Works from a summer study abroad in Japan line the walls of NKU’s Fishbowl Student Gallery. Student photographers Joseph Lamb, Evangeline Bauerie and Kate Helmes join with Josh White to create a multi-dimensional view of Japan.
White, a senior photography major who tends to photograph scenes he stumbles upon, was captivated by the patterns and intricacies of Japanese Life. White said, “I try not to think about making art because that adds a whole other layer of stress that I don’t need.” White said, “I just look around and try to get a feel for my surroundings.”
“You have to edit yourself more harshly because to you everything in this foreign country seems interesting and erotic.” He said. Photos of abstractly contrasting blinds, people standing with their arms crossed, and a pair of yellow pump shoes in a subway made it into White’s final presentation.
White’s decision to try a hand in the art world was a relatively recent development-he started as a microbiology major. “I got a point and shoot camera for Christmas about five years ago” White said, “and I just liked making pictures. Not your everyday snapshots but the kind of images you have to think about. I fell in love with it.”
“I still enjoy microbiology, but there is just something about making a good picture.” He said, “I miss the lab but maybe that’s why I like the darkroom so much-it sort of feels like a lab to me.”
Like many other artists, White prefers to work alone and without distractions. “I shoot by myself.” White said, “I don’t listen to music or anything because I have to focus of what’s in front of me.”
The Advanced Photography class, taught by NKU professor Matt Albritton, toured cities like Hiroshima, Tokyo and Kyoto.
White was very comfortable working in unfamiliar territory. “In a sense it’s actually easier to shoot (photographs) in a foreign country because there is a sense of anonymity.” He said, “The people see a big American, at least in my case, and they look at you weird anyway.”
American Beauty is his favorite movie for a similar reason. “I think it’s a very interesting look at how people really are-how they drive themselves crazy trying to be normal when really, no one is normal.”
He can usually be found on the fourth floor of the Fine Arts Building either delving into his own work or putting in his hours as the Photography work study student doing odd jobs such as mixing chemicals or repairing bellows.
“Ideally I would love to exist solely by selling my art photographs.” White said. “But realistically even famous photographers have a hard time doing that.” As a current solution he is a wedding photographer. “Some people look down on wedding photographers but I think it can be done well and not be clich