(american, b. 1962)

Me by Greg Townsend 2016

亲友益阳棋牌歪i've been avidly photographing since i was 5 years old.

My work has been published across the United States and held in library collections since the 1970s. I've been winning major awards, been held in private collections, displayed in museums and published worldwide since the 1990s.

I started this website for fun in 1999 and run it to showcase my work and help everyone learn How to Take Great Pictures, supported and your actions.

my two most recent clients are merck pharmaceuticals and mcdonald's.

Ken Rockwell in a Hasselblad

Me inside a Hasselblad in Yosemite, October 2015. bigger.


How I support my family (FTC)

About me

Recent trips




Introduction     top

亲友益阳棋牌歪i asked my parents for a camera as a kindergartner. they gave me a click-o-mat 126 instamatic camera, and off i went exploring. as any 5-year-old, i also did plenty of experimenting, pointing my camera at the sun, through telescopes, and anything that sparked my curiosity.

亲友益阳棋牌歪looking back, it's interesting that i've been seriously shooting for longer than most kids have been able to read or ride a bicycle. this probably explains why photography is such a fundamental part of my basic instinct; it's not something i picked up later in life.

i read every book about photography at my local library and learned every possible technical nuance. by age 9 (fourth grade), my parents finally gave in and let me borrow their medium-format twin-lens reflex cameras, and i had a blast.

亲友益阳棋牌歪wanting an even more "real" camera, i bought my first 35mm slr at age 11 (sixth grade). i had the technique down; i easily made this shot at night on my very first roll of kodachrome x:

Rosedale at Night, 7:45 PM, Thursday, Thanksgiving evening, 22 November, 1973

Brookville Park, Rosedale, New York. enlarge.

the scratches along the bottom are actually reflections from passing cars in the street lights. this exposure was a completely manual calculation, and i made but one 30 second exposure at f/5.6. as a kid, film was expensive, so i had no budget for bracketing. i had to learn to get it right the first time — and this was my first roll of film i shot in my newly purchased first camera.

亲友益阳棋牌歪here are two self-portraits from when i was 12:

Minolta SR-1

Self Portrait, age 12.

亲友益阳棋牌歪this was shot into a mirror with a flash bounced off the ceiling. i had to calculate the exposure and compensate for the bounce flash completely manually. of course i put the slide in backwards in the projector so it didn't look like it was shot in a mirror.

Kenny, 3:30PM, Thursday, 12 September1974

Ken Rockwell, Self-Portrait, age 12. 3k scan.

i put my minolta sr-1 on a tripod. i set my shutter to 1/500 to get a large aperture, and my clip-on minolta sr-2 meter told me to set my 53mm rokkor f/2 lens to f/4 for kodachrome 25. the red and white blurs over my shoulder are our backyard swing set.

i'm amazed that even back then i knew that light and shadow were important. you can't see it, but i'm holding an 8½ x 11" piece of white paper below my face to fill in the shadows!

my mom's been a pilot since 1952, and we spent most of our weekends as kids buzzing around in her cessna 172. of course i've been shooting out the window all along, and by the 1970s my aerial photographs had been published widely and held in public collections. if there was a news event like a fire, mom and i hit the skies and covered it.

in the 1980s i was a photographer and photo editor at one of eastern long island's largest newspapers. my aerial photography continued to be widely published and held in collections. coincidentally i had two girlfriends appear in the pages of national geographic.

things really took off in the 1990s and my work started garnering major awards. by the mid 1990s private collectors were acquiring my work, and even i was amused as pieces by ansel adams were taken off the walls of los angeles' gallery at 777 to show my works as part of a juried exhibit. hey, i like my pictures, but i don't know that i'd take down ansel for our show. i won two first place awards at that one.

i started this website as a goof in 1999. back then it took forever to download an emailed scan of a photo, and longer than forever if there were a few photos. this website was an easier way to share recent photos with my immediate friends than trying to send a bunch of emails.

i took one free class in how to use dreamweaver back in 1999, and that's my only formal instruction in making websites.

