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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Sitting down with John Goodman

After traveling across the globe learning from foriegn cultures and accumulating capitvating photos, John Goodman, has made a new home in Santa Barbara. The 29 yr. old Arizona native is now taking Digital Arts and Photography classes for fun and to learn from local artists. We sat down with this talented artist to learn more about him and his craft.

Q: Do you parents support you in this?
A: Their nightmare is that I will get a job again

Q: Where are you from?
A: Arizona

What classes are you taking at City College?
Digital Arts and Photography, just for fun

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Q: What are your plans after this, do you plan to transfer?
A: No, I don’t plan to transfer.

Q: What are your aspirations?
A: To pay for my rent and after that who knows.

Q: What other things beside photography do you like to do?
A: Do I like other things? That’s all I do. I have lots of creative outlets. I write, I draw, I stencil and I’m interested in history as well. I am a philosophy and anthropology major. I wish it was easier to pigeon hole myself.

Q: How long have you been a photographer?
A: Four or five years

Q: Have you always been interested in photojournalism?
A: Well, it merged because I was interested in documentary film making and I had a job where I had to do small editing for a company and they had a photographer who wanted to learn editing, so I traded him what I knew and he taught me photography in return.

Q: So did you travel in attempts to be a photojournalist?
A: I was always interest in documentary filmmaking and story telling…I had traveled over seas and grappled with the ability of explaining myself and explaining other people. I’m not the best speaker so i’m like, “look at this picture… I don’t want to talk about it.”

Q: Where did you go in your travels?
A: I lived in Europe for a few years, moving around to different cities in Holland and Belgium, and then I spent a year in the Middle East, mainly in Israel and the occupied territory Jordan Egypt and Syria. Then I lived in Asia for a year…Japan, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore

Q: Did you always want to go to these places or did you just stumble across them?
A: I was more interested in the history of the places. I’ve always studied history and been really into the culture and society the anthropology of these societies. Then when I was in the Middle East I got thrown into taking conflict photography, which was not something I was prepared for.

Q: What do you mean you weren’t prepared for it?
A: At the time I was working for a newspaper, for a wire agency, and they sent me out to take a picture of “Seinfeld’s” George Castanza. He was in rumalia and was working with university kids and the Israelis came while we were there and did a strike and I ended up getting really great photos out of it…and I realized that I could do this kind of photography.

Q: What is your favorite picture you have taken?
A: There’s one that I don’t show because I don’t think people would understand the story behind it and it is extremely graphic. It is of a little girl who was shot in the head. I don’t want to trivialize it but at the same time no one else took the picture and I think someone should have. It’s a filed photo for history, so if anyone one wants to dispute what happened it there.

Q: How do you go about taking a picture like that?
A: Having to deal with the parents you have to be very sensitive. You have to understand you’re there even though you don’t want to be and you’re part of what they are going through. Especially because my Arabic is really bad so it makes it that much harder.

Q: Are you planning on going back there?
A: I want to, but I want someone to pay for me

Q: Did you work and try to make your way by working?
A: I would swing different jobs, maybe try to teach English

Q: What was your favorite place in Asia?
A: I really liked Korea because it surprised me. I had no idea what to expect, people were very appreciated and clean; it was refreshing.

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