William “Bill” Cohen has been taking photographs since about 1962. He had his first darkroom at the age of 12. The fumes got so bad in his Manhattan ghetto home, he recalls, his mother agreed to let him use the bathtub if he promised to only develop his pictures in the bathroom.
“You couldn’t leave the windows open, you see,” explains Cohen. “If you did, someone would just jump through them and rob you blind.”
Cohen worked exclusively with film until 1995, when the computer operating system Windows 95 was introduced. “That was when things became ‘user friendly’, with Windows 95,” says Cohen. “There wasn’t anything user friendly [about computers] before that.”
Cohen’s easy going nature and superb eye lends themselves well to his current exhibit, which is titled Colors and Textures in a Small Town. All his photos are of things people see everyday, but with a few modifications of color and/or textures.
“You know this right,” the photographer asks about one of his photos. It shows a barn that has been given his signature color enhancements. “That’s just off [Interstate] 84. You see it all the time as you drive by.”
Then he points to another photograph showing several people sitting on a white porched building fronted by bushes. “And you know where that is, right?” Which, of course, is the very building his show is in.
Whether working with black and white or with color photographs, Cohen puts his own touch to give added depth. He takes the everyday and makes it unique. People walk away from viewing one of his photos with both a sense of awe and a renewed resolve to try and see things differently. He is a marvel to those who simply view his work, and an inspiration to his fellow photographers and artists.
An opening night reception was held where the public could come and meet the photographer on Saturday July 27. People came and went during the two hour reception and were greeted by the soft spoken but very enthusiastic artist.
Bill Cohen’s work will be available to be seen at the Emerson House, also known as the Pâtisserie Fauchère, (405 Broad Street) in Milford, PA from July 27 to August 25. More of the artist’s work can be seen on Pinterest.
Charles B Reynolds is an freelance writer, author, songwriter and journalist, who freelances for both online and print news. * Disclaimer – No monetary gain or other considerations were received from the artist, Microsoft or the Emerson House.