Two black and white photographic prints from Palmerton photographer Brad Browne were selected for the 2010 Phillip's Mill Photographic Exhibition in New Hope, Bucks County. This marks the fourth year Browne's images have been selected and the first time two of his images were selected for an exhibit.
"Sunday Morning" and "Lunchtime," were selected from a series of five photographs that Browne had taken in Lancaster County. Sunday Morning shows a group of Old Order Mennonite women in front of a church right before the church service begins. Lunchtime is a group of young Amish women sitting in a symmetric line having lunch. They are pictured as facing away from the camera. "I was on a hillside behind them and captured the photograph without them being aware of it," Browne said.
"It is difficult to photograph them because if they are aware of it, they don't want to be photographed," he explained. "I try to capture an important moment without them seeing me. I'm interested in their culture and the way they live their simple lifestyle."
For most of his life, Browne described his photographic style as a snapshot taker. That began to change in 2001.
He traveled to Europe, where he bought a single lens reflex camera, and returned with several rolls of exposed film. "When I picked up the prints from Hummingbird Photo in the Whitehall Mall, they had written on the envelope 'Nice Photos!' I was flattered," Browne said.
This inspired Browne to take a week-long photography class. That was the beginning of going from a hobbyist to a passionate photographer.
Since taking the class, Browne became a serious photographer. "Photography has become a passion, a way of capturing a moment in time," he said. "Every time I pick up my camera bag and go out the door, there's a sense of anticipation and excitement."