Jon Estwards’ Intangible Beauty

Flickr is overrun with amateur photographers indulging in a self-consciously hazy and arcane sensibility.  Just browse the site for a few minutes and you’ll likely stumble across someone’s obscure holga photographs of their lanky boyfriend with a nosebleed, awash in ghostly light-leaks.  And while the move away from digital photography is admirable, the analog scene has quickly developed its own tiresome set of clichés.  Any originality seems to have been lost amidst a sea of imitators and opportunistic hipsters with polaroids.  Which is why it’s so remarkable to discover someone like Jon Estwards (though his real name may in fact be Jon Edwards), who has taken the lo-fi aesthetic and achieved something genuinely arresting and magical. Sort of like Ryan Mcginley on mushrooms, Estwards’ images are veiled with layers of ambiguous double-exposure or other obfuscations, and his subjects are often lit by psychedelic slide projections or covered in a strange, felted ectoplasm.  It’s a consistently elusive and beguiling body of work that refers back to the early days of surrealist photography, but yet has the appearance of having arisen from no single decade.

See more of Estwards’ work on his flickr page here.


  1. Why is the move from digital “admirable”? Is FLCKR a site for professional photographers?

  2. i feel that images shot on film have a warmth and resonance that is lacking in digital. recently i brought two cameras to a film shoot, a very old 35mm and a brand new digital SLR, and the film shots were, by far, the better images.

    also, i feel that any attempt to keep the old, more cumbersome methods of image making alive, especially in the context of digital dominance, is admirable.

    many professional photographers do host their images on flickr (ryan pfluger, for example), though it is mostly favoured by amateurs.

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