The talent and passion that John Dersham has for the art of photography is evident not only in his landscape photographs but in his quiet and reverential portraits of the common man. Rather than use an easy-to-operate digital camera, John is dedicated to a cumbersome large-format film camera, providing viewers of his work with exquisite print detail and revealing his exquisite artistic vision. His new book is a testament to the sixty-year evolution of a true photographic artist.
Our world is filled with pretty but disposable images on social media. That’s what makes a journey through John Dersham’s thoughtful body of work a refreshing reward. A true master, he sees and captures the art in the everyday world around us in rich, detailed, deeply informed black-and-white photographs that invite longer exploration.
John Dersham’s lifelong commitment to the large-format has resulted in a large body of black-and-white images that transcend the ordinary. Never has his talent been more evident than as seen in his new book.
John Dersham’s body of black-and-white work is a masterclass in technique and beauty. He continues to influence and inspire generations of photographers who stand at his heels in awe.
A book of John Dersham’s black-and-white photographs is long overdue. Dersham is a master, one of only a handful of American photographers with the artistic talent and technical proficiency to use light and shadow to create enduring images of Americana.
John Dersham’s photography career began on November 1, 1960, when he took his first picture with his father’s 1930 Kodak Brownie. From that modest start, his art has continued without pause for six decades. Meanwhile, Dersham made a career in the photography industry, serving in management at Eastman Kodak and its subsidiaries in multiple states for more than thirty years. His last Kodak job brought him to Alabama, where he fell in love with the state’s natural beauty and varied terrain, as well as its people and places.
That affinity for his adopted state inspired his first published collection My Alabama: John Dersham Photographs a State (NewSouth Books, 2019), with a forward by the legendary Alabama athlete Bo Jackson.
Dersham and his wife, Kyle, live on Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne in northeast Alabama. They have two children and two grandchildren.
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In his latest book, John Dersham uses the language of photography to reveal his passion for black-and-white large-format imagery and the visual feast of everyday life.