The Art of Persuasion: A Journey into Landscape Photography with a Courtroom Graphic Designer

April 2024 | Photography
by Marilyn Heywood Paige

Jason Barnes has worked as a courtroom graphic designer for over three decades. Lawyers rely on designers like Jason to visually organize complex or technical information to help juries understand it better. His visuals not only convey information but also persuade the jury that his attorney’s version of the truth is the most accurate. In addition to his work as a designer, Jason is an accomplished landscape photographer who will be teaching at the Estelle Center this summer.

In this blog post, we explore Jason’s background, examining how he seamlessly combines his expertise in visual persuasion with landscape photography. We also discuss his upcoming landscape photography class at The Estelle Center.

The Art of Persuasion: An Intricate Dance

Jason's role as a courtroom graphic designer involves a delicate dance of persuasion and education. According to Barnes, the strategy is to persuade in the beginning, teach in the middle, and persuade at the end, aiming to evoke both intellectual and emotional responses from the jury. This approach entails presenting facts and swaying emotions to align with a specific narrative. Jason has honed these skills over three decades, and they also inform his landscape photography.


Jason Barnes' landscape photography weekend workshop is Friday, June 21 - Sunday, June 23, 2024. Register here.

Irene Roderick Painter Turned Quilter

A Passion for Landscape Photography

Outside the courtroom, Jason finds inspiration in landscape photography. His passion is sharing the experience of being outdoors—the temperature, the wind on your face, and the environmental nuances. Outdoor experiences can deeply touch us on an emotional level, so Jason aims to capture photographs that evoke an emotional response. Inspiring an emotional response is a philosophy he extends between both his roles as a courtroom graphic designer and a photographer. 

Teaching Landscape Photography

We are fortunate that Jason is offering a three-day landscape photography class at the Estelle Center which will blend theory and practice. He’ll start with classroom time delving into composition, light, and atmosphere. But the class isn't all theory. It’s also an immersive experience. 
On day two, participants will venture into the Great Sand Dunes National Park to take photos and apply the concepts learned in the class. Students will be shooting in raw format, which initially makes the image appear flat. Later, they will learn how to enhance the drama or reality of the photo through techniques such as adjusting color, contrast, atmosphere, cropping, and more.

Irene Roderick Quilt

Transforming Photos Into Masterpieces

The most important part of the class occurs after the field trip, during post-processing. Participants will learn complex concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. Jason uses the techniques of landscape painters to teach these methods. He explains, “Painters interpret and transform landscapes. When you process a photo, you use the same techniques that landscape painters use.” Just like a painter who adds depth, personality, and emotion to a canvas, participants will employ similar techniques in processing their raw photos. 
Using tools like Lightroom and Photoshop, Jason will show participants how to turn ordinary photos into extraordinary ones, adding depth and emotion to their images. The objective is to transform photos from average to exhibition-worthy. 
The class is suitable for beginners and hobbyists. You don’t need an expensive camera, but the class does not focus on phone photography. The emphasis is on learning to see and capture what's in front of you, and then refining the image in post-production to evoke emotion and drama.


Beyond the Courtroom & Classroom: A Display of Artistry

Jason's photographs can be viewed on his website. Through his photos, he establishes connections between landscape painting and photography. Similar to a landscape painter, Jason doesn't just capture a place; he interprets the scene and conveys emotion.

The Fusion of Art and Persuasion

In all of his work, Jason combines storytelling and persuasion. Whether he's persuading a jury or capturing the essence of nature, his work is a testament to the transformative power of visual storytelling.
See more of Jason’s photographs here.Register for Jason’s landscape photography class here.

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