Now that the academic year is over for the summer, at least for me, I've had lots of spare time on my hands. I've been spending almost all of it going through the several computers of my late brother's. What strikes me are the inordinate amount of photographs that are found in nondescript file folders and other places one would never think to look.
What I find so incredible is the eye for composition John possessed. He could see things in a scene or subject that 99% of the rest of us would or could never see and then capture that "vision" in the way that made it "talk to the observer". He had a knack for finding just the right point of view to make a simple photograph become so dramatic that the image told a complete story in and of itself.
There is no doubt that John placed himself in danger many times to get the shot he envisioned. That he survived is no small wonder. The evidence is very evident when you think about what was entailed in acquiring some of the photographs. That he had an extreme amount of patience and fortitude to capture a split second in time is also evident. That he had a considerable amount of "luck" is also apparent. Then again an experienced photographer, such as John most certainly was, makes their own luck from years of knowing what could happen next and becoming familiar with the habits and instincts of his subjects.
That wildlife was John's first passion is obvious from the thousands of images I have found to date and I'm sure there are going to be thousands more to come. John also had an interest in ruins and buildings. There are extensive amounts of photographs from all over the world: from Egypt to Peru to Italy and Burma. The same is is true, to a lesser degree, with flowers and plants. There are also what I would call, the miscelleanous images that don't fit into any of the above. Waterfalls, mountains, meadows and other scenic images.
While there are several here and there, what is curiously lacking are images of people. Unless I have yet to stumble upon them, they are few and far between. I can't help but wonder why that is and have no real answer. Maybe John just didn't spend that much time where there were people when he was photographing. When he was in a city there are a few with people in them but it seems he went out of his way to avoid shots with people unless a person was the subject of the photograpg or there was no way to avoid them in a shot.
Just seeing the small amount of images that I have thus far been able to see is mind boggling. The many years John had a camera to his eye and the amount of film that was necessary to obtain those images is just amazing.
How technically "correct" the photographs are is beyond my understanding of the "art" of photography. Suffice to say that if the image "grabs" you, it is successful, whether or not it is technically sound or correct.