I come. I see. I capture. I am not a critic of any work but my own. I do not look for hidden meaning, symbolism, or the like. That I leave to professionals who make it their living telling the public what artists mean by their work. Cynical? Very. I create only to share what I see. Common objects and places that people view every day, I envision with a fresh lens. Although more apparent in my portraiture, stories and connections abound in all of my work.
When I depress the shutter to capture beauty, it is only after I have taken just a few more moments to experience. I don't give much thought to the process; it's more of a need, a corporal response, like breathing. Although I have this reaction on a constant basis, sometimes I hold back. I have experienced many places I would never photograph. Some locations are so magical that they must be experienced. In some cases, I haven't even described them, simply to avoid imposing my interpretation and limited vocabulary on the potential encounter of someone else.
Beauty surrounds me. This is, darkly enough, one of the reasons I choose to live each day (that and nobody has given me much of a reason that death is somehow better). To take a moment in my life, capture it through a photographic process, and then reveal to others what I see is an energizing process. It fills me to watch people looking at my work. I like knowing that they can envision a bit of life through my eyes.
I retired my 35-mm camera for a digital one because I do not cling to tradition but rather to function. The camera is always last. It is just a tool; it is not my brother, my life, or anything else endearing. I do not have a name for it; I do not sleep with it close; I do not worship it. I do, however, have a relationship with my camera in that I know how it works; I know its quirks and limitations. With this tool I simply capture shades of gray and the colors of the visible light spectrum.
I do not make statements about life or who I am. "Photographer" at its etymological root is just someone who delineates light, nothing more. I am a light junkie. Cut off my arms, hack off my legs, but leave my eyes intact. [top]
Patrick Esmonde was born in the suburbs of Philadelphia with a strong influence of both highly technical and highly creative arts. From a very early age his elders and contemporaries recognized that he had a special prowess for learning and mastering new skills. Traditional and digital photography, ceramics, steel and stone sculpture, computer and natural science, linguistics, swing dancing, and his award-winning sushi: He truly is a modern-day renaissance man.
After he moved to Orlando, Florida, his passion for photography was born when his father gave him a Pentax Auto-110 camera system—complete with every lens and filter a 9 year old would need. He immediately went to work! His first subjects were his hermit crabs and his middle-school classmates. It did not take long for him to impress those around him with his natural eye for capturing the personalities of his subjects.
Esmonde attended Dr. Phillips High School, a visual and performing arts magnet school with advanced arts classes taught by professional artists. In his senior year, he focused on photography and ceramics for over six hours a day. It was here that his roots were planted in the influence of his teachers and fellow students.
Patrick always attempts to focus on capturing images, keeping in mind the persistent advice of one of his professors, “The camera is always last.” He was not formally trained in photography beyond the technical skills of printing and processing. This he considers a strength without the exposure and guidance from certain schools of thought, his work is less biased towards a particular style or pedagogy. His work is a direct response to what he sees and shoots it as such.
Patrick currently resides and exhibits his work in Philadelphia. In his spare time, he continues to expand his knowledge by teaching pottery; programming and building his website; cycling; enjoying friends and family; honing his Spanish skills and taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the city he has called home for the past eight years. [top]
I believe that art is as original as its sources are distant. This is not to say that art is not unique and valuable, just that artists produce the coagulated output of their combined influences and backgrounds. This combination, however, has created centuries of art that continues to change and evolve with our environment and society. Some of my own personal influences include the following. (Links provided where applicable):
Andy Goldsworthy - A naturalistic sculptor and photographer. He epitomizes what I love about photography: He goes into a space and creates from what is natural and found. Creating from the materials found in the area, each piece not only reflects his own systematic and creative nature, but also is directly linked with the earth. I could spend hours looking at his galleries and getting inspired. Check him out and you'll understand my work a little bit more. Website
Zana Briski - This photographer is who I aspire to be some day: Someone who uses art to help more than their personal benefit. Featured in the movie Born Into Brothels, Zana Briski created photo workshops to gain awareness of the brothels in Calcutta, India to raise money and resources to help the children get out. Whether I will be doing the workshops or financing them, I hope to do something like this some day. Website
Eugene Tsui - While not directly related to photography, this architect makes my head spin. With a keen focus on function and utility, many of his designs are self-sufficient with electricity, water, and heat/cooling, have designs inspired by natural designs, and take into account the site of the building. I already am looking for real estate for the Aqua Terra house that he has designed. Website