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MUTE – The Sound of Silence

Thomas H.P. Jerusalem is a photographer specialized in fashion and conceptual photography with a focus on magazine editorials and commercial work. His childhood during the Cold War in West Germany and his father’s over-sized NY Photo Academy books from the sixties influenced his style that emphasizes atmosphere and strong narrative. Thomas H.P. Jerusalem started his career with Street Photography and Photojournalism, both very expressive ways of photography that forged his distinctive sensitive approach.

One of the strongest arguments against photography as an art form is the ability of a viewer to simply and quickly take in all of the aspects of a photo, and move on. No back story. Nothing left to the imagination, as some would say. I challenge these people to dismiss the works of Thomas H.P.Jerusalem so quickly.
These are images that haunt you by being both familiar, and strange. They raise more questions than answers, and the longer you study them, more mysteries some to light. You wonder what happened to the old dance hall? You wonder why the woman in white is walking the dog so late at night, and what is holding the dog’s attention? You wonder why the model’s dress matches the wallpaper? You wonder why Hallie looks so dismayed? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Thomas’ photos amplify that, as his silent images send our minds racing. As we search for answers, perhaps the reality is as simple as the quote at the top of his photography page.

“It’s all about the power to freeze a Moment in Time for Eternity,” he explains– and that is exactly what he has done. “It was probably the many hours I spent with my dad, an amateur photographer, in his dark room watching him turning plain white paper into wonderful pictures using a ‘light machine’ and some fluids in colored trays,” he explained. “There was magic in this room behind the always closed door. I remember the dimmed red light, the film rolls, the developed negative films hanging on clothespins and the many wet photos posted on the tile walls until dry.” Thomas said he would hold his breath, and watch as the white paper in the trays transformed into wonderful black and white photos that captured a moment in time, adding that this experience led him to his current passion for photography.
“I can’t recall any specific one, there are too many that were ‘best’ to me,” he said as he tried to decide on a favorite photo experience, adding that all of his shoots have been uniquely memorable. “Maybe the one when I was kind of paparazzi-shooting Heath Ledger during the Dark Knight filming.”