Originally trained as a geologist at Boston University, Jonathon Wells received a certificate in photography from the International Center of Photography in 2002 and currently works part-time as a photographer’s assistant. Drawing from his background as a working hydrogeologist and environmental consultant at hazardous waste sites, he creates unique panoramas by combining views of the New England landscape with representations of what lies below the surface. Each image involves a tremendous amount of research and time on the computer—from locating sites where the corresponding bedrock or subsurface items are exposed in order to collect imagery to gathering existing geological maps and engineering plans to serve as frameworks for his digital collages.

Wells has been featured in exhibitions such as New England Photography 2005 at the Danforth Museum of Art, the 11 th Annual Juried Show at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Photo Lab(oratory) at artSPACE@16, and the South Shore Art Center.

- Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator

Click here to visit Wells's web site.


Lior Neiger
May 2005

Rania Matar
April 2005

Liz Daly
March 2005

Steve Deane
February 2005

Andrew Warren
January 2005

Jane Hesser

December 2004

Jessica Burko
November 2004

Amy Montali

October 2004

Luke Snyder

September 2004

Matthew Gamber
August 2004

Mariliana Arvelo
July 2004

Ken Richardson
June 2004

Julie Melton
May 2004

Marlo Marrero
April 2004

Erik Gould
March 2004

Mori Insinger
February 2004

Jen Kodis

January 2004

Amber Davis
December 2003

Paul Taggart

November 2003

Marla Sweeney
October 2003

Dylan Vitone
September 2003

Click here for more information
about the Northeast Exposure.



Landscape photography is a means to express my passion for exploring the earth’s surface and subsurface. The experiences leading up to this point include many trips traveling through the rural, mountainous areas of the northeast, studying the earth sciences of geology and hydrogeology, and working as an environmental consultant investigating and characterizing subsurface conditions at hazardous waste sites.

With my knowledge of geology, I have developed a project where I shift the viewer’s perspective to include both the landscape and a cross section of the earth below. The process involves photographing the land surface (along a stretch of land). The photographs are transferred to a digital environment where they are used to create a collaged panorama. Subsurface photographs are created by first studying the subsurface geologic framework, engineered installations, and/or human alterations. The sediment and rock types are photographed where they are exposed nearby and the engineered structures are photographed where representations are found above ground. This imagery is then joined to the surface panorama to form the final landscape panorama.

When looking at the landscape and what lies beneath, questions arise such as, how have we altered the land surface and subsurface during our time on earth? What is the relationship between the landscapes that we are familiar with above ground and the geology or environment below? So far, I have looked at areas such as cities, highways, quarries, and landfills. More specifically to my previous work, I have also looked at areas where we have contaminated the subsurface through use of petrochemicals and where we are working to clean up and/or prevent further spread of contamination.

- Jonathon Wells

Click on each image for larger version and caption.