Jonathon Wells

Current Practice

Trained as both a fine art photographer and as a geologist, Jonathon Wells has created scientifically accurate photo-geologic composites with both surface and subsurface views since 2002. He continues to build the existing Location, Environmental, and Extraction series at sites around the world where he
identifies a thought-provoking intersection of land use and underlying geology.


Wells’ artistic process takes months of study and investigation. First, he searches for both landscapes and geologic frameworks that intrigue him.


He might spend days documenting a single city block. To visualize the substrata, Wells will tum to old and new geologic surveys and maps, to utility maps and geologic field guides. He’ll pull off roadways to photograph rock exposures, follow road workers and underground cable repairs with his camera, waiting for an exposed opening — a “window” — that will allow him to capture a glimpse of what lies below us. Finally, he creates the photo-geologic composite digitally, combining a documented landscape with the substrata below.

About Jonathon Wells