Where else than the beginnings…
As a young boy growing up in the Bronx, my father Frank Squillante would bring me to one of the lakes along the Bronx River near Crestwood in Westchester County to sail my little boat on a string. Of course he would bring his camera along, and one day he made this photograph of me.
Dad was an avid photographer with a couple of cameras and a darkroom set. I would take his two cameras from the dining room china closet just to peer into the viewfinders and press the shutters to hear that click of the simple shutters, sounding oh so different.
These are my earliest recollections of making contact with a river and photography.
Then came the magnifying glass, the intensely bright spark of light to ignite a dry leaf or piece of newspaper… that amazing thrill of light so hot it set me afire… Light, lens, optics, glass, paper, fire and off I went on a life’s journey.
All these earliest influences lay dormant until after college when I began my professional photography career purchasing my first camera, a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm, f/1.4 lens; and it is still in my arsenal and working.
Dad’s influence went unnoticed until these past several years. At my Hudson River exhibit opening at Old Forge Art Center in the Adirondacks, he spoke of bringing me to the river. What? I could not imagine what he was talking about? He never brought me to the Hudson? Of course not, he was speaking of our Sunday afternoon outings together along the Bronx River.
I was bit by the shutter bug, but ever so subtly.
Joseph Squillante has been photographing the Hudson River for over 40 years. He has traveled the length of the river, from its source at Lake Tear of the Clouds on Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks to its mouth at New York Harbor.
“My love for the Hudson continues to grow each time I visit its shores,” says Joseph. “Making photographs of this wonderful subject has become my life’s work.”
A New York Times reviewer noted that some of Joseph’s pictures are similar in style to Hudson River School, Barbizon, and 19th-century Realist painters. Like the Hudson landscape painters before him, Joseph is attracted to the beauty and romance of the river.
Well-respected by the Hudson River community, Joseph’s talent and his concern for the Hudson enable him to distill the spirit of this national treasure. He works with organizations such as Riverkeeper, Clearwater and Scenic Hudson who has recognized him as a “Hudson Valley Hero.” Joseph has been asked to exhibit at important river milestones, such as the American Heritage River celebration and the opening of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries on the Hudson. In 2013, Joseph was invited back to the Beacon Institute for a solo exhibit opening in October; and has been asked to exhibit in Scenic Hudson’s year-long show “On Time and Place” to commemorate their first 50 years. Joseph’s mission is to foster an awareness of the river’s visual magnificence through photography. To this end, he and his wife, Carol Capobianco, founded the Hudson River School of Photography, cultivating an appreciation for the Hudson through workshops, slide presentations, in-classroom talks, lessons, exhibitions, and note cards and prints.