Flight is in Jason Hoffman’s blood. So is photography.
He inherited both from his father, who could skillfully maneuver a plane as well as a camera. He was up in the air the day Jason was born, scudding across the sky to find a radio signal for updates from the hospital, though he was back on the ground just in the nick of time.
A long-time Nashville native, Jason is content to stay in the city, which has become a burgeoning center for the arts, music, and culture. That, and the friendliness of people in the south, makes Nashville the perfect place to call home — though for the record, he is frustrated by the occasional lack of sidewalks.
As Nashville evolved to value art and those who create it, Jason’s interest in photography expanded. After tiring of shooting at eye level, he turned his sights to the sky.
Commercial aerial photography required a pilot’s license, so he started taking flying lessons in a Cessna 152, logging hours in the air. Mid process, the FAA changed the rules for commercial aerial photography, allowing photographers to simply pass a written test on the ground, which Jason passed. Since then, he’s been flying his drone carefully over downtown Nashville, delighting in the stunning images he’s been able to capture.
The juxtaposition between the stagnant and moving components of the city has presented a challenge for Jason and his photography. He’s tried experimenting with long exposures, opening the aperture and immortalizing the streaks of light that make rush hour traffic seem oddly magical.
But this balancing act is especially difficult in a city like Nashville, which is physically expanding every day. In the past three months, Jason’s noticed a couple of large skyscrapers erected in the city’s downtown area. Several more have recently been planned.
He’s noticed that earlier photos of the city’s skyline are almost unrecognizable, and has acknowledged that sending the drone up as frequently as possible makes him both a better photographer and a better documentarian of this burgeoning city.
With his muse, itself an ever-evolving organism, Jason can count on gaining new perspectives whenever he takes to the skies over Music City.