Inspired by Summer: A Photographer’s Long Journey Back Home

John Francis Peters, The Stream
John Francis Peters
From The Stream by John Francis Peters (This photo is meant to be shown horizontally)

Summers in the Catskills of upstate New York involved jumping into streams, fishing, hiking, swimming, and long days in the sun for photographer John Francis Peters.

Peters, through his photography, has traveled the world and back, yet, as the saying goes, “there is no place like home.” Even though, he’s currently based in Los Angeles, California, Peters found himself spending the summer of 2013 back home in New York after assignments in Pakistan and Las Vegas.

Having been away from home for such a long time, Peters was in a state of flux with his own work, trying to take the next step towards becoming the photographer he wanted to be. When he arrived back in the Catskills, he felt things were different.“There are certain things you take for granted when you grow up somewhere,” he tells TIME.

“The light was just different. Different from anywhere else I had been in the past year, and I had never really taken notice until I went home this time.” Light was the instrumental factor that drew Peters to this childhood refuge — secluded streams, which now provided him with a respite from his career.

“I was hitting a wall with my work. I wanted to begin experimenting with how I approached subjects while also still documenting this place,” he says. The subjects in his photographs are caught in a dramatic light highlighting indecisive moments — the fleeting instants before or after a state of contemplation.

“The idea that you can get lost in a place and find these magical little nooks, that’s what originally got me into photography, and going back home I found it again.”


John Francis Peters is a photographer based in Los Angeles, California. A limited edition printing of ‘The Stream’ is available to pre-order on his website.

AnRong Xu is a contributor to LightBox.  Follow him on Twitter @Anrizzy


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