The world through the lens of a college professor

As a professor at Centennial College, a poet and the author of five books, John Oughton enjoys capturing the world through his camera lens.

His photography exhibit, Interrogating the World, was launched at Progress Campus Library of Centennial College on April 4.

Photos are placed at three locations in library, said Nicole DeSouza, senior library technician – special projects and copyrights.

“[Photos are placed] on the first floor in the Fireside Gallery, and on the second floor outside the Learning Centre, and [on] the third floor just outside the library circulation desk,” she said.

Beside helping coordinate the event, DeSouza enjoyed viewing the exhibited pieces.

“There’re some really vibrant pieces. I like the style of these pieces because they actually make you look deeper into the picture,” she said.

Giving viewers the opportunity to explore deeper into the photos is exactly what Oughton intended to achieve.

“I want [to photograph] things that when the viewers look at them, they [will] say ‘what is that? I am not use to seeing that way’ for a moment,” Oughton said.

As a photographer, growing up close to nature allows Oughton to be inspired by it.

“[Nature] is important. My father was a zoology professor and my mother was very interested in flowers and plants. Growing up with them, I was exposed in nature all the time,” he said.

One of his exhibited works, Oak Leaf on the Beach, depicts a beach with a leaf that has landed on it.

“A lot of people like this one,” Oughton said.

“I think it’s probably [because of] the feeling that it was after a storm,” he said, “The sky is still cloudy and the waves are still high and the sand is so smooth because the wave and the wind have been pushing it around all night.“

“The leaf looks to me like an airplane, looks like it is floating in there.”

Besides being inspired by nature, the time Oughton spent in Japan adds the flavour of minimalism to his work.

“I spent some times in Japan a long time ago,” he said. “The way they arrange landscape and some of their arts [contain] a very great sense of minimalism. They just want you be aware of just one thing, look at one pattern. So I often try to do that in photographs.”

The exhibit will be on display until Apr. 26.