Photography can be a lonely enterprise. But Mountain-climbing, city-roaming adventurer Jared Greene ’12 is perfectly content in whatever environment he finds himself in, as long as he's snapping pictures. He arrived at this realization as he studied in Scotland and Australia through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies, exploring the terrain and capturing colorful elements and scenes from several distinct cultures along the way. For the month of June, the Keswick Coffee House in Glenside, Pa., is featuring a collection of Greene’s best work from his study-break wanderings.
Greene, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Print Communications from Arcadia University in May, gains artistic inspiration in abandoned places, such as theme parks and factories. He takes special care to find spots where the manmade structures are decayed or overgrown.
“I like to capture the beauty of nature in my photography, especially utilizing the colors of nature,” he says. “But more specifically, I create a dichotomy within my work of the power of nature over humans. I do this because I believe that despite the damage people do to Earth, Mother Nature will always come back with vigor. Humans will eventually die off, but the planet will continue doing what it's been doing for billions of years without us.”
The self-proclaimed “coffee junkie” stumbled upon the Keswick Coffee House earlier this year, looking for an alternative local weekend hangout. Noticing the café’s affinity for local artists, Greene shared some samples from his portfolio and was permitted to display his work. He is the first photographer to be featured by the coffee house this year.
Addicted to wandering landscapes and finding colors amidst the grey concrete of city centers, Greene notes that one of his favorite albeit uncharacteristic shots in the collection is of a bagpiper playing on the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland. “He was playing by himself facing the sunset for no reason other than to simply play the music of his people,” he says. “This was a very rare photo for me, as I normally dislike taking photos of people, but the cultural significance was far too strong for me to ignore at the time.”
For Greene, visualization is the first element to his creative process. “When I find something that catches my eye, I set up the picture in my mind before I ever press the shutter button,” he says. “I'll try different methods or angles to get the exact shot that I want. Having said this, I also look for places that bring out the so to say, entity or feeling, of the place. I feel that environment plays a huge role on how people behave, so I like to highlight specific imagery that portrays culture.”
Greene will continue his creative explorations this summer, as he plans a trip to one of the most recognized abandoned towns in the nation: Centralia, Pa. He will also be shooting hundreds of shots of professional kiteboarding riders for his webzine when he attends the Triple-S Kiteboarding competition in Hatteras, N.C., in June.