JOHN POBLOCKI | Urban Images – August 24th, 2017

Opening Reception:
 Thursday, August 24th, 2017: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
On View until  Saturday, August 26th, 2017: 11:30 PM to 5:00 PM

JOHN POBLOCKI | Urban Images

I have always been fascinated with the built environment, its shapes, forms and colors and how they relate and make us feel. While I have home movies showing me holding a camera from the time I was about 6 or 7 years old, I have periodically taken a sabbatical away from my photography avocation to practice oil painting and pen and ink drawing of that built environment. But it is always a camera that gives the most satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. It may be the precise and accurate way that a camera stops time for just that moment and no one can argue with the results. They may argue the interpretation or whether it is a good photo, but not what was happening the moment the shutter was pressed. I believe that photographs if done right can go beyond stopping time and evoke an emotional response. And that is what keeps me wandering urban streets in search of my next emotionally satisfying piece of frozen time.

A few people are kind enough to share their emotional response and, I will admit, it affects me profoundly. I love it when someone says “I get it. I know why you took that photo.” Or when someone tells me that when they are getting rattled at the office, they go to look at my photos hanging nearby and it always calms them down.

I have been very fortunate to have had a career in and about the environment I love to photograph; first as an engineer and city planner, then as a real estate developer and then as a manager. My degrees in civil engineering (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and Community Planning (University of Rhode Island) helped me understand both the dynamics and the social impacts of the built environment. I have had the most fun working on projects creating the built environment. Years ago I worked with the architectural genius, I. M. Pei, on a residential project in Woonsocket Rhode Island, and saw how he manipulated building design to create social interaction and sense of community. I also was responsible for the conversion of a 53 room, 35,000 SF Newport mansion into 14 condominiums and experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity to affect, hopefully in a positive way, a unique built environment. I had a limited but meaningful experience with Fisher Island in Miami and saw that impressive project through a transition to its final success. And to top it all off, I now live in a community, Forest Hills Gardens, designed by the son of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed New York City’s, Central Park. I have been surrounded by photographic inspiration. Now with my real estate career pretty much over, I have the luxury of time to search for that next photo.

I will forever be grateful to the engineers at Sony for developing a camera with a 5-axis stabilization system that holds my camera still when I can’t quite hold it still myself. I have had Parkinson’s disease for many years and without Sony, my photography would be a lot less focused. That is also the reason I plan to donate a portion of all sales of prints to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.