You have to admire the person who, midstream in a “successful” career, casts it aside to do what really matters, which, in the case of David J. Simchock ENG’86, was to go see the world—and see it through the lens of his Nikon F80 camera that he, as an amateur photographer, had fallen in love with. He shipped out in late 1999 on a self-styled sabbatical that would last one year. But one year turned into two, and two turned into three. When he finally looked up from his viewfinder, he had traipsed across more than 25 countries, steeping his soul in the people, places, and things surrounding him and returning with images that revealed a sophisticated understanding of composition, light, subject, and sense of the moment. The celebration of life conveyed in his pictures, many of them award winners and the subject of exhibitions in New Jersey and beyond, is an offer, he says, “for my audience to dust off their passports and leave their town or country and their comfort zone behind.”
Simchock, a mechanical engineering major at Rutgers–New Brunswick who had been employed as a manager for a British power company, is still trying to stretch people’s minds whenever he can. Through his Titusville-based company, David Simchock Photography, he hosts a photography school that includes workshops, private instruction, and tours, the last being an invitation for camera buffs to see places such as New York City and Philadelphia with fresh eyes. His wedding and portraiture photography, though unlikely to be mistaken for his work from exotic locales, lives up to his high standards, which are on full display in a more recent interest for him: photographing well-known musicians such as Coldplay and B.B. King—and capturing the passions that their performances incite in others.
For more information, visit davidsimchock.com.
David Simchock’s World Tour (clockwise from top): street life in Luang Prabang, Laos; white duckling in the minority in Vietnam; veteran music enthusiast at the 2008 XPoNential Music Festival; a child in Peru; and a boy and his prize in Ecuador. Photography by David Simchock