My father was a photo buff and while growing up we always had a darkroom somewhere in the house. He was a military man and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for a picture he took in the 60's while serving in Vietnam. As with most kids, I was consumed with school, sports and girls, that I found less time and money to spend snapping photos. Back then, with film each shot cost you.
School turned into a job and a job into a career which consumed all my time. I have spent a career in public service in the fire department. The past 15 years I have been stationed overseas on a specialized rescue team responding to major disasters. During my deployments I carried a small point and shoot, water-proof camera - Fuji XP30. By small, I mean pocket-size. I used this to document incidents and record our events and this was the camera I used for leisure (in work terms, that would be when the occasional day off came). It also awakened my passion for the lens once again. Upon this rebirth, I purchased an Interchangeable lens camera. For the past two years I have been pursuing photography on a serious level. Starting from the very basics I found my re-eduction accelerating to the point that friends and family suggested I create a web site for my work. This is the launch point of my second childhood (my first being the Fire department).
All images copyright Devin Johnston-Lee. All rights reserved.
I was once posed a question.
What is it about photography that you love?
I love being able to capture that moment, that fraction of time that I have witness through my eyes, a scene, a look, a tragedy, a smile, the way the sunlight paints things. Later displaying that image and having people amazed at something they themselves could have seen or not seen, but it was always there around them, around each of us. I love photography because it has taught me to see and appreciate the world I live in and that there is beauty, even in the harshest of things. I love the magic of capturing what seems so mundane and transforming it into the magnificent.
Shooting for me is exercising a bit of selfishness. For me they have a personal meaning and value. I shoot to please me. I want so much to try to capture that moment of experience, emotion or mood that was there the moment I brought my camera up to my eye. Through my images I get to re-experience that moment over and over again. Through them, I can again hear the bustling cacophony of noise on the busy streets of Bangkok, I can again feel the river fish nibbling at my feet in the cooling waters of Erawan Falls and I can once more smell the damp mustiness of the halls of Angkor Wat. It is only recently that I have found the courage to share these personal images. I do this to encourage others to visit these places for their own experiences. Most people spend their lives looking at the world around them. I use my camera in hopes of helping people see the world around them. If any of my images have encouraged others to venture out into this wonderful world, then I have accomplished something far greater the than the shots I captured.