Past Program and Event Videos

A Conversation with Photographer Jonathon Wells

February 23, 2017

Trained as both a fine art photographer and as a geologist, Jonathon Wells has created scientifically accurate photo-geologic composites with both surface and subsurface views since 2002. He continues to build the existing Location and Environmental series while initiating new series at sites around the world where he identifies a thought-provoking intersection of land use and underlying geology.

Wells’ artistic process takes months of study and investigation. First he searches for both landscapes and geologic frameworks that intrigue him.

He might spend days documenting a single city block. To visualize the substrata, Wells will turn to old and new geologic surveys and maps, to utility maps and geologic field guides. He’ll pull off roadways to photograph rock exposures, follow road workers and underground cable repairs with his camera, waiting for an exposed opening — a “window” — that will allow him to capture a glimpse of what lies below us. Finally, he creates the photo-geologic composite digitally, combining a documented landscape with the substrata below.

This program was part of the Libraries' Beyond the Page public programming series.

This program was part of our Seeing Stories: Visualizing Sustainable Citizenship series, co-curated by Temple Contemporary, Temple University’s Office of Sustainability, and Temple University Libraries, along with faculty and graduate students from the Tyler School of Art, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Center for the Cinematic and Performing Arts.