Several weeks ago John “Henry” Troup died at the age of 88 after a long illness. At the time of his death I was not sure what I wanted to say here. Henry was one of my most influential mentors, and it was he who said “you can do this”, which started my journey into photography as a profession. Many of the things I learned from Henry were not spoken lessons. One I recall vividly was on a shoot out on the Susquehanna river with several other photographers. I was using my only camera at the time, a 35mm slr loaded with 36 exposure tri-x B&W film. We were exploring the opportunities in the rocks below a dam. I shot a whole roll of film, and as I was changing to a second roll I noticed Henry taking his camera out of the bag for the first time. While I had been “shooting” Henry had been “looking” and had found something worth investing time, effort and film. I had shot a lot of pictures, none of which were worth much at all.
In addition to being an excellent portrait photographer, Henry had migrated his business into the commercial realm and took into it a sense of fine art image making that helped make his images successful and interesting beyond what was being done in local markets. Having the opportunity to observe this work, and to view and discuss his personal fine art images was a learning experience I often speak of to others. We had a group of photographers who shared their passion and their images, and as a result, we all benefited from the vision and insight of the others.
After retiring from commercial work, Henry pursued fine art image making and printing and soon found himself appreciated by the photography community at large. His photographs were primarily abstracts of patterns in beach sand and have been collected by The Art Museum at Princeton University; Baltimore Museum of Art; The Bibliotheque Nationale De France, Paris; The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; The Gernsheim Collection, University of Texas, Austin; The Institut D’Estudis Fotographics Catalunya, Barcelona; The International Center of Photography, New York; The International Museum of Photography / George Eastman House, Rochester; The Masterworks Foundation, Bermuda; Musee de la Photograhie a Charleroi, Charleroi, Belgium; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston;The Museum of New Mexico, Sante Fe; The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence.
His quiet demeanor and insights into image making were unique in my experience. Learning from him was among my greatest treasures. Thanks, Henry.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday August 18, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the Unitarian Church, 1280 Clover Lane in Swatara Twp. near Harrisburg. Clover Lane is just off of Eisenhower Blvd. between Chambers Hill Road and the Lindle Road exit of Rt 283. The service is open to all.