About

Artist’s Statement & FAQs

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email_800.jpg Contact me at johnkennington@gmail.com
 

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(3-4 times/year) with my upcoming show schedule and new work

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Image_6.jpgI’ve been taking photographs for over 40 years, primarily nature, landscapes, vintage Americana and travel. I grew up in New Jersey next to a National Wildlife Refuge, inspiring a lifelong interest in birds, nature and photography, and moved to the Tulsa, Oklahoma area in 1982. Recent trips to Italy have inspired me to also begin photographing ancient architecture and images of faith. In 2009 I began selling my work as fine art prints.

Are these paintings or photographs? Everything in my booth is a photo, most printed canvas, both gallery wrapped, meaning the image wraps around the edges, or framed. I never use any of the digital tools that convert a photograph to a “painting”. The exact same images are also for sale as “normal” photographic prints. The combination of the canvas texture and the wrapped sides produces the depth you notice. Of course, it’s essential to start with a sharp, well-lit image!

I now use digital equipment, but that is not what really matters. Searching for an interesting subject, finding the perfect composition and waiting for the perfect light will result in a final image that I hope will have an impact on the viewer. Those creative aspects are what matter most, and they are the same for film or digital (as well as for a top of the line Nikon or a cell phone camera.)

What camera do you use? Almost any modern digital camera can provide outstanding images, and half the results are achieved in the "darkroom", or what we now call post-processing, and by the printing process and materials. So you don't need to use the same equipment as me or any other photographer you admire to achieve great images. I even have a couple of images on this website taken with a cell phone (HTC EVO and LG G4), I dare you to find them!

I recently switched from Canon to the new Sony full frame mirrorless system. However, probably 85% of the image on this website were taken with a Canon 60D, 10% with previous Canon and Panasonic digital cameras, and 5% with my current equipment. But we photographers are often real "gearheads", so I will share my equipment list. I now use a Sony A7rII, Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4, Sony FE 90 2.8 Macro, Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Sonnar, Sony FE 24-70, Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6, and a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3.

Do you enhance your photos? Photography has always been a technological art form, and digital is simply the latest advancement in imaging technologies. I use various imaging software tools to achieve the same results that used to be accomplished in the darkroom, i.e. burning, dodging, applying filters, etc. But I will go beyond that and use all the tools at my disposal to create a final print that expresses how I saw and experienced a scene. Though a legitimate artistic method, in my work I never “create” an image that did not exist in nature.

Warning, this is a mini-rant! Any photographer who says they do not enhance their photos is stretching the truth. If they use film, then they must manipulate the image to make an enlargement. If digital, the image is a series of bits, 1s and 0s, that must be converted into an image using software. If they don't personally control and manipulate that process they are letting the computer inside their camera make those decisions, and then letting the lab computers make the decisions when getting a print. 

Do you do your own printing? Yes (except for really big canvases and infused aluminum!) I personally perform all image processing, preparation, and printing. I then personally mount and frame my canvas prints. I use an Epson Stylus Pro 7600, and an Epson SureColor P600. 

What does “fully archival materials” mean? It means all components (paper, canvas, mats, backing, tape, finishes, etc.) are acid-free and will not deteriorate over time. I hinge-mount all matted prints so they can be safely rematted if desired. All my matted and canvas prints will last without fading for many decades.

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John Kennington featured in a Tulsa World newspaper article from the mid-1980s, preparing for a Travel with Tulsans presentation

 

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