Photographer Bill Rockwell, a life long resident of Southwestern Pennsylvania, has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada , the Caribbean, and Mexico, capturing his unique vision of life and the world through the art of photography.He's had many of his photos published in newspapers in the United States.
Recently, he set out to capture the beauty and historical treasures of Southwestern Pennsylvania in his work.He promotes ,Visit Pittsburgh,whenever possilbe.Horticulturist. and Historian
My thoughts on travel and photograhy:
Photography is all about finding the right subject in the right light and composing it in innovative ways.The hard part is innovative ways;how do you photograph say the Empire State Building in a unique way?
Photographs,once we have them,ensure that we will never forget the simple,quiet beauuty that is everyday life.As long as there are roads to travel,photography will be there to rejuvenate me.
West Brownsville Photographer Gets Debut Exhibit
by Dave Zuchowski
Photographer Bill Rockwell doesnft mind that hefll be sharing the spotlight with four other photographers at a new exhibit opening at the Washington Community Arts and Cultural Center this evening, Friday, March 1.
A life-long resident of West Brownsville, Rockwell said he likes learning from other photographers and expects to share ideas and techniques during the opening reception which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. This collaboration of the arts will also feature ceramics by Christina Fortunato and live music by Broken Fences, a Pittsburgh-based Indie/folk duo, and singer/songwriter, Adam Levine..
Rockwell got his start in photography about ten years ago when he was asked to document on film events for the Master Gardeners Program of Fayette County. Himself a master gardener, he said that one of his favorite subjects is the interesting horticultural discoveries hefs come across both locally and in his travels.
'Over the years, Ifve had the opportunity to travel to many places in the United States as well as to more exotic destinations such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, and Western Canada,' he said.
A lover of fine food, Rockwell has managed to dine in some highly rated restaurants where hefs managed to add photos of creative dishes prepared by some of the topped ranked chefs in America to his collection.
Rockwellfs interest in history, especially the Civil War, has also taken him to hallowed sites such as the Gettysburg battlefield, Richmond, Virginia and Corinth, Mississippi, where he explored by camera the battle of Shiloh.
In 2011, his photo titled 'Gettysburg Shadow' took home the first place ribbon in a contest sponsored by the California Area Historical Society. In his current show in Washington, hefll exhibit two photos recently taken at Gettysburg National Military Park.
'To me, a camera in the right hands at the right time has the power to change the world,' he said. 'I also feel that a photographer has the responsibility to document whatfs going on around him or her. After the 2010 earthquake that rattled Haiti, I would have loved to have been the first person to document the havoc it wrecked on that Caribbean island nation.'
Rockwell said that one of his most memorable photographic experiences came in Panama City, Panama, when he was escorted by the leaders of a gang into one of the poorest and most dangerous sections of the city, El Chorrillo. While there, he managed to photograph the bombed out remnants of the 1989 American invasion that overthrew General Manuel Noriega.
'It was mesmerizing to see children playing so happily next to the squalor of the ruins,' he said.
Noting that every photograph in the exhibition has a story behind it, the photographer plans to share these narratives with the patrons at this eveningfs reception and answer any questions they may have about his work.
When asked if he had a favorite photographer, Rockwell named Diana Arbus as the one he most admires.
'Arbus was so compelled to photograph that she abandoned her family and traveled across America using her camera to document things that had never been captured before on film,' he said. 'Not only do many consider her the best female photographer in the United States, but also the best photographer who ever lived.'
Rockwell said his photography is ever-changing and ever-growing, and his latest fascination is trains. Even though his home is located close to a rail line, he said he never saw trains as a engaging subject for photography until very recently. It came after a visit to the Station Inn in Cresson, Pennsylvania, where multiple tracks run right in front of bed and breakfast frequented by rail buffs and train photographers.
Another recent interest of his is cityscapes. During a 2012 visit to Chicago, he said he came home with more than 300 shots of the cityfs amazing architectural treasures.
'My ultimate goal is to continue photographing as long as I can,' he said. 'Even after I retire from my sales job at the Uniontown Home Depot, I hope to be able to supplement my retirement income with the sale of my photographs.'
The Evening of Photography, Ceramics and Live Music is at the Washington Community Arts and Cultural Center, 70 South Street, in Washington tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. Admission is $10, $6 for students with a valid ID, free to Wash Arts students. All proceeds benefit Wash Arts.
The exhibit will continue through the end of March and admission after opening night is free of charge. The other photographers include Martha Dougherty, Julie Wilson, Kathleen Madigan and Kiera Browell.
To view Bill Rockwellfs photos online go to William-Rockwell.fineartamerica.com and etsy.com/shop/billrockphotography. To find out more about Broken Fences go to brokenfencesband.com. For information on hours, directions and more phone 724-222-1475.