Josh Giles scours Cincinnati neighborhoods for old subjects to photograph. Buildings, trains, cars, and often a combination of each of those things in one frame. He’s filled an Instagram account full of incredible photos dowsed in unique, distinctly-Josh filters.
When you see one of his photos, you don’t even have to ask who took it. You just know. (But in case you don't, his IG handle is @for_those_who_fear_tomorrow.)
Born and raised in Norwood, Josh gets around the city to a degree few others do. And he documents his days by focusing on what’s left of bygone years in the Queen City. When he takes a picture, he highlights a feature many overlook: urban decay and its inherent beauty. His photos make it appealing in a way others often can’t.
And he does it all with an iPhone. No DSLR required.
We interviewed Josh for this month's Photographer Spotlight, and here's what he had to say.
Cincinnati Refined: How would you describe your photographic style?
Josh Giles: I like gritty and raw pictures that show emotion and strike a chord with people. I like older things and I think that's a reflection of me living in Norwood/Cincinnati. I like old buildings, old cars, trains, and train graffiti. I like the history behind the things I'm photographing. I'm drawn to abandoned buildings and thinking about the people who lived there in the past and what lead to the buildings/homes being vacant today.
CR: What’s your camera of choice?
JG: My camera of choice is my iPhone 6. Before that, I had an iPhone 4. I've thought about stepping it up to an actual DSLR, but I also enjoy seeing how far I can push my photography with an iPhone. Also, the convenience of it as well. Your phone is always with you.
CR: Coolest/most memorable/favorite experience while shooting...
JG: Best experience would be taking pictures at the A.E. Burkhardt mansion in Avondale. I've liked that house for a long time, and it's a great one to photograph inside and out. It's a shame that it's abandoned and crumbling away. A friend of mine and I were able to go inside, so it was a really great experience to be there. Any building designed by Samuel Hannaford is great.
CR: What’s at the top of your photography bucket list?
JG: Not sure if I have a certain place on my bucket list. I would like to visit any place in the rust belt area. Any kind of older town/city which has experienced urban decay/decline or a city with an industrial or older feel to it.
CR: Name the one thing in Cincinnati you could never get tired of photographing.
JG: As far as Cincinnati, anything in the West End area. It's a great area to photograph and has places that are almost in a time capsule of the past and that haven't been changed by anyone or any outside forces. It's like a different world there.
CR: Any advice for aspiring photographers?
JG: The time to take a picture is when you see IT. Stop and do it because it's hard to recreate something, and then it's lost forever. Take photos of things you like. Do it for yourself and hopefully other people will take notice. Learn the history of your city by photographing it.
CR: Motto to live by...
JG: "With a heart made of steel. I smashed through everything. Always against the odds. One with the underdogs." - Terror
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If you like the gallery of Josh's photos above, you should check him out on Instagram @for_those_who_fear_tomorrow.