name is Jim Kenicky and I was born and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia,
PA. As a child, I was exposed to the outdoors in many different ways. Besides
becoming a Cub Scout and then Boy Scout, my aunt (father's side) owned a house
at the New Jersey shore, while my mother’s aunt owned land in the Pocono
Mountains in Pennsylvania. Each summer my family would have a one weeklong
trip to both places where the wonder of the beach and ocean, and the amazing
diversity of the trails, streams, lakes and wildlife of the mountains grew
in me a passion for the outdoors. At the shore we would rent bikes to ride
on the boardwalk or along Ocean Drive, or fish and crab on the bay from the
docks or a rented boat. While camping in the mountains, the activities were
too many to describe: biking the many trails, swimming in a beaver-made lake,
gathering wild berries for the morning pancakes, and much more. As an adult,
I still hike, camp, mountain bike and canoe throughout the Mid-Atlantic States.
In 2008 I created jfk-photo.com, my first web site. I also have started a
web design company geared towards photographers and other artists.
Education & Photography bio:
started swimming at a very early age at the shore, up the mountains and at
the local summer swim club, which I took to naturally. Eventually I entered
competitive swimming, first at the summer swim club level, then later swimming
at Monsignor Bonner High School and the Lansdowne YMCA, and finally culminating with a swimming
scholarship to Drexel University. At Drexel I received a BS in Operations Management in
1992, along with a minor in Music, and many additional courses in Industrial
It was a few years after graduating that I was hired and trained by a local
studio to become a portrait photographer; and consequently began my interest
in photography when I caught the proverbial photo “bug”. I then
started to borrow my father’s AE-1 Canon SLR and took to the outdoors.
Besides my training in lighting and compositions that I learned doing portraits,
I also took various classes in photography; however, I would call myself a
self-taught photographer. One of my first “successful” images
was when I pointed my lens at the Hale-Bopp comet. A few years after starting
photography, I landed a job in a photo supply and print store, where I printed
photos using a Noritzu mini-lab color printer. It was then I learned about
correcting for contrast and color channel aberrations.
My career started in the mid 1990’s. Since then, my talent has developed,
even while working in the corporate world as an Inventory Management specialist,
and am now a professional outdoor photographer. My passion lies in nature
photography, landscape photography, urban photography and abstract photography.
Philosophy, Personal Vision, & Technique:
is beauty everywhere - you just have to look. I strive to capture the diversity
of the natural and urban environment. I attempt to photograph images that
evoke a response, a subject viewed in a unique way or that has not seen before.
And of course I use light, subject, composition and color to accomplish this.
To enjoy the views offered while hiking through a tall grass field or
through a pine forest, or the sounds of the wind and ocean on a beach, is
what motivates me as a person and a photographer. As an ardent outdoorsman,
I tend to hike to isolated areas, and for my efforts I often come upon a worthy
scene: something that is thoroughly inspiring or that most people haven’t
In my mind, the three main aspects of photography are light, subject, and
composition, of which color can be an element of all three:
~ LIGHT: Like most nature photographers, I prefer the warm like just before
and after sunrise and sunset when colors are more vibrant and contrast subdued.
Although, shooting during the day under cloudy conditions, or in a forest
where the harsh direct sunlight is softened by the leaves of the trees, is
another time, which has provided me with photographic opportunities.
~ SUBJECT: As for subjects, place 10 photographers in the same scene, and
you’ll get 10 different images. The choice of what to focus on is an
individual one, and is what differentiate photographers from one another.
Subject and composition are linked in that, once the subject is chosen, so
is the basic composition.
~ COMPOSITION: Composition, composition, composition. I consider composition
the most important aspect of all, and is what cause photographers to shoot
scenes differently. The classic definition: What to include and exclude from
the image. In essence, it requires you to decide on how to frame the subject,
from what angle to shoot the subject, as well as focus, shutter & aperture
decisions. Exceptional composition requires a graphics eye.
~ COLOR: Not one of the “big three”, but my eye is often drawn
towards intense saturated colors, and has as a result been an element in my
images. Color is primarily a part of the subject and composition (and a result
of the light quality), but can also be a main part of the composition, and
at times the subject itself.
since I first used my dad’s Canon camera, I have remained loyal to the
Canon brand. My equipment includes 4 camera bodies (2 film, 2 digital), and
seven fixed length and zoom lenses ranging from 20mm-400mm. When shooting
film, I use Fuji Velvia 50, Velvia 100F and Provia 100F. My one and true filter
is a circular polarizer, which I use quite often. I have used neutral density
and warming filters in the past, but not anymore. My polarizer filter tends
to act as a neutral density filter when I need to limit the amount of light,
and I prefer to capture the natural color of the scene without enhancing filters.
I also use a Bogen tripod with two different Gitzo pan-tilt heads, and my
filters are Tiffen & Quantaray products.
Prints & Digital notes:
are available in a limited edition, numbered, signed, and printed on archival
paper. When I shoot digital, I shoot in the RAW format and then process the
images in Adobe Photoshop. I personally prefer shooting slide film, but given
the expense of film developing, processing and final digital conversion, I
find digital more practical. Being a film enthusiast, I have contempt for
unethical digital manipulation. If I fail in getting the shot in the camera,
I will return to the scene later, if possible, to re-shoot the composition.
As when I printed photos in a photo lab, or when scanning my negatives and
slides, I make the same adjustments to my digital images: I only correct for
contrast, color and brightness. I do not perform major edits or alterations
of my images.
Copyright © 2009 James Kernicky Photography. All Rights Reserved.
All images on this site are protected by U.S. Copyright Law.