ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: JOHN COX

An excerpt from the March 23, 2004 Davis County Clipper, the Davis Life section:

  Farmington - John Cox has what he refers to as a "seeing eye."  With this kind of vision, the Farmington resident is able to look beyond what the average person might see, and find the hidden beauty.  But with a camera in hand, John Cox is also a walking advertisement for Utah tourism, capturing some of the most beautiful images the state has to offer.
  Cox was born in England and picked up his first Brownie camera at the age of 15.  He enjoyed photography and was delighted when the local film developer told his father that he'd taken some good pictures.  With this encouragement, Cox began what would become a great hobby and joy of his life.
  "I was under training as an aircraft engineer," says Cox of his apprenticeship with British Airways.  "I joined the photographic club at British Airways and won my first competition at the age of 18."
  His photograph, a black and white image of the London LDS Temple located near his home, took the grand prize.  That was the beginning of a long and lasting love affair with the camera.  His career as an aeronautical engineer with British Airways and later with International Affairs of the LDS Church, took him throughout the world.  And wherever he went, his camera went with him.
When he was asked to relocate by the LDS Church to Utah in 1983, however, he wondered what such a move would do to his interest in photography.
  "When I moved to Utah, I thought, 'What am I going to film in the desert?'" remembers Cox of his initial impressions.  It didn't take long, however, for Cox to "fall in love with Southern Utah."
  "I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the desert," says Cox of his first few trips to the southern part of the state.  "The wilderness has a beauty of its own."  But even with the beauty, this landscape photographer has learned how to plan his work and work his plan to produce the beautiful images he has captured.
  "Photography is 90 percent about seeing and 10 percent technical," he explains.  "In order to make a good picture, the photographer must 'see' or pre-visualize the story he wants to tell."  This planning and preparing takes time and patience, but the rewards are priceless.
  His training as an engineer has also helped Cox in his photography efforts.  "Photography requires technical skill; to be scientifically-minded," he explains.  "I can see something and know that it looks good; that it's photogenic."
  An example of this is the photograph, below right, taken at Arches National Park.  Cox had been to the site before and was  familiar with the terrain including the potholes between him and the monolith.  So, the day a storm came rolling in, Cox knew he would find something special.
  "I knew if I came after the rainfall, there would be puddles," says Cox, displaying an example of his "seeing eye."  Sure enough, when he returned to the site, the puddles were there and offered the reflection he had previously anticipated.
  But with all the scientific and technical advancements that have taken place in the past years, Cox
relies on a non-digital, non-battery operated camera.
  Harking back to the images of turn of the century photography (1900s,
that is), Cox really does throw a cloth over his head to capture these beautiful landscape images.  While his Zone VI Classic camera can't take pictures of fast moving objects or snap several photos in quick succession, it is perfect for the slow, methodical nature photography that Cox has grown to love.
  John Cox is now retired and is thrilled to be able to spend his time pursuing his interest in landscape photography.
  His wife, Iris, is an avid hiker and joins him on many of his outings.  Cox has also secured an agent and
hopes to publish a book of his work one day, in addition to selling prints of his photographs to the public.
  Moving to Utah has been for Cox a "photographer's dream."  And sharing that dream with others makes the whole experience all the more wonderful.

By Janine Creager, Clipper Correspondent

 

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