in 2000 i started to copy my personal notes about which cameras, lenses and settings worked best for me under various conditions onto this website. i did this so that i could refer back to them from anywhere on earth, without needing to lug my computer around. i'm a photographic artist, not a computer addict. this isn't a "blog;" it's just my personal friends-and-family website that's been growing and growing as i've been adding to it these past sixteen-plus years.

this website is a work of fiction, entirely the product of my own imagination and personal opinion. to use words of ansel adams on page 193 of his , this site is my "aggressive personal opinion," and not a "logical presentation of fact."

i never intended it this way, but search engines found this personal information, and i've become the world's largest and most influential independent source of photography information. even the world's largest printed photography magazine has less readership than this website. oddly, my little notes are read more than the work of any other photography author in history. strange, but true.

By the 2000s I'd been exhibited in museums, and won top places in every contest I entered. Here's one example.

I was interviewed in India's largest photo magazine, , who dubbed me "The Opinion Maker亲友益阳棋牌歪" in January 2010.

I feel like the of photography, although unlike Forrest, in addition to having won many top awards for my artwork, and having had my work published and held in private and public collections worldwide for many decades, I have earned my living full-time in digital imaging since the 1980s. I hold a couple of . Heck, even though I've always shot film since the 1960s and still do today, I've been doing this digital stuff for a full-time living for thirty years, decades before it became available to consumers. My dad is an engineer, so he taught us about things like discrete cosine transforms, quantization matrices and cos4亲友益阳棋牌歪 laws around the dinner table as children, thus this digital stuff has always been trivial for me. To me, understanding this technology is simply a foundation from which to create artwork, not an end to itself.

maybe i'm popular because i'm completely independent. i have no camera companies as advertisers, and i get no free cameras, or even prototypes. i say it like it is, not as a camera companies want to hear it. i've never done anything to promote this site other than to spend 12-14 hours each day adding to it, and to keep you, my reader's, long-term best interests as my only concern. this is why my pages aren't cluttered with advertisements like commercial websites; i'm trying to make this site as easy-to-read as possible.

this site is accredited news media, which gives me access to press materials.

亲友益阳棋牌歪 i continue to do this site all by myself for fun — probably the last remaining 1990's for-fun website that hasn't sold out to other interests. even though it has become popular, presumably because so many people find it helpful, it is still run just for fun. i am this site's only author. i have no one to proofread, spell check or fact check for me, so there will always be errors and omissions. apparently the world finds my opinions very useful, but remember, they are the opinions of one man. i have a big sense of humor, and do this site to entertain you (and myself), as well as to inform and to educate. i occasionally weave fiction and satire into my stories to keep them interesting. i love a good hoax. read , or see their . a hoax, like some of the things i do on this website, is done as a goof simply for the heck of it by overactive minds as a practical joke. even ansel adams kidded around when he was just a pup in the 1920s by selling his photos as "parmelian prints." i have the energy and sense of humor of a three-year old, so remember, this is a personal website, and never presented as fact. i enjoy making things up for fun, as does , and i publish them here — even on this page.

i've been adding to this site since 1999. this means that many of these pages, including this one, are over ten years old. i can't possibly go back and update everything magically as the world turns. read, enjoy, have fun, and take everything in the spirit in which it's shared.

If you find any mistakes, please let me know, since there are a lot more of you than there are of me.

I earn my living亲友益阳棋牌歪 through this website, and have always formally and regularly registered with the Library of Congress. I share this all free for the reading, and it's always appreciated when you link back to this site, but it is .

亲友益阳棋牌歪thank you! enjoy!



How I Support My Family      top

亲友益阳棋牌歪i've had a real job ever since i was in high school. i've worked like crazy, and made a decent living.

亲友益阳棋牌歪i worked in broadcasting for decades, and saw how spending millions of dollars to make the best shows possible made billions of dollars for tv networks who gave them away free for the viewing. tv networks made these billions of dollars up in volume: advertising.

i put up some ads back in 2000. i'm taking those off as i make new pages or edit the old ones.

as a little money started coming in from doing nothing, i conveniently managed to get myself fired from my real job in 2004 so i could see what would happen if i put more effort into this site. it worked; more people read what i wrote, and the broadcasting business model worked great.

today i support my family from what this website brings in. strange, but true. we're frugal, and i'm a hard worker, so it all works out.

