In a sea of cameras all taking photos of the city’s skyline, few photographers are able to show off Vancouver in ways never seen before and Jeremy Lee is one of those few.
Starting out with a digital point and shoot camera in 2017, in four years Lee has amassed an Instagram following of nearly 4,000, and it’s not hard to see why. Lee has a knack for finding eye-catching lines, perspectives and colours hidden in plain sight within Vancouver’s varied architecture.
Vancouver Is Awesome recently took a moment to ask Lee a few questions about his work and where it is brought him today.
V.I.A.: How do you get such unique shots of the city?
Jeremy Lee: A lot of my shots are a combination of planning, opportunity, and luck. Typically if I have a shot in mind it involves planning via Google Earth to get the right perspective/angle, choosing the right lenses, and checking the forecast to ensure I get the right combination of lighting. The shot of Georgia Street came from a helicopter shot over Vancouver - the pilot made 2 rounds around Vancouver, and on the last round we circled around I saw that angle and snapped it quickly.
The shots look like they take a lot of work to get, what is your motivation?
Ever since I started photography, I discovered how quickly buildings and infrastructure can change in a city. My current motivation/mission has been to document the historic buildings and to place a spotlight on the new ones. Shooting also helps me manage my anxiety and stress. Although these shots sometimes take a lot of planning, it’s actually quite fun and exhilarating to go out and capture them - it’s really quite therapeutic!
Out of all the things in the world to take photos of, why city architecture?
There’s something to be said about architecture, and how complex and dynamic it can be. Architecture allows us to see into the past with heritage buildings, and even into the future with new concepts/designs. The beauty of capturing the infrastructure surrounding us is that they communicate a story about our city - every building has something to say.
Your photos seem to follow a common colour scheme and style, how would you describe that style?
I would describe it as a sort of dramatic edit/compositions. I like to make the shadows darker and the highlights brighter. Colour-wise I try to keep a consistent palette, but once every so often, I take a shot that needs me to switch things up. I think that all my shots are fairly different, so my editing style needs to be fairly flexible to accommodate that.
In what ways has your photography opened other doors for you?
With Artisan Panda Media (@apandamedia), I'm more of a graphic design consultant/contractor. A lot of the design elements and planning are actually similar to what I look for in specific compositions. I am one of the admins for the Streets of Vancity Community (@streetsofvancity). Something that a few other photographers and I had noticed was the lack of a unified creator community located in BC. Over the past few months, we have been taking our passion for photography and sharing it with others.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.