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Patrick Joust

is a 34-year-old photographer, based in Baltimore, Maryland.

[click on the photo below to see the slide show]

He studied history.

He went to law school for 6 weeks, not long enough to get a degree obviously.

I spent a couple great years as an AmeriCorps volunteer and then went to library school to get my MLS a few years ago.

I work full time at the main Baltimore public library as a reference librarian and sometime instructor.

Up to now, you may think with yourselves:

"oh, another one of them with a boring monotonous full-time job who does photography in his so-called free time".

Stop right there! There are a couple of things wrong with that picture:

In the library, among other things, Patrick is involved in promoting technological literacy through basic computer classes and clinics.

The digital divide is very real in Baltimore so I spend a lot of time helping people navigate the computer and the Internet. Many people come to the library who have never used a computer before. We try our best to bridge the gaps. It’s satisfying work, and I feel lucky to have such a fun job.

In his photography, Patrick is kind of a wanderer, he takes street portraits a lot, he does a lot of night photography. We love his street portraits and how his totally random subjects sit there patiently for this guy to take his time focusing with his medium format camera and taking a photo. People look so likeable, and also very real.

There’s beautiful architecture and interesting landmarks in the city, but it’s the people, the festivals and neighborhood main streets where you get to know the city. Photography has been a perfect way for me to connect with some of that. While I enjoy taking night shots and images of static objects and streetscapes/landscapes, it’s people that are always the most interesting. I’ll never get bored taking pictures in this city as long as there are so many interesting characters to meet.

And you can totally see that! When he takes photos of tough street boys, or the ‘decay’ in the city of Baltimore, he does not have this condescending view which many photographers do have. He clearly likes this city, lives there and photographs it.

Now, we’re talking about Baltimore, and most of us (or at least the ignorant non-American audience), know the city from the unique HBO series, the Wire! We asked Patrick about the real city and how he connects to it. He gave us a beautiful description, part of which we quote here:

Contradictions can be frustrating, but they are also interesting. One of the actors in the series The Wire, describes Baltimore as a city that is “falling down beautifully.” Several people commenting on my photos have said that I’ve made the city seem beautiful or intriguing to them. There is a lot of beauty here, but there’s certainly also sadness and deep frustration and maybe you can see some of that in the photographs that I and others capture here.

But as much as things are falling down, there’s also a lot that’s springing up. Baltimore is a living city.

One very important last thing:

Sometimes you may feel really good of yourself, thinking:

“wow, I’m taking so many photos, I’m so serious about this”.

Whenever that thought enters your brain, think about this:

As we speak, Patrick has 2132 Medium Format photos on his flickr. I repeat, 2132 images, only medium format! (he does 35mm and digital also). 2132 medium format images, over a period of 4 years. If we assume that he uploads on flickr every single image that he takes (which is a ridiculous assumption), that would mean 45 rolls per year, and ONLY medium format!

To see more of Patrick's work, visit his flickr

or his website

[click on the photo below to see the slide show]

p a t r i c k j o u s t p a t r i c j o u s t p a

19 notes / 1 year ago
  1. patrickjoust reblogged this from sarmadmagazine and added:
    Sarmad Magazine has a nice feature on my photography. Check it out if you have a chance.
  2. sarmadmagazine posted this