Photography, at it's core, has always been two things for me. Firstly, it has been a means to express and share that which I find beautiful and moving in the world. Secondly, it's often been the motivation, or sometimes even the excuse, I need to just go out, wander around, and look at things.
I have been drawn to the more quiet, ephemeral beauty of life since I was young. Through 20 years of photography I have been consistently seeking those special moments we encounter each day, if we’re paying attention. Be it a certain quality of light, a chance encounter, a unique arrangement, or a mysterious atmosphere… or oftentimes some momentary combination of those things.
Moving to Ambridge in January of 2016 offered me a new set of photographic opportunities as I had never lived in town before. Working an urban or suburban area had always meant a drive, now it was quite literally on my doorstep. This transition took place in conjunction with my change from film based view cameras to much smaller and faster digital cameras.
It was perfect timing. Things move quickly here and many of the vantage points are not view camera friendly. A few months after our arrival my wife Lynn and I adopted our first dog, a Shih Tzu named Luna. Now this urban environment was not only on my doorstep but it was necessary for us to walk through it a couple of times every day. Naturally, I always took my camera.
What became immediately apparent about this town was the constant change. Everything seemed to be in a continuous state of flux: construction, erosion, signs going up and down, seasonal light and weather, lost and broken items appearing and disappearing, even the turf on the football field was replaced.
This was the perfect visual exercise. The magic of everyday life encapsulated by a few busy blocks in our new town. I've made it a point not to include anything too far from home as there is plenty of subject matter nearby and the limitation forces me to look more closely and be more aware. Each day is a new opportunity and it's always the right light to photograph something.
© Shawn Dougherty