John Kirk: “Ashland, Oregon”: FIRST of Thirty-three
It’s here! My long-awaited glossy, hard-covered book, Ashland, Oregon is finally in print. Over 33 talented area photographers contributed images of Ashland and its surrounds, and I can’t thank them enough. Every few days, I’ll be blogging photos from the book. Ashland, Oregon is intended as a homage to our great local talent and a gift to the community, including all those who regularly visit Ashland. In the next few weeks, you’ll learn a little about each of these photographers on my blog.
Let’s start with John Kirk’s gorgeous cover photo. When I first saw this image at John’s booth in the Ashland Art Center on Main Street, my jaw dropped! This tree is one of the most often-photographed in Lithia Park, yet John’s image has become the gold standard. Yes, that’s pure gold falling off that tree! Be sure to seek it out next time you are in Lithia Park. What I’d like to know is whether John went out there for a week before the shoot with his manicure scissors and tweezers, grooming that mini tree like a portrait photographer would. All kidding aside, it’s no wonder it’s one of John’s biggest sellers at the Art Center.
When I was a newbie to Ashland, John was one of the first people I met at the Southern Oregon Photography Association (SOPA). John serves as the print competition chairperson. He has a common sense approach to photography and doesn’t feel you need fancy equipment or software to make good pictures. Patience and hard work are the same elements that once made John a fine woodworker—a profession and skill he gave up when the photography bug hit. John knows a fancy saw doesn’t make a craftsman any more than the newest version of Photoshop. (When I first met John, I think he was still creating award-winning images with CS-2!)
You might run into John and his artist-wife Gwen at far-flung arts and crafts fairs around the Northwest where they take their works on the road.
In my next blog, you’ll see some of the unique and beautiful wildlife we have around Ashland—captured humanely, of course, through a viewfinder and lens.
To purchase Ashland, Oregon and see more photos by John Kirk, as well as from all 33 photographers, go to the Order page of my website.