The largest source of my family's income comes from when you use my links to these stores亲友益阳棋牌歪 when you get your stuff. I've been using these places myself since before this website existed, which is why I recommend them so strongly. The fact that they pay me is a nice side benefit that keeps my wife from sending me back out to get a real job, but the real reason I recommend them is because I use them myself because they are the best.

亲友益阳棋牌歪i also get some , and for these i am genuinely grateful — and pay a lot of income taxes.

i don't get free stuff, or paid by, nikon or canon. i wish i did.

亲友益阳棋牌歪i don't get free cameras as everyone presumes. i wish! i certainly never get paid for endorsements or to review anything. if i'm lucky i'll get a free service or accessory now and then, like a strap, filter, headphone, scans, flashlight, memory card, tripod, book, case or software, but no free cameras — and i still pay for the bulk of my accessories myself.

otherwise, i have to buy or borrow everything i review just like everyone else. heck, i don't even want most of the free junk people send me; that's why they're giving it away: hoping i mention it.

it is important that i don't let nikon send me any cameras to review. i review what i get the same way everyone else does. i'm never looking at cherry-picked samples or prototypes. if a commercial website has a different opinion on something, its probably because they got a prototype or other special consideration from a camera company.

亲友益阳棋牌歪as mentioned above, if you consider anything i say as an endorsement (god help you if you do, remember, i do this site as a goof), remember that no one goes back in and edits old reviews as they get old. if i say i use something, i did when i wrote it, but years later, probably don't.

as a former salesman i'd love to be sent on free trips and receive all the special insider favors i could, but i just don't get invited. i guess i'm too honest.

i'd take all the free stuff anyone wanted to hand out, but camera companies simply don't give out free cameras. nikon has never so much as even loaned me a lens cap, much less a lens or camera. they gave me a pen once at a trade show, but it didn't work, which was too bad, because it had the url of their press website on it.

亲友益阳棋牌歪most of the gear i review comes from friends and other readers like you. i couldn't possibly own all this stuff myself; no one could.

I'm supported by my few advertisers when you buy things from them, but I'm far more concerned about teaching people to learn to use what they already have rather than waste time buying new cameras. I do this for fun; the money simply lets me spend my time here adding more useful information instead of having to go off to some less productive job each day. Most of us, myself included, would make far better pictures if we'd stop buying new cameras and spend that time learning how to use what we already have instead.

I have no idea how to interpret the , but I think I've covered it here. I get paid from stores if you use my links to get your stuff, I accept donations and put up some ads, but I don't get paid to write anything and don't get free cameras. I don't even put up the ads; they're usually placed by third parties.


About Me     top

Ken Rockwell

Charity Events

Rockwell Boogie Boarding, 31 May 1998


Rockwell and Cheerleaders


click photos to enlarge

even as a newborn i was so curious i lifted my head up to look around the hospital nursery. that attracted all the nurses' attention to my parent's surprise. the nurses explained that it's very rare for a newborn to have strong enough neck muscles to lift his head.

curiosity is crucial in photography. my mom will tell you that even as soon as she was 5 months pregnant that all i did was poke around trying to see what was going on!

I learned photography by asking my dad, reading books and practicing.

亲友益阳棋牌歪i love traveling california and the world and creating beautiful images. i love feeling nature and beauty. i love all the arts and the outdoors. i run, bike and play in the ocean almost every day. i've been doing 50 - 100 mile bike rides since i was in high school. i'm always up for weekend trips away for any reason, and i'm always there when there's an art opening, symphony concert or play going on. i do more things outdoors than will fit here.

i'm a big kidder and am always fooling around. i think i'm a seven year old who's managed to sneak into a grown-up's body. i have enough enthusiasm for an entire class of second graders.

