Outdoor Photography – Jon Tonks

Through my recent read of my Outdoor Photography, Adventure Special, magazine I came across photographer Jon Tonks, who created a project named ‘Empire’.
This project focuses on a handful of remote British Overseas Territories in Tristan De Cunha, Ascension Island, St Helena and the Falkland Islands. His aim was to photograph the people and the history which was still apparent at these places.

Tristan da Cunha - First Potato Patches
Tristian da Cunha – First Potato Patches

Tristan da Cunha - Harold Green
Tristan da Cunha – Harold Green

St Helena - Arthur Thomas
St Helena – Arthur Thomas

St Helena - Stephen
St Helena – Stephen

St Helena - Raymond and Cynthia
St Helena – Raymond and Cynthia

Ascension Island - English Bay
Ascension Island – English Bay

Ascension Island - Sarah
Ascension Island – Sarah

Falkland Islands - Stanley Airport
Falkland Islands – Stanley Airport

Falkland Islands - Paul Watson
Falkland Islands – Paul Watson

Every image Tonks created within his project ‘Empire’ I feel, hold a clear example of storytelling and history in which a photograph can hold. Each picture endures meaning and background, every model within the photograph has a purpose for wearing what they are wearing, and being where they are. Like Raymond and Cynthia, Raymond being Scout Leader from 2003-2008 in St Helena and Cynthia the Assistant Beaver Leader. I enjoy portraits like these because it’s an insight to how others live their lives and what is of importance to them, that may well be of little importance to us as viewers. Showing people in their environment in which they are comfortable in and their uniform or dress sense which is, in a sense, a way of portraying them the way they want to be seen or known by.
Empire has been an influence towards my project through Tonks use of both Landscape and Portraiture photography, enabling the viewer to gain a feel for the people and their surroundings. Within my project and photographs I aim to create the same sense of knowing, belonging, passion and dedication for my subjects and their societies.

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