Photographer Peter Neumann knows a thing or two about new beginnings. After majoring in Literature at Northeastern University in Boston, his photography career has been entwined with a variety of gigs: photojournalist, guitar player and composer, ad agency and magazine photographer, and kitchen designer to name a few. He grew up in an art-centric household—his dad, an oil painter, took him to museums instead of the ballpark. His dad gave him a camera when he went off to college but it wasn’t until much later, after the camera was stolen, that he found his interest in photography. He even used his bathtub as a darkroom. “My other careers usually came about to support my photography. Music came before photography and playing guitar is just as important to me. Playing centers me, like comfort food. It’s for me and, once in a while, for friends. My photography is for the world.”
After trekking out west for a while with his camera, Neumann came back with a longing to photograph full-time and opened a still life studio in New York. He eventually delved into the world of Photoshop and 3D illustrating, “the electronic equivalent of the still life lighting and discipline of the film medium, without the chemicals, the lab drop-offs, and with thousands of new exciting possibilities.” His first look at a Rag Paper print—paper made from cotton textile remnants—sold him on digital photography.
In 2001, after 19 years and much success, the studio was shuttered as business came to a halt in the aftermath of 9/11. After a 15-year break, he jumped back into digital photography and has been working on what he calls his “Architectural Abstracts,” recently adding his seventh collection in the series to his website:
“My Architectural Abstracts are completely different than anything I ever did before the 15-year break I took from photography. My last group was gratifying because I allowed myself to take liberties with the images that I had never done before. It’s a little scary,” Neumann said. His process involves deciding what to shoot, going out with his cameras, then spending hours in Lightroom and Photoshop manipulating his shots. He particularly enjoys shooting snow scenes.
Besides his photography, lately, Neumann has been enjoying writing on his blog, which he hopes to one day make into a book. There’s no doubt that he will also continue to reimagine his use of digital photography. As he states on his website: “This is just the beginning…again.”
Here’s what Julie Ann Segal, owner of Metro Interiors, thinks about Neumann’s photography: “Peter’s images display a unique view of the world and the way he applies color dazzles and delights me.” View Peter Neumann’s art in our Virtual Art Gallery where it is also available for purchase.