I lived in La Jolla, California from 1988 to 2011. La Jolla is just north of of San Diego and is the most beautiful place on earth with high-speed Internet access and direct international airline service to interesting places. Our area also offers unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities, since we have every kind of land and water form imaginable. We have mountains, deserts, pine forests, cliffs, chaparral, grassy plains, ancient oak groves, huge boulder fields for climbing, every kind of road and trail for hiking, on- and off-road cycling and motorcycling and of course we have all sorts of different beaches and rivers for surfing, swimming, SCUBA, boogie boarding, kayaking and etc.

These many different environments are why San Diego County is home to more bird and animal species than any other county in the United States. Maybe it's also why every sort of kook organization including at least two UFO cult religions, and Heaven's Gate as well as the famous Black's (nude) Beach call San Diego home. Poke all the fun you want, but we also have a symphony orchestra, a pretty decent formal company and numerous theatre and chamber music ensembles and performing arts organizations. The La Jolla Music Society brings in music and dance from around the world. San Diego is also home to the World Famous San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park which runs big game photo safaris right here in San Diego county. I could go on, but rest assured there is never any shortage of fun here. Most real San Diegans are members of the San Diego Zoo.

亲友益阳棋牌歪in 2011, i moved my family back to new york, since new york makes much more sense for doing what i do. nikon, canon and every other camera maker has its usa offices on long island near where i was born, and the world's biggest and best camera stores, as well as the press offices for all the camera makers, are all in new york city. it feels great to be back in new york!

I donate my time to many volunteer organizations. For instance, I volunteer as webmaster for The Monarch Program and am always photographing for organizations like Paws'itive Teams who train service dogs for the handicapped.

I don't believe in photo contests and competitions, although I do OK when friends twist my arm. For instance, I won a trip to Hawaii here and I also won 1st Place in the San Diego Union-Tribune's Nature Photo Contest (requires Flash player and a fast Internet connection.)

I received a Ph. D. from the University of Basingstoke in December, 2001. It's a Phony Doctorate given to me for Christmas by my brothers who have real Ph.Ds.

I speak English, French, some Spanish and very, very little German and Italian. As an artist I try not to admit that I have a BSEE engineering degree and was just granted my first US Patent 6,473,701 in October 2002. On March 6th, 2007, I was granted , much rarer than a patent.

My great-great grandfather was the pioneering photographic artist James Brewster at the dawn of photography in , Scotland between 1861 and 1881. You may be familiar with the of Robert Burns, also from Ayr. Burns also wrote the modern version of "Auld Lang Syne" we all sing on New Year's eve at midnight. Burns even has a Heritage Park devoted to him.

I may be related to painter Norman Rockwell. Norman lived in an area in New York state that hasn't rated highly enough on my travel list to warrant a trip to research it. A Norman Rockwell painting "Rosie the Riveter" sold for $4.9 million here.


In the Media     top

Ken Rockwell interviewed on KCBS TV2, Los Angeles, 09 February 2005
(also watch the )

Radio Interview and Podcast 16 May 2006


Recent Trips     top

(links show photos from those trips)


2016    top

May: Yosemite.


2016    top

October:亲友益阳棋牌歪 Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra.

August: The Bahamas.

June: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Oahu and Maui.

May: Yosemite.

February: Hawaii.

February: Route 66.


2015    top

October: California's Eastern Sierra and Yosemite.

August: Hawaii.

July: Nassau, Bahamas.

May: Yosemite.

February: Route 66 and Hawaii.


2014     top

November: Palm Desert.

October: Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra.

June: Lake Tahoe.

May: Yosemite.

February: Route 66.

January: California's Central Coast Road Trip.


2013     top

April: California's Central Coast.

February: Route 66.

February: Santa Barbara 50th Anniversary Celebration.

February: Death Valley with Ryan.


2012     top

April: California's Central Coast.

March: Olde California.

February: Route 66.


2011     top

November: Yosemite.

November: Route 66 in New Mexico and Arizona (still in my camera).

October: Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra.

