A Bit of History

A Bit of History
Ken Taylor / Wildlife Images

WOW

     Where does one start counting ? The first photo I every made, who can remember that ? My father was always keen on technology chemistry and making family photos, My mother exposed me to gardening, design, and creative interests. I’m sure that they shaped my direction and interests in me. Our family always lived in rural areas, Michigan, the middle of Illinois where my time was spent outdoors in the wild, my love nature was built in !

     I was a rising junior in high school when we moved to North Carolina. That was quite the culture shock from the midwest. Made for even more time spent outdoors away from people, further growing my experiences outdoors and recording photographically the natural world. High school was over very quickly, time to make some choices! Get away from home, my lottery number for the war in Vietnam was 342, very lucky ! Photography was my escape and a great school of “Film & Television” at Montana State University was it !

    I loved it ! Fresh air, big blue skies, small enough school to get hands on learning. The photographic process with it’s chemistry, math, and the effect of creating an actual creative result from the work you put in.I learned all the basics, and much more, the creative side in me seemed to come alive and I learned a flow that made me satisfied within myself, My only handicap was ADD, before it was a thing, and it’s side effects! But I was again very fortunate to develop relationship with my advisor/professor Rudi Dietrich at MSU. He passed on his craftsmanship from his time with the Guild System in Austria before teaching at MSU. I’m very thankful for his teachings! He helped me shape my creative and practical approach to making photographs. I really started making photos in and around Bozeman, especially of railroads which I have always had a likeness for, 1970-1971.

     I came back home to North Carolina, 12/1971. money was not available for me to continue school at MSU. I also realized that people, portrait or commercial photography was not my preferred path to travel and that I wanted to take the path that turned right towards the outdoors and the natural world !

     So, it’s go to work time.

     My first full time job in the field of photography - working for Colorcraft, in a commercial photo lab, now the good side was practical experience, if you paid attention in class, learned the metric system, loved chemistry, you could mix five to twenty gallon batches of chemical for the film processing machine, and learn to work in complete darkness ! But-you thought the darkroom at school smelled bad ? Nope - this was the good old days of C-22 Color Film Process, etc. This was one of those first time jobs that reminded you to stay in school. It’s June 1972

     Back to school at Southeastern Community College, and a new part time job at a local manufacturing plant, night shift.

     That change for the better also gave me time to start my own business as a professional photographer, working commercial jobs, custom printing, etc. It’s May 1974

     The path to wildlife, conservation and the environment ! A move to Raleigh, to continue my education at North Carolina State University, majoring in wildlife/biology and general studies. Still having to work, I worked part time at a camera shop, while attending NCSU. I also received special education by Eastman Kodak Corporation- Film, Digital Imaging and Epson America, Inc. - Professional Printing Training

     Life is good ! I met my future wife back at community college, out in the twigs - that’s a little further out than the sticks !! And she was well worth the distance. It’s now mid 1975, we started our journey together August 1975, that’s was 48 years ago !

     So, It’s full time work now, as the Professional Division Plant Manager for Fincolor Photo Lab. Also I’m out in the local photographic community working with L.A.Lentz Productions filming TV commercials. Historic Preservation of North Carolina documenting historic properties across the state, N.C. Nature Conservancy.habitat photos. It’s early 1976.

     A little luck ! While working on one of those TV commercial job, with some really nice people, one of them mentioned this job opportunity.

     Have you ever wanted to be at the right place at the right time ? Well I was !!

    The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and it’s magazine Wildlife in North Carolina was growing and expanding. I applied, went threw an interview and waited, then waited some more, and after almost no hope, I received the call, and a wonderful opportunity to work in the perfect blend of the natural world and creative photography !! It’s September 1976, and the start of a quarter century journey with NCWRC.!

It’s now 2024 and I’m on my second quarter century working as:

    Wildlife Images Photos by Ken Taylor


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