Justin Johnston


Justin Johnston

"Beautifully eccentric with a touch of madness" is how we would characterize our friend, Fin (@finnicle1).  We think you'll agree that Fin's work contains a multitude of complexities, colors, and creativity.  Dig in to the interview below to learn more!


my name is top secret but you can call me fin, i live on the southern coast of australia, near some of the best surf in the world.

what were you like in high school?  

in high school i was a total nerd who loved maths.

what do you want to be when you grow up?  

when i grow up i want to the first punk rock star in space.

what’s your favorite comfort food?

my favourite comfort food is sweet potato chips.


what is your spirit animal?  

my spirit animal is an echidna, of course, an australian animal, who rolls up into a ball at the approach of other people and protects himself with spikes.

what two celebrities would you choose to be your parents?  

two celebrities who could be my parents would be spike jones and debbie harry, imagine going on go to work with your parents day.

if you could try out any job for a week, what would you choose and why?

if i could try out any job for a week it would be as a surf photographer, out on a board with some cool camera gear.


what’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your instagram alone?

the most interesting thing about me is that i’m into alternative photography which is on my alternate account @altfinnicle1 where i experiment with polaroids, microwaving polaroids, burying film for months to check out the results, doing lumen prints, cyanotypes and stuff like that.

how did you first get into photography and design?

i first got into photography/design by downloading the instagram app and seeing some awesome designs by just exploring, and doing the weekend hashtag projects. then i started connecting with the decim8 community on instagram and exploring more artists at art galleries and museums. the things that keep me interested are seeing art around me everywhere, in the streets and in graffiti, and watching movies where other worlds are explored. Movies like bladerunner, where the girl glitched into another being, the glitch in real life fascinates me.


has social media played a role in your work? 

instagram has played a role in my art by connecting with other people who like to create. I like learning by seeing what other people do, and it’s cool when other people share how they make art.

is there anything in particular that you try to communicate through your work?

i try and communicate that earth is a beautiful place to be right here and now, also that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously, just have fun.


how do you generally approach your editing process from start to finish?

in editing i get an idea, i like using real photos to start off with, but then again sometimes i just start playing around with shapes. Once everything is in the right place I go into mextures to give things definition, or sometimes to make it softer. I try and play around with putting textures in different places to draw some things out, or put other things into less focus. I like to play around with light and light leaks also to focus or de-focus attention.

how specifically do you use mextures in that process?

mextures is perfect for all of the above processes, i also like to look at further adjustments or looks to give a picture by using different films or processes, such as provia film for a darker look, or cross-processing like you can do with real film.

sometimes i also take the picture back into snapseed for final details, then i might go back into mextures for the adjustments.

can you share two of your favorite formulas?

formula: EATJANM

the first formula added colour, a lot of grittiness, specks like stars, and a bit of a vignette

formula: AMSFULJ (the original here was from @prahaboy)

the second formula added lots of texture, light coming from various directions to indicate a bit a mystery to the underwater and a negative vignette making it seem really light at the edges, and misty as well.

what is it about mextures that makes it a vital piece of your editing process?

mextures is a vital part of my editing process to add just the perfect colour, it adds depth and structure from the emulsion or grit and grain presets. Then it is vital for some texture from intensity or the grunge presets.It adds gradients of colour, and then film effects are awesome in the anomaly section, which add light leaks from all sorts of directions. The look of real film is achieved from the adjustments which can change the whole look of a picture, adding film vibes, and the ability to change exposure, brightness etc.

fave 1.jpeg
fave 2.jpeg

pick two of your favorite pieces that you've created: what is it about them that makes them stand out to you? 

here’s a picture i love.  i like that mextures highlighted the gold details, added texture, and made it all like a soft misty mountain

here’s another.  i like how mextures added the soft colours, the bokeh and lighting, it created a real fairyland look to it

what inspires you to create more than anything else?

all the art on instagram inspires me to create, as well as current events and news as well as music. trump’s craziness, other dimensions, geometry in shapes and in nature, hip hop lyrics, beauty in tiny details of nature all inspire me to make art.

and of course what sort of loopy comment justin johnston writes on my picture to make me smile


if you could take credit for one instagram feed, whose would it be?

well i’d like to take credit for the feed of @ruxco_tim because his feed is always so varied and top-notch, mostly it’s abstract work and it often inspires me to do new things. He always helps out if you ask a question and his work is intriguing, clever and well thought out.

who are the people that have most inspired your photography or people you feel have mentored you in your process?

people who have helped me out have been the previously mentioned @ruxco_tim. Inspiring me to try real film in old cameras and polaroid was keith (@1255). other people who I have done collabs with who have helped me out, been mentors or inspired me are @salopalo, @postaljeff, @natehill, @prahaboy, @stratego, @pobz_iv, @dmreidmd, @drzuum, and of course i have to mention @thejustinjohnston ( i’ll be picking up my bribe later today)

See more work from Finn here!