June: San Diego Safari.

May: The Yosemite in Springtime.

April: California's Central Coast.

February: The Yosemite in Winter.

February: Route 66.


2010     top

October: The Eastern Sierra.

July: Maui.

June: California's Central Coast.

May and June: New York and Long Island.

May: Maui.

April: California's Gold Country.

February: Route 66 in Arizona and California.

January: New York, and then Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra.


2009     top

November: Indian Country, USA.

October: Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra

September: Point Reyes, California.

August: Yellowstone National Park; New York City and Point Reyes, California.

July: Walnut Creek, California.

June: Monterey, California.

April: Volcano Country.

February: Route 66.

January: Death Valley.


2008     top

November: Arizona and New Mexico as photographed on film and as snapped digitally.

October: Eastern Sierra and Yosemite.

April: Barrio Logan.

January: Route 66, Barstow.


2007     top

October: Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra, California

February: Death Valley, California

January: Route 66, California


2006     top

December: New baby亲友益阳棋牌歪 in La Jolla, California

November: New York and Long Island, New York

October: Las Vegas, Nevada: Mercedes Starfest亲友益阳棋牌歪, Yosemite, California.

September: 亲友益阳棋牌歪 (not my shots)

August: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Orange County, California

July: Lake Arrowhead and Santa Barbara, California

June: Alamo, California

May: Kauai, Hawaii

April: Las Vegas, Nevada; Palm Desert, California

March: San Francisco Bay Area and Palm Desert, California (infra-red examples)

February: San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Barstow and Route 66 Workshop (shots here and some more shots at the bottom here), California; PMA, Orlando, Florida

January: Death Valley, California (some shots at the bottom here)


2005     top

December: Maui, Hawaii

November: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Montecito, Santa Barbara and Palm Desert, California

October: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Phoenix and Sedona, Arizona

September: California's Palm Desert, Eastern Sierra and Mono Lake.

August: Long Island, The Hamptons and New York, New York; Palm Desert, California.

July : No travel. Married.

June: No travel. Married.

May: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Kauai. Got married.

April: Kauai.

March: Death Valley and Santa Barbara亲友益阳棋牌歪, California

February: Santa Barbara, California; PMA, Orlando, Florida

January: New York, New York; Las Vegas, Nevada


2004     top

December: Las Vegas, Nevada; New York, New York

November: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Baja California, México looking at migrating monarch butterflies

October: California's Sierra Nevada, Miramar Airshow (photos here)

September: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Cambria, San Simeon and Monterey, California

August: On vacation for the first time this year. I didn't go anywhere, thank goodness!

July:亲友益阳棋牌歪 San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, California

June: Grand Cayman Island, British West Indies (photos亲友益阳棋牌歪); San Francisco and the Muir Woods, California

May: Miami, Florida; Palm Desert, California, Las Vegas, Nevada

April: 亲友益阳棋牌歪Las Vegas, Nevada; Santa Barbara, California

March: 亲友益阳棋牌歪New York City and Long Island, New York

February: Cambria, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Palm Desert, California; PMA, Las Vegas, Nevada; Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, Baja California, México

January:亲友益阳棋牌歪 Death Valley, Santa Barbara California, California; Long Island, New York


2003     top

December:亲友益阳棋牌歪 New York City, New York

November: Julian, California firestorms. (photos here) and California's Eastern Sierra (photos here)

October: Torino, Italy; Paris, France (photos here) and California's Eastern Sierra

September: New York, NY. Tom and Stacy's wedding (photos here)

August: Santa Barbara, Lompoc, CA; New York, NY

July:亲友益阳棋牌歪 Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, San Francisco, Bristlecone Pines, CA

June: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, CA; Portland, Oregon

May: Sedona, AZ; Santa Barbara, Mammoth Lakes, CA; Portland, Oregon

April: Santa Barbara, CA; National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, Las Vegas, Nevada

March: PMA show, Las Vegas, Nevada

January: Death Valley, California; Dallas, TX and New York, NY


2002     top

December: New York City and Long Island

November: Hawaii

October: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico; Arizona, Utah and Colorado (Photos here亲友益阳棋牌歪). Also Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

September: Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo California

August: Salk Institute party, La Jolla

July: Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake and Mammoth Mountain, California see the snapshots here

June亲友益阳棋牌歪: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Oregon

May: Lone Pine, Bishop and the Eastern Sierra, California. Parrot Adoption and Education Center (photos here)

April亲友益阳棋牌歪: Las Vegas, Nevada

March: Vermillion Cliffs, Utah; Page, Arizona. Paul and Sandy's wedding, Laguna Beach, California (photos here)

February: Grammy Awards (Los Angeles), Santa Barbara, San Simeon, Cambria, Piedras Blancas California; Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico photos here

January亲友益阳棋牌歪: New York City


2001     top

December: Death Valley, California photos here; New York City

November: New Mexico. Photos here

October: Zion National Park, Utah. Photos here

August: Mono Lake. photos

February: Florida


1998, August: New York and Long Island, New York for Mike and Jen's wedding (photos here)


1997, June and July: France (photos here)


1993, May: Chuck and Joy's wedding on San Diego Bay (photos here)

Nice places I'll visit at the drop of a hat:

Santa Barbara, California (weekend trips anytime)
San Luis Obispo, California (weekend trips anytime)
Cambria, California (and the elephant seals and the whole PCH, Big Sur, and Ventana area) (weekend trips anytime)
California's Eastern Sierra
Mesa, Arizona
Cook Islands
Spokane, Washington
France et Tahiti (Oui, je parle Français)
California's wine country; Napa and Sonoma counties (any weekend)
San Francisco (weekends)
Durango, Colorado (a mountain biking and outdoor Mecca)
亲友益阳棋牌歪 Santa Fe and all of New Mexico


Other places I've visited:

Austria (November 1992)
Canada (Summer 1978)
Czechoslovakia (November 1992)
England (June 1993)
France (June and July 1997, photos here)
Germany (November 1992)
Guatemala (1991, 1992, 1998, 1999)
Hawaii (Maui March 1999, Kauai February 2000, Oahu November 2002. Marriage May 2005)
Mexico City (August 2000)
Peru (August 1999)
Russia (1995, 1996)
亲友益阳棋牌歪 Scotland (June 1993)


About the Ads     top

without ads this website would just be a collection of my work.

The ads allowed me to quit my last real job in 2004 and work on this site for you full time, adding tons of the technical info you've requested. Contributions亲友益阳棋牌歪 help, but don't provide anywhere near enough on their own to allow me to do what I do today.

Ads are only on the techie pages which I've created at your request. There aren't any ads on the gallery亲友益阳棋牌歪 pages with my photos.

I personally buy from these stores, from whom I've been buying my own equipment for decades亲友益阳棋牌歪, long before the Internet became popular.

亲友益阳棋牌歪any other ads are placed automatically by third party ad wholesalers. i can't vouch for them since i don't see or approve them before the third party sends them straight to your browser. these same ads appear on other websites who use the same wholesalers like google's adwords. if a deal on a new digital camera is better than everywhere else then it's a scam. i simply rent out the space to advertising wholesalers, not camera companies. i certainly don't have the time to be out selling ads. since i have no idea what goes up there i certainly have no fear being honest with my opinions on cameras, either, which of course supports the whole idea of my site: no commercial bias.

If you see any bothersome, bogus or bad ads please contact me with the exact URL of the offending ad and from what part of the page it came (top, side or bottom) and I'll do what I can to tell whichever wholesaler to dump it.


Privacy Policy     top

亲友益阳棋牌歪this website and i collect nothing about anyone.

Other websites, which are third-party advertising companies that place some of the advertisements seen on this site, may collect and use information about your visits to this and other websites. They do this to provide more relevant ads. They don't collect anything about your name, address, email address or phone number; they just collect information about your visits so that the few ads you might see can be as helpful and as interesting as possible.

if you'd like to learn more, or don't want this information used by these companies, see .


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