Jesús Maza, Carrying on the Mantle of Film Photography in a Digital Era
Today, a perfectly functional camera that uses film is an artifact that belongs in a museum. We live in a time where high-tech Digital Single-Lens Reflex cameras (DSLR’s) sit picturesquely in the showcases of digital electronic stores for sale. When thinking of darkrooms where film photographs are developed, many of us expect a stubborn dinosaur who is fixated with a film operated relic to be working inside. Instead, an enigmatic young man emerges from the darkroom with this device, causing confusion stemming from our stereotypes of people who use film-operated cameras. Jesús Maza is a mysterious yet noble photographer carrying on the mantle of film photography in a digital era.
Prior to getting involved in photography, Jesús was a painter in high school. During this time he would only use his cellphone to take photographs. “I was so into imitationalism stuff. I liked to paint things in a way that they would look realistic but completing a painting would take so long. Photography was a unit in my grade 11 art class and we started with film photography. In art class, we learned the basics of photography. I fell in love with the darkroom stuff because the whole process was and is still intriguing to me; printing made photography so satisfying,” Jesús told Radio Glendon.
He got his first camera while he was a high school student. This camera was a Canon T3 which is an intermediate level camera with some basic lenses. He never owned a film camera until he moved to London, Ontario to continue his schooling in 2014. While in a photo shop, a discarded Miranda Sensorex 35mm film camera came into his focus. Immediately, he captured his first film camera for $20.
Jesús praises his former school, Niagara College Canada, Welland Campus where he furthered his studies in Digital Photography for giving him the opportunity to be published in the Applied Arts Magazine which is sold across the world. Despite this he mostly shoots using film.
“I prefer film because I can feel it, it’s consistent quality and long lasting. In digital photography the quality degrades fast because the equipment is constantly being upgraded to be better, leaving older equipment useless even though at their release it was the highest quality gear in years,” Jesús explained.
Some of his favourite work is done by Irving Penn and Richard Avendo. Jesús praises Penn and Avendo as being masters of portraits and various beautiful intriguing artwork. He admires their innovative lighting techniques in contrast to traditional lighting styles.
Jesús is proud of his reputation as being an excellent storyteller which puts him in a league of his own as one of Canada’s most promising photographers.
“People respect my work as I improve my skills. Everyone can be a photographer since most modern smartphones have a great camera, but what gives you respect and a good reputation is great work ethic, a broad network, collaborations, and paid work. What distinguishes a real photographer from a snapshot person is their level of creativity; being able to create something new every time you do the same job.”
Some readers may find Jesús hypocritical because he speaks passionately about being fresh and innovative, yet he uses a film camera for a lot of his photographic work. However in this industry Jesús is like Terry McGinnis of Batman Beyond continuing the legacy of Bruce Wayne, the original Batman. Just like Batman, he works best in the dark (darkroom) and his philosophies are founded on authentic photographic principles that require a young and flexible mastermind to work in today’s modern and competitive photography industry.
Jesús is available to be booked and his amazing photographs can be viewed and bought at www.jesusmaza.com. Follow on Instagram @Jesusmazaphoto and Facebook at www.facebook.com/Jesusmazaphoto to connect with Jesús Maza who is carrying on the mantle of film photography in a digital era.
-Elton Campbell for Radio Glendon