Janet Sheridan

I have been photographing since I was a child. I emulated my father, Philip F. Sheridan, who began shooting Kodachrome in 1939, and with his 35mm Kodak Retina documented his bombing runs over northern Europe during World War II. He traded his Retina for a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic in the late 1960s, and I loved it so much that he gave me one for my high school graduation.

I found an outlet as a college newspaper photographer at Lock Haven State, and documented the 1970 campus protests against the Vietnam Conflict/Cambodia incident and the Kent State massacre (those were heady times). In the late 1970s I advanced my capabilities by learning the craft of black & white darkroom from art photographer Natalie Miller, then of Philadelphia, who shot with an 8 x10 Deardorff view camera. Influenced by her eye for landscape, I shot landscapes in medium format roll film with a Mamiya RB-67 in the Western U. S. and in Vermont where I was living from 1978-1983. In addition to some gallery shows, I also shot weddings and did custom matting and framing.

I put away my darkroom in 1983 during a life transition. About ten years later I resurrected it in the name of historic preservation, and turned my lenses toward old buildings. There I found a mission and a fulfillment for my photographic urge. In 1996 I quit my job as an engineering designer and went into the business of recording buildings. My business expanded into preservation consulting, and in 2007 my education expanded with a master's degree in the field at the University of Delaware. From that point I have been inspired to pursue the study of cultural landscapes and vernacular architecture. To that end I practice my craft. Though digital photography and the internet have radically changed my methods, I still keep film in the fridge and my darkroom, with its mechanical and chemical technology, stands ready.

For me, photography is more than fulfilling the requirements of documenting buildings and landscapes. By overcoming the limitations of words, it visually imbues the record with the spirit of the place, understood through my personal connection to it. A photograph well composed, developed and presented conveys the very beauty and character that compels us to preserve any place at all.

I started this site to make my work accessible to people who might want to see the best of it and even to buy prints, in a way that would also protect it. Come back again because I'll be adding more work. I hope you enjoy it.