Changing Moods: Dersham's new book showcases six decades of photography

A new book by master photographer John Dersham is now available. Dersham is the president and CEO of DeKalb Tourism and his photographic images have contributed heavily to the state’s tourism marketing campaigns in recent years.

“Changing Moods: Sixty Years in Black and White” is published by NewSouth Books, the same company that published “My Alabama: John Dersham Photographs a State” in 2019.

“Changing Moods” showcases powerful, haunting black-and-white art photography from six decades of work. Inspired by his teen experience with a simple box camera, and the encouragement of several significant mentors, he has dedicated his life to capturing the physical world through the lens.

“Changing Moods” chronicles Dersham’s personal growth as a photographer and artist, tracing his work from the darkroom to the gallery. To achieve exquisite image quality, he relies on elbow grease and old-fashioned methods.

Dersham’s work is all done in his darkroom and is produced to meet the highest archival standards. He uses double weight silver rich fiber based enlarging papers then uses toning and other preservation techniques that provide the finest detail and tonality with the longest possible longevity.

“I print each negative until I have the best print I think I can make. If not, it goes in the recycle bin. In doing this I use the very best archival quality materials on the market, including processing standards that are known to produce the highest level of permanence. I put 100% into this work and cut no corners. I figured I have spent a lifetime producing this work so I might as well take the extra time and cost to do it to last for future generations to enjoy,” said Dersham.

Throughout his shooting career, Dersham has awakened before dawn to get into position to catch the perfect light, lugging his bulky and complex large-format cameras to locations across the United States. The breathtaking results range from austere and dramatic landscapes to the poignancy of the everyday, revealing a master photographer at work.

The 224-page hardcover book is available locally at Boom Town Maker’s Market, The Mentone Arts and Cultural Center and will be available shortly at the JSU Little River Canyon Center gift shop. It is available worldwide as of July 6 on Amazon. His work remains on exhibit at the Canyon Center.

Dersham travels widely to speak to various organizations and teaches photography workshops in the area.

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