About John Krill

John Krill: Running For ArtIn The Beginning
By John Krill

It’s always good to know who’s talking to you. So I’ll start off by telling you a little about myself.

Why did you get started with photography? I was born into it. My dad’s avocation was photography. When he was a teenager he had his own darkroom in the basement of the family home. I saw that darkroom once in the 50’s and it was as big or bigger than any darkroom I ever worked in. Dad didn’t make photography is profession but he kept at it all his life.

I got the photography bug very early in life. I was 6 or 7 when I took my mother’s box camera out for a day and took pictures of the local kids. The only problem was I had to come up with the $1 needed to send the camera in to get the film processed and another roll put into the camera. So I washed the car, and washed it again, and again. Even in the 50’s photography wasn’t cheap.

In 1958 I saved up $40 from delivering newspapers and bought my first 35mm camera, a Kodak Pony 135, Model C. That camera was my learning tool. And it was a very good learning tool. You could set the focus, aperture, and shutter speed. That’s all you need to make good photos. Everything else that has been added to cameras in the past 60 years just makes the process a little easier but you still need to know the relationship between focus, aperture, shutter speed and of course the film’s ISO (In the day of film ISO was then ASA.)

For the next several years it was me and my Pony 135.

What was your best photographic accomplishment? In 1965 I signed up for the Marines. 4 years. I’m good but not smart. I could have enlisted for fewer years but the way things turned out 4 years was just right.

I actually hoped to get to Vietnam with a camera and use that work to get back to Vietnam with some news organization. Any news organization. Things worked out a little differently. It took me 3 ½ years to get to Vietnam but in the 5 months I was there I took the best work I’ve ever done.

By the end of my enlistment, and back in the U.S., I had no desire to get back to Vietnam. Still don’t.

You can view the work I did in Vietnam here: www.johnkrill.net/vietnam.

What inspires you? I just enjoy being a documentary photographer. Doing social commentary. And creating photo-stories. I just love Hulu. Haven’t put a book up yet but I’m getting very close.

My favorite activity is walking around with the camera and photographing anything that interests me. With digital cameras photography has become fun again.

The Book Department. If you’re just starting out in photography there are hundreds of books to chose from. I offer my input here. Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light by Ibarionex Perello. It’s available at Amazon for $27.09.

To learn more about me go to johnkrill.net. All my early work is there.

You can contact me through twitter – @johnskrill. Everytime I post to any of my three blogs I will twitter.

So there it is. I love photography. I enjoy the whole digital process from camera to the web or the printer and now creating books at Hulu. None of this was possible in the film era. Color prints were very expensive and getting a book published? Good luck with that.

One More Fact About Me. I’m very cheap. If a $700 camera will do what I require then $700 it is. I will rarely spend one extra penny if it isn’t necessary. I purchase what I NEED not what I WANT. I wanted the Nikon D7000 but all I needed was the Nikon D5100. Same sensor, same processor, and same 14-bit RAW files. Yes the RAW files are compressed on the D5100 but I challenge you to see the difference between D5100 and D7X00 RAW files.

Where I will spend money is on the lens. Since I use only one lens it should be the best I can afford. But more on that later.

In Closing. As you may have guessed I’ve been around a while but I still get excited about photography and I’m always open to new ideas. I’m still learning. Everyday.

I love this stuff.

A Small Note:  I love this definition of Candid because the first defines me and the second defines my favorite form of photography. Yes Street Photography is a form of candid photography.

Definition: can·did
truthful and straightforward; frank.
“his responses were remarkably candid”
synonyms: frank, outspoken, forthright, blunt, open, honest, truthful, sincere, direct, plain-spoken, straightforward, ingenuous, bluff; More
antonyms: guarded
(of a photograph of a person) taken informally, especially without the subject’s knowledge.
synonyms: unposed, informal, uncontrived, impromptu, natural
“candid shots”

Original contents copyright 2012 by John S. Krill and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.



  1. Hello John,

    I’m a recent fan of your photos and writings. I’m a magic realism painter living in San Clemente and an exhibitor at the Laguna Festival of Arts. I’m always on the hunt for inspiring imagery. I just saw a photo of yours in particular that captured my attention. It was this one of (I think) Aliso Creek where it meets the beach:


    It’s a great shot with lovely pallet and depth. Very “painterly” if I can use that expression. I can imagine one of my surreal scenes taking place with that backdrop, so am writing to see if you would be open to my reproducing all or part of that image into a painting where there would be other things going on as well?

    If you’re not I totally understand. But if so I would be much obliged and, assuming I did create an artwork with that as a base, would be more than happy to compensate with a print of the final work.

    Either way is fine and regardless, I wish you well and I’ll keep enjoying your art and writings.


    Paul Bond

    • I can’t you permission because it’s called “Fair Use.” So you can useit as base of other work.

      But over at facebook I find you claiming I gave permission to use one of my photos on Facebook when I sure don’t remember doing that. Not