Welcome to Profiling Photographers #4. I ‘met’ John through Facebook and he introduced me to the inspired vision of his photography. John has a richness and depth in his photography that I’m sure you will all enjoy. Thank you to John for being part of this series.
Canon 5D with L-type lenses for digital.
Large format film cameras for film-Toyo 8x10M and Wista and Linhof 4×5 cameras-Schneider, Fuji and Nikkor lens from 90-450mm.
1. Why did you choose Photography as your medium of communication?
I started at age 9 using my dad’s 1930 Brownie. I loved capturing fleeting moments and liked composing images for artistic values. I have stayed with the art form all of my life. I am now 64 years old.
2. Which Photographers have been the greatest influences on you & why?
Andy Tau, former member of Ansel Adams F64 club and former President of the School of Photojournalism at the University of Missouri. I joined the Mid-Missouri Camera Club in 1966 of which he was a member. He taught me the Ansel Adams methods along with Roger Berg and Milt Shanklin who were both in the club. They provided a very great amount of help to me at a very young age in areas of composition and technical skill.
Ansel Adams, Winston Link,Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston all played a role in inspiring me and serving as visual guides helping me learn to see my personal visions.
3. What inspires you to create the type of images that you do?
I like images that are both beautiful but also have a story associated with the images. Sometimes the story is about the impact of the image created by the lighting or weather conditions like rain, snow, fog.
I also love to shoot images of people in settings that have a story behind them, like their place of business, such as; a store, a factory or a craft.
4. What do you think makes your style unique?
I think my view of the world is a bit different and it is reflected in my work compositionally but also in the way I interpret light and compositional elements. I tend to shoot wide in order to tell a story with more content.
5. Do you have any advice for an aspiring photographer?
I suggest having a passion for a subject that is all yours. When people view your work it should not be a repeat of everyone else’s view. Waterfalls and sunsets are wonderful and fun to shoot but they will not make a photographer famous nor will they deliver any suggestion of being unique. You have to create a style both in subject matter and compositional values that viewers can immediately tell it is your work.
6. What is the next big adventure for you, photographically?
I am working on a couple of books and brochures for the travel industry related to promoting the scenic beauty of the Southeast United States.
I am also working toward a B&W book called “Where the Road Ends”. These images are mostly large format B&W images of views of long-term business locations that have been in families for generations or have already closed but the their story still can be told in the images of their slow decay along the roadsides of America.
John Alexander Dersham Classic Fine Art B&W on Facebook