Omnivore - Coffee shop art: Jim Henderson

Photography from a Navy veteran

The latest exhibit at the Ansley Starbucks features the photography of Jim Henderson. I sent him some questions:

How long have you been taking photographs? I have been taking pictures for many years.  With my travels in the Navy all over the place, I took a lot of pictures, but only realized recently that my pictures might really be “photography” and have artistic value.

What precipitated your interest? I have always loved the composition of nature and the landscape.  Recently, a friend looked at one of my pictures and said,"That is really good. I would love a copy of that." That was when I realized that I might have a bit of talent.

What do you like about photography? I love the natural composition of background/foreground and how things tend to “frame” themselves. I love old historic buildings and find their texture amazing.  I have several friends who are photographers and they prefer black and white.  I tend to be more visually attracted to color.  I think I might start trying to do some of my work in black and white.

What do you do in "real life"? Well, after having done almost every thing around, I currently work for the Veteran’s Administration in research.  I actually work at Emory with the Institutional Review Board.  We insure that human subjects in research projects have their rights and well-being  taken care of.  This is very interesting and vital work, especially with our veterans (of which I am one).

All of your photographs are "pleasant" images. Do the unpleasant, painful, satirical, political, etc., ever appear in your photos? Why or why not? Very good question.  Most of my photography is of things, very few of people.  I have some photos in my archive of areas in Asia I visited in the Navy.  They tend to show the every day places there.  I love ruins but I don’t love the derelict.  I like old and weathered, I don’t like squalor.  Guess it might be that I prefer harmony.

How long have you been hanging out at the Ansley Starbucks? I got back to Atlanta (I am actually a native of Covington) about 5 years ago after having been in San Diego and the west coast for nearly 30 years.  I have always loved Starbucks (had my local haunt in San Diego) and the  atmosphere at the Ansley Starbucks is very close to that one.  I love the crew there and also just seeing the same faces all the time; gives you a sense of family and home.

What do you usually order there? I order a “Jim’s”.  I have been  ordering the same thing from the guys here so long, if I just walk through, they fix my drink.  Actually, I usually drink a venti non-fat, no-foam latte.

(Photo by Cliff Bostock. If your work is on display at an Atlanta food or coffee venue, let me know.)__