Featured Member for April 2017
John Abercrombie

I grew up, surrounded by photographs, in Ukiah, Mendocino County.  In our house was a bookcase full of monochrome photos in tattered albums telling the story of my family's history.  I spent endless hours exploring black and white people in a black and white world, engrossed in the smoke spewing teepee burners at the lumber mills of the redwood forests, the vintage automobiles perched high above magnificent vistas and people embracing life in much simpler times.

One of my favorite possessions during my early years was an old Kodak box camera that I often carried to capture imagined views of the world around me.  The camera had no film but the process taught me to see my surroundings in a special way, cropping out the extraneous clutter often found in otherwise picturesque scenes.

After graduating from Chico State with a BA in Journalism, I decided to pursue a career in photography.  Fresh out of college, I was interviewed and hired by John O'Lague, (whom the Galleria at City Hall was named after), for a position as photographer for a Hayward based publishing company. From there I took a graphic designing position with a printer/publisher in Concord. I eventually accepted a position working as a photographer for a major truck manufacturer in Newark. It was my years with Peterbilt Motors Company, traveling extensively throughout the United States and Canada photographing trucks in unique applications, that I became attracted to a particular subject matter.

During my travels I expected to find each region distinctive in culture and appearance, but sadly realized that every city, over the years, began to look the same.  I searched for remnants of times past, finding myself drawn to the older parts of town and the outlying farmlands which retained the echoes of yesteryear.  My photography, for the most part, has a tendency to focus on images that reflect days gone by, revealing scenes of our past to us today.