Ken Walters -Photography

The three passions of my life were all acquired when I was very young. The first, my passion for wild places, began when my mother started taking me on walks in the woods behind our western Pennsylvania house when I was four or five. This immediately led to my second passion, picking up and taking home stones (later rocks) from every place I go. My third passion, photography, started when I was 10 or 11 and wanted to bring back tangible images of the great things I was seeing in these wild places.

My passion for the outdoors has kept me hiking, climbing and skiing in remote wilderness areas throughout western North America, covering over 44,000 miles on foot (over 13,406 miles in just the Grand Canyon) and collecting rocks and photographs along the way.

My interest in rocks led me to a BS (Penn State University) and MS (Northern Arizona University) in geology, and a job as an exploration geologist (Montana and Wyoming). And wherever I went I always went with a camera or two-- working to capture, first on film and now with digital sensors, the joy and wonder I find in the wilderness.

In 1980 I accepted a position teaching Commercial Photography at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. After twelve years teaching at NAU I moved my photography teaching outdoors, first teaching summer classes on "Outdoor and Wildlife Photography" in Yellowstone National Park, and from August 1993 to August 2012, teaching landscape photography workshops at Grand Canyon National Park for the Grand Canyon Field Institute.

I believe that my training as a geologist taught me to see details of landscapes--to understand what forces and events were interacting to produce the current arrangement. Photographing landscapes, searching out the hidden places and trying to capture the feelings they engender further honed my visual skills. Trying to share what I "learned" about photography with others really clarified my understanding of photography, and it certainly helped mine.

Currently, I spend about a third of my year in the field making images. About half that time is backpacking into remote places.