John’s first camera was a Kodak Instamatic pocket camera given to him by his parents at the age of nine. He shot roll after roll of film, almost randomly at first. Analyzing the lighting in old horror films on late night TV with his father showed John how images could be captured more intentionally. He also became fascinated with the photographs on the back covers of his National Geographic World magazines. The alchemy of capturing a fleeting moment of time - never to be repeated - captured his imagination and set him on a course that would weave photography into his life.
John had his first darkroom at the age of thirteen, teaching himself how to develop his own 35mm film photos, and all of the Kodak Technical Pan film his dad could shoot. John studied the chemical reactions as much as he studied the lenses and cameras he used to shoot his pictures, and watching the image emerge on paper in a tray of developer fluid was a magical experiment in scientific artistry.
A native of Kansas City, John could be found at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art studying the work of many great artists. Learning how these artists saw the world showed John how to communicate with imagery, not just develop a technically great picture. He was fascinated by the Impressionists and their ability to pull color, form, and emotion out of light. He was also captivated by the Surrealists with their skewed perspective of the world and the dreamlike nature of their work, especially Joan Miro. Look for the de Chirico influenced photo in the Architecture section.
Movies have also had a great influence on John, especially his years as a motion picture camera assistant. Through working with great cinematographers like Frederick Elmes and Stuart Dryburgh, he learned about storytelling and conveying emotion through images. It was also during this time he bought a large format camera and began studying the works and techniques of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.
After taking a break to earn degrees in applied mathematics and find employment as an energy analyst at a national laboratory, John has returned to photography, embracing the magic of the digital world. He still carries with him the important lessons he learned in shooting film: get it right in the camera, and it doesn’t matter what camera you use, what’s important is how you see through it.
When he’s not shooting the many subjects that capture his eye, John can be found biking around Denver, looking for new ways to see the city, searching for new music, and of course, at the movies. A graduate of the Hoffman Process, John also co-leads the Denver Hoffman Graduate group and helps support people in realizing their own inner greatness.