Encapsulate The Moment

John Jaxheimer is a photographer from New York City. He uses photography as a tool to present familiar scenes or objects in an unfamiliar way. All of his shots stay true to color and scene—he does not enhance his work through the use of digital manipulation or computer software. By skewing the perspective of the shot, or by focusing on a specific color frame, John Jaxheimer is able to distort reality without manipulating the organic quality of photography.

Technically, I fall into the Realism category, even when creating abstract images. This is because regardless of the subject matter I try to present my photographs as they actually appeared to my eye. I don’t manipulate images to look like anything other than what I saw and if they translate as abstract it’s because I was focusing on the negative space, a reflection or shifting perspective from what is expected.

When Jaxheimer first started shooting, digital cameras did not yet exist. All of his skills were learned in a very traditional manner; the images he shot were on black and white film, and printed on his own. Currently, his use of a digital camera does not lead him astray from old practices; he still adheres to traditional manipulation of light and composition. 

Technology has changed a lot about the process but the sensibilities that I learned early on, such as composition and how to manipulate light; I still apply to my work every day.

John Jaxheimer’s inspiration stems from the knowledge that on any given day there are unique moments and scenes that will only occur that one time.  He has the hunger to capture those moments and encapsulate them forever.

I’m driven by a hunger to create and I feel this to my core – I need it.

John Jaxheimer’s most recent release has been the Meatpacking, Night & Day series, capturing what was left of the old neighborhood (The Meatpacking District) before it was completely transformed. Images such as the ones below, Meatpacking Abstract III (left) and Lamb Too (right) are featured in this series; all photos maintain the theme of showcasing familiar scenes in an unfamiliar way, utilizing the color, composition, and subject manner, in a unique fashion.

With the use of a single camera and artistic intellect, John Jaxheimer is able to manipulate an ever-passing moment and ensure its permanence.

There are countless ways to create an abstract image today using the   powerful software that’s available. I prefer to create my abstract images using the camera. 

By Lisa Rabinovich