Avid nature photographer Brother John Lemker has a friendly, gentle spirit that is as inviting as the images he captures. He is showing about 25 of his landscape and nature photographs at the Southminster Presbyterian Gallery over the next two months.
“When you see beauty in nature, you can become overwhelmed with everything in sight,” Lemker said. “But the real joy comes from isolating one part of it and making a statement.”
Frost plays a part in several of his images. There’s one resembling a painted grid that shows off the bright white frosted spikes on metal fence wires. That could happen during any winter season, but a “Frosted Rose” is one you won’t see very often.
“If you’ll remember in the winter of 2011, the temperature in November was rather warm and the roses kept blooming,” said Lemker, who is a Marianist living at Mount St. John on Shakertown Road in Beavercreek. “On the last day of that month I got up in the morning and looked out the window to see frost in the backyard. Then I wondered, ‘I wonder if there’s frost on the roses?’ ”
“Fiery Sunset” was also the result of unusual weather. The orange of the sky is so deep, the natural image appears at first to be manipulated.
“I was living in Kalamazoo, Mich., and there was a tornado watch in the early evening. As we came by the window to go to the basement, I saw this awesome bright orange. So of course I grabbed my camera,” said Lemker, who taught at a Catholic high school there for 10 years.
In addition to unexpected warm weather, serendipity also comes into play for one of Lemker’s works. On a small lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, “Autumn Reeds” almost looks drawn on the image. The reeds in the water with their shadows in the water resemble a school of fish — all swimming in the same direction.
Lemker travels extensively to capture the beauty of God’s creations. His works are in private collections, and they have been shown in national and international publications.
“His work encourages contemplation and fullness of spirit,” said gallery coordinator Jean McIver.
HOW TO GO
What: Photography by Brother John Lemker
Where: Southminster Presbyterian Church, 7001 Far Hills Ave., Centerville
When: Through May and June
More info: (937) 433-1810 or www.sminster.com