.5, ISO 320

The other aspect of my work focuses on male portraiture under the banner “The Erotiese Project.” It’s more studio based and people often think of it as “male boudoir” photography. I get to play with lighting and costumes and mood and it’s a more deliberate and technical process. It’s centered around the concept of male identity and masculinity as those “boundaries” continue to change. The clients range from bankers and lawyers, to adult film performers, as well as couples and men just looking to express and explore themselves in ways outside of their traditional boundaries. I am very intentional when creating a visual narrative while working with these clients or when doing branded content so it exercises different aspects of my skill set. Regardless of the genre or setting, Sony never disappoints.

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 640

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 640

My Go-To Sony Gear

My Sony Alpha 7R III is the workhorse. The resolution allows me to crop and adjust in post after a fast-paced photoshoot, or to hone in on a specific subject or aspect of the composition on the street or in the studio, and still get a phenomenal image without loss of clarity (or when I need to print larger images for clients or for my personal collection). The eye detection is a game changer for me. The “eyes are the window to the soul,” and having that focus point really makes the viewer feel more engaged and connected to an image. The fast and accurate subject tracking and autofocus means I can always get the shot I want. And with the LCD touchscreen I can stay in stealth mode because it allows me to find and maintain my desired composition without having to lift my camera to my face and draw attention to myself on the street when I am trying to get those candid moments. I specifically set my LCD display quality to HIGH for better viewing in potentially fast moving environments on the streets. I love that Sony really listens to their community of creators. When they upgraded to a better battery it made being out on the streets of New York City documenting a Black Lives Matter Protest for the day, or wandering the streets of Myanmar for eight hours, or doing a studio shoot for three-four hours effortless. It’s a worry-free process knowing I will have enough juice to get the job done.

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 800

Photo by Jason Jackson. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 800

I have the golden trinity of G-Master lenses, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8, and I love them all. I do have to say the 70-200mm is the one lens I would keep on my camera at all times if I could. I have a soft spot for the compression and subject separation that lens provides. It really compliments my style of photography. It’s my first choice whenever possible. The 24-70mm is the “every situation” lens. Especially when shooting in my home studio where there isn’t as much space to accommodate a longer focal length. I have recently given my 16-35mm a rest and opted for the 20mm/f1.8 G lens as my go to wide angle lens. It’s my most used prime lens. If I need to get into a venue or situation that would negate me carrying in an interchangeable lens camera I throw my Sony RX100 VII into my pocket and keep it moving. It is also a great asset on the street because people don’t even know that I am shooting them since it's smaller than a smartphone. (Note: Click here to learn more about the gear Jason Jackson uses for his photography in his What’s In My Bag article.)

Alpha-Universe-WIMB-Jason-Jackson-Gear.jpg

Jason Jackson's Sony Alpha Kit

Shooting With Authenticity

Sony has engineered a technological and creative powerhouse with their Alpha line of cameras. They are committed to their craft and continue to push forward with innovative gear that is not only a joy to use but functionally relevant. Having complete control and CONFIDENCE in the gear in my hand is priceless. I had the privilege of attending the Kando events pre-Covid and it really reinforced my belief and confidence in their philosophy of community and collaboration. That is important to me as a photographer. I want my work to resonate and hold some level of significance to people. It can bring them joy, or create a desire to learn more about the image and intentions behind the shot. Every picture has a story. My desire is to shoot with authenticity and let the picture tell the story.

See more of Jason Jackson’s work on his Alpha Universe Profile and on Instagram @jasonjacksonimages.

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