Joshua S. Estabrooks has been quietly creating art all of his life. Growing up on a hobby farm in rural Ontario, Joshua’s love affair with photography can be traced back to a muddy adventure crawling on his belly through a soggy cornfield trying desperately to capture a shot of migrating Canada Geese with a $10 plastic point and shoot camera.
He moved to British Columbia right after High School, and while at university in the Lower Mainland refined his photographic focus towards the abstract. During this time, Joshua collaborated with a number of incredibly talented, and incredibly strange artists, whetting his appetite further for creating images where no images existed before. He also began dabbling in installation art, utilizing a multitude of technological ingredients and philosophical concepts.
Needing a job, he started his Journalism career in the Village of Valemount, a resort community just inside the BC border from Jasper, Alberta. Inspired by some more oddly fascinating musicians, it was in the woods where Joshua began creating original music out of abnormal or impossible recording situations with unusual and unconventional instrumentation and sounds.
All the while, Joshua maintained his passion for photography, continually developing his desire to capture light and colour freely without the restrictions of rules or conventional techniques. He is a self-taught image-maker, and a student of the school of light in all of its various forms and manifestations.
When asked to describe his technique, Joshua usually replies with some sort of painting analogy, as exposing light on a negative (note the film reference) is much like paint on a blank canvas. The results can be unpredictable, but the more Joshua practiced ‘painting with light’ the more he was able to plan and produce imagery that resembled the creative vision of his mind’s eye.
The use of Photoshop is always a temptation for abstract photographers, but so far, for the most part, Joshua has maintained strict restrictions when using computers to alter his images, choosing rather to utilize Photoshop as one would a darkroom. Of course there are always exceptions, but almost all of Joshua’s images are created using the camera, and captured in the moment, with very little tweaking after the fact.
Currently living in Invermere, Joshua has worked as a Journalist for the Columbia Valley Pioneer Newspaper, is currently the Assistant Curator at Pynelogs Cultural Centre, will soon be making and selling the valley’s first locally produced beer, and is looking forward to displaying some of his personal photographic work to the world.