North Bergen resident Peter Ziebel has been chronicling his surroundings through photography for nearly three years.
An art and photography teacher at the Hudson School in Hoboken, Ziebel began a blog in April 2009 to display the “urban landscapes” he captures nearly every day of the year.
In fact, KingNopa.net, Ziebel’s website, just recently reached 1,000 photos.
“It’s basically a picture a day,” Ziebel, a former freelance photographer, said of his blog. “Except five days where I had pneumonia last year,” he added with a laugh.
“I want them to see that you can make photographs about anything you encounter.” – Peter Ziebel
A cohesive collection
Ziebel, who refers to his blog as “a daily log of light and geometry,” attempts to capture familiar Hoboken landscapes in a unique way. Many of his photographs, which rarely have people in them, feature reflections in store, car, or apartment windows, as well as signs, bodies of water, and statues.
Although he doesn’t necessarily have a set direction, he intends for his blog to be one cohesive unit.
“Images flow from one to the other in some kind of sequence,” said Ziebel, mentioning that the photos are linked in theme chronologically forwards and backwards. “There’s a sort of logic to them.”
Ziebel cited an example of a common theme as framing consecutive photographs in similar ways. Another theme is capturing a shot where a featured reflection and reality become muddled.
“There’s a lot of structural detail,” said Ziebel, “you can’t always tell the difference between the reflection and the actual thing you’re looking at.”
Ziebel also added that he never edits the photos beyond preliminary adjustments most photographers make such as cropping.
“Editing isn’t the point of it,” said Ziebel, comparing his level of editing to that which would typically take place in a dark room.
Ziebel also said that since he moved to North Bergen in September, more of his photographs have featured photographs north of Hoboken. A few of his photos have been captured as far north as Cliffside Park and Fairview.
“Since I moved to North Bergen the geographic subject expanded a bit,” said Ziebel. “I’m not really treating this as a picture project about an area. It’s more about where I am.”
“KingNopa” as an influence
As an educator, Ziebel is sure to bring his experiences with photography into the classroom.
“I want them to see that you can make photographs about anything you encounter,” said Ziebel, mentioning that he refrains from using too many of his own examples to discourage his students from simply imitating his work.
Ziebel also said that he attempts to convey to his students that the subjects of photography should be viewed as an art form rather than “a picture of something.”
“I think my work does show that sometimes,” Ziebel added.
Ziebel’s “KingNopa” work was also put on display in the Hoboken Historical Museum in early 2010. He hopes to find more exhibits to continue to display his latest work.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.