John Gilkey has a career in photography that spans more than 60 years as he followed the profession down many avenues. Today he specializes in travel and artistic shooting, but his work has much deeper roots.
He started as a wedding photographer in the 60s shooting with a Hasselblad and massive strobe unit but also enjoyed nature photography on 35mm equipment. Operating out of a hand-built darkroom, he was among the first to do color photo printing in a home darkroom with wet chemistry where temperature tolerances were only one-half degree.
His love of nature photography grew as a member of the Kentucky Society of Natural History while at the same time transitioning into photography as a photojournalist. He started at the New Albany Tribune and ultimately was hired by The Evening News in Jeffersonville, Indiana where he moved through the ranks as a photographer/reporter, City Editor, Managing Editor and Senior Editor over a 37-year career.
His love of travel photography began while working at the newspaper when he joined Clarksville’s Sister Cities program and began to travel to England and France visiting the town’s sister cities of Bewdley, England and La Garenne-Colombes, France. Those travels spurred a desire for travels in the U.S. and a new stage of photography began.
On retiring from the newspaper, he joined the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Visitor Bureau as Communications Director and did extensive marketing photography for the Bureau. Some of his most extensive work was during the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial when he provided photographic materials to publications nation-wide.
Now in retirement, he travels monthly with his wife, Virginia who is also an avid photographer, on a to locations around the country shooting travel-related subjects and nature scenes. (When not restricted by the COVID-19 crisis).
He has participated in two Louisville photo Biennials and has exhibited at various galleries in Jeffersonville and New Albany. He has served on the Arts Council of Southern Indiana and is a participant in the Art Seed collaboration.
From the Artist:
Photography is the tool I use to share the world I encounter with others. It is a gateway to a world I experience and want others to see. My most memorable moments are stored in images I have captured, and they belong to the world.
At the same time, photography as an artform allows me to change nature into an image I would like for others to experience. I am not a photo realist, but an artist presenting the world in my own special way.
Today’s technology allows me to travel down both pathways creating images as they exist and as I would like for them to exist. In that way I can share the best of both worlds.