The CBD through Juan’s eyes

By David Amaya

Since his arrival in Melbourne, Juan Bohada has always been fascinated by everything he sees in the CBD. 

The mix of cultures, languages, faces and colours inspired him to grab his camera and capture the essence of this dynamic city.

Mr Bohada became a CBD local two years ago when he started his English studies in Melbourne, but he never thought the CBD would impact his career as a photographer as it had.

“Here I realised that visual art is my sensitive point,” he said.

In his country Colombia, he worked as a publicist, another job that requires a lot of creativity.

However, he didn’t know that later, his creative abilities would be broadened through a 35mm lens in a foreign city.

Mr Bohada’s first images were of buildings and the Melbourne CBD’s iconic locations, but soon he started exploring people and activities that happened on the streets, mostly artistic expressions.

“Musicians are busking on every corner, they offer live music to the people and offer me beautiful moments to capture with my camera,” he said.

He thinks inspiration emerges when he does something that he calls “eating the city”.

“I always say that I ‘eat the city’. It is paying attention to everything around me and absorbing all the details I see.”

He started “eating the city” when he stumbled upon Melbourne’s laneway street art.

“One day I thought my pictures needed more colour and suddenly, I came across Hosier Lane and I saw a lot of graffiti that encouraged me to explore different ways to get colour in photography.”

Quickly, he developed skills of taking professional photos and it grabbed the attention of a Spanish and Latin American film group that filmed documentaries and showed Latin American movies at Federation Square once a month.

Mr Bohada has become the photographer for the group and it has given him a platform to show his work.

“My experience in that group has been great because I feel I’m not just taking pictures but doing something that also shows my own culture,” he said.

He said he was excited when he saw Federation Square full of spectators and most of them were Australians who wanted to know more about Latin America through movies and pictures.

Now he is composing his next project, where he wants to show the faces of people who represent the variety of cultures that have found a meeting point in the CBD.

“Life here is like a collage of images, a mix of faces, costumes and moments that must be captured by my lens,” he said.

Mr Bohada is not exactly clear about his future, but going on capturing the best of the CBD surely is on the agenda.

“Through photography I want to show the world how Melbourne is, how the CBD is and how this inspirational place has become my new home,” he said.

To see more of Juan’s work, head to www.instagram.com/j_boada/

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