2013 was an unexpected year for my photography. It started out in good form with a productive beginning on my Picture of the Week Project, 2013 edition. May saw a very nice upgrade in gear with the expectation of a very fruitful trip to mountainous Europe in June.
The trip was more hurried than anticipated with equally unexpected conditions at many stops. Afterwards, a career transition from Marketing Research Executive to U - Pick Pumpkin Farm and Orchard owner and adjunct university faculty left me in a scramble to find a balance that included ample camera time.
But with all that said, 2013 was a year of enlightenment for my work. Often in the past I would be hiking down some scenic trail with a spectacular vista to one side or the other and instead of putting the widest lens on my camera, I found myself with a short telephoto mounted, staring at a fern or mushroom on the ground below me. Retrospectively that tendency puzzled me.
Similarly when viewing the works of others, high quality landscape work often does not move me in the way that it does for others, but a detailed, repetitive pattern in an architectural shot would fascinate me.
Psychologists used to argue as to whether the brain processes items as Gestalts or as Elements that sum to a whole; Does the mind grasp the realization of items in their fullness or compose them as the sum of their individual parts?
Many outstanding photographers are Gestaltists, on the other hand I tend to work and compose at a more Elemental level. I look for the detail and I want to rejoice in it and tell its story. 2013 was a year for me to embrace the elements and details and begin to collect sets of images around that concept.
While the images below only capture some of my top images, I believe they represent growth towards development of a compositional style that is elemental in nature and ultimately may be a defining style in my work.
The first set of images I have included are a set of abstract architectural images. The architectural styles cover the Neo Classical, Art Deco and Modern and Post Modern eras. I hope each image captures some detail in the craft of the architect or craftsman in a way that celebrates their work.
The second set of images is from a project I have titled "The Stone Faces" project. What does a person too shy to ask or too tightwad to pay people to model for him do if he wants to develop portrait skills? He wanders off to the cemetery to take pictures of statues. After looking at the images from the first shoot, I realized I had an opportunity to connect with the sculptors of a century ago and try to humanize their creations wrought in stone. I hope I accomplished this at some level.
The final image is very symbolic to me, it was put together as I was adhering to a picture of the week regiment early in the year. Ultimately it is representative of how I felt professionally at the time.
I hope you find these of some interest. I Thank you for taking the time to view them.
John Patrick Pemberton