The Ink Soaked Street Photographs of Jack Hubbell (aka Cyclops-Optic)

Jack Hubbell

(From Song Tan and Seoul, South Korea © Jack Hubbell 1981-1983) – Flickr

Eric’s Note: Today I am glad to feature the work of Jack Hubbell (Cyclops-Optic) on the blog today. Charlie Kirk turned me onto his work, citing the unique way he saw the world. 

Jack: To have something in common with Eric Kim. What? Perhaps you think it Photography, but no. Further back than that. Further away than that. Off to a nation called Korea. Whilst Eric’s connection lies with ancestry, mine deals with birth. And by that I mean birth of vision.

There was a time in my twenties when the US military chose to send me to South Korea. Before this moment, I obsessed with landscapes and nudes. That whole f64 Group vision. But it was shortly after my arrival in Korea that the notion of both documentary and street photographer was born to me.

To have stepped into a library at this exact same time, and upon shelf found both William Klein and Daido Moriyama. There in an instant, my mind was either corrupted or clarified. You may argue your point of view, but I somehow feel I came out for the better. And there on the silver print, not composition as oil on canvas but rather, that of a splash of Kanji ink on paper. The brutality of the blacks dominating white. To see the world not in tonal scale but as calligraphy and there find joy in it.

The best critique of my artistic vision I ever received was when my mother said, “You know, you could make Disneyland look depressing.” Oh how I wish I had the chance, but I imagine they’d stop me at the gate.

And finally, something I do not have in common with Eric Kim. He has the amazing ability to smile while he is photographing. I do not.

-Jack Hubbell

Photographs by Jack Hubbell

Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


Jack Hubbell Street Photography


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Photography by antoinedelaroche,Markus HartelJack HubbellYing TangStavro Papadopoulos

What do you think about Jack’s vision and photography? Tell us what his photography makes you feel by leaving a comment below! 

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  • Brian Scott

    The line about making Disneyland look depressing is awesome, as is the image of the child in the stroller near the wall with the mural of the hand. That’s an incredible image. The couple shots of the kids near skeletons/crossbones are also fantastic.

  • Simon Wallerstedt

    Amazing work. Dark, raw and emotional. Love it!

  • Jack David Hubbell


    And I want to put a big shout out to Eric for giving me this moment to shine and to Charlie Kirk for noticing the diamond beneath the rough.

    What’s the adage? “You’re only as good as your last piece of art.”
    Something like that.
    Well I want everyone to ignore that image I capture two shutter snaps from now.
    That one’s crap.
    Trust me.
    It gets better from there on out.

  • Ricardo Rocha

    Now that’s more like it! I’m just sick and tired of people always sayin’ that if you like street shoting you have to like people and all that kinda stuff. Photgraphy has no barriers just look, street photography is by itself a rule breaker. Really good work, keep them coming mate.

  • Tobias

    Jack, this is fantastic work! I am now officially a fan.

  • Anne

    Thanks Jack for including me in your email link to your photos! Miss you!

  • Gary Gumanow

    Nice to see the vertical (portrait) shot lives on. Nice to see your work get exposure.

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