Phil Knouf Photographer

Phil with his new gear, a Canon 5D MKII and 70mm - 100mm lense.


I’ve had some type of a camera in my hands since my Junior High days.  Early on I was mesmerized by the magic of the camera to capture that which excited me.  I’ve created many different types of images over 40+ years of photographing.  I’ve been inside of jet engines, taken aerials out of a helicopter at 14,000 feet, photographed high school seniors, captured weddings, architecture photography and processed and printed all types of films.  My real passion to create, however, is reserved for nature’s landscapes, be they great and majestic or the fine detail of a rain forest floor.  It is here that my gift for making images really shines!

There is a wonderful dynamic at work in the process of capturing the beauty of a snow clad Cascade volcano or the flowing waters of a clear mountain stream amidst the saturated greens of the surrounding rain forest.  The intense reds and yellows of the vine maples and big leave maples in the fall contrast wonderfully with the soft pastel greens of Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar.   I feel very privileged to live in the Pacific Northwest.  It is here within the diverse beauty of this region that my soul and creativity sings out.  I often remark to friends that it will take at least three lifetimes for me to photograph all of my newly adopted home; there is such a great wealth of images waiting for me to create.

The current state of photography is very exciting.  I have moved on to digital photography having sold all of my 4×5 view camera equipment.  Though I miss the extreme attention to detail and the manual process of working with the controls of a view camera, I don’t miss the long wait and high cost of sitting around for one to two weeks for my processed images to arrive in the mail box; least of all not knowing if the image is any good or just a dud.   With digital there is no cost for pressing the shutter release, at least after deducting the cost of your equipment.  I can experiment all I want to now and not have to worry about the cost and especially how to carry all the weight of my 4×5 film holders.  Now I am down to a 30 pound back and not the 45 to 50 pound pack with my 4×5 gear.  The weight is a big factor as I don’t have the strength and stamina because of the 4+ years of surgeries for my cancer and the gallons of Chemo pumped into my veins.  But now, as of August 2012, I am getting back on the trail as my last Chemo was over 6 months ago.  I am having the time of my life creating images with unheard of intensive control over the final result.  And, this is the best therapy the doctor could have ordered.

All photography and most art in general, is a departure from reality.  Reality is what the human brain perceives from the analog image provided by our eyes and optic nerves.  All art is in the eye of the beholder.  If but one person receives joy from viewing my images then I have been successful!

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