Mélange No.2, Triptych
John Wawrzonek was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island in 1941. He received S.B., S.M., and E.E. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began photographing while working in engineering and marketing at Bose Corporation in Framingham, Massachusetts. Largely self-taught in photography Wawrzonek started photographing under the guidance of Bela Kalman and studied briefly with Stephen Gersh of the Essex Photographic Workshop and Lauren Shaw of Emerson College. He also studied dye transfer printing with William Butler. John operates his own fine art publishing company, LightSong® Fine Art in Northborough, Massachusetts. He resides with his wife and son in Northborough, Massachusetts.
Since I began photographing with a view camera in 1974 I have found my images primarily along ordinary roadsides simply by paying enouogh attention to what I could see while driving. I had traveled fairly widely, especially to well known national parks in the west, but found mostly subjects that had been photographed (and published) often. The more extraordinary images could only have been made by photographers who lived in the area or who visited often.
Back home in Massachusetts a view of a maple swamp on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Weston was an epiphany.
A valley p had been filled to keep the Turnpike level leaving me a view into the tree canopy and of the maple swamp and extending to the horizon. I found in my decades of photography that such views are rare and to be taken advantage of. In the case of the valley in Weston it took a number of encounters with the State Police and finally a release form from the Turnpike Authority. I found a second such location on the Pike at the ramp at Exit 11 in Millbury.
Such vantage points were rare but the view into the tree canopy coming into bud in the spring on the silver maple branches sensitized me to texture and color and brought a new joy and anticipation to my photography. From this time in 1981, seven years after starting to photograph, I found a new way of seeing, whether in was a view into the tree canopy or a field of low bush blueberries or colorful grasses. The experience led to 28 years of photographing, exposing 20,000 sheets of 4"x 5" transparency film and three worn-out automobiles.
Having someon else print my work brings to mind a painter giving directions to someone else holding the brush. Partly it is the intimacy with an image one develops by working with it, partly it is learing the possibilities and limitations of a given technique and partly it is applying nuances that would unlikely without a long and close relationship between a very skilled printer and photographers.
Elsewere where I discuss and illustrate the processes I have used and the adventure of switching from analog to digital printing.