In the city by Jorge E. Bañales


“In the City” is a collection of black and white photographs taken with an iPhone for a couple of years starting in 2011. Most of the pictures were taken in Northern Virginia and others in the Washington metropolitan area, Chicago, New York and Baltimore.

Subject matters range from cityscapes, landscapes, portraits, and the seasons’ change. The mood is somber, mysterious, but sometimes playful. The photographs are at times abstract, at times romantic. Friends and family have described my work as having an ominous touch or having a lot of emotion. The work chronicles people and places of the Washington area and other cities and the scope goes from the mundane, to people having fun, to a historical moments in the life of the United States, like the man sitting at a table reading a newspaper on Barak Obama’s second presidential inauguration day.


The images showcase each season’s beauty, sometimes delicate, sometimes harsh. In the few instances where there are people, the images capture private moments in the midst of a crowded city. But even in the cityscapes, I think the human footprint is there.


I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Because of my dad’s career as a journalist and foreign correspondent, my family travelled a lot during my childhood in the 1970s and 1980s. I have lived in Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, and I’ve been living in the United States for the past thirty-three years. I’ve lived in the Washington, DC area for over 30 years but it has only been over the past 10 years that I have really started to document its people and landscape in my photography.
Photography has been a passion for me since I was in high school where I learned how to use and develop film, and how to print black and white. After high school, though, I concentrated more on my musical talents and did not hone my craft as a photographer for many years. I am an electric bass player and have played and play in several bands in the Washington area.


Over the years I owned a couple of digital cameras but it was not until the iPhone came out that I was drawn back to photography. The iPhone’s ease of use and the post production capabilities of the many applications that were available finally allowed me to create what I saw in my mind’s eye with a simple point and shoot camera.


Since late 2014, I have moved away from taking photos with my iPhone and have concentrated instead on mastering my Fujifilm X100T. The ease of use and quality of the mirrorless Fuji are very enjoyable and I hope to continue to develop my photography via Fujifilm’s XT1 and other Fuji lenses. Some of my iPhone photos have been shown in DC area gallery exhibitions, and a couple have been published in the local City Paper. I also hope to work on long term projects about a single subject. [Official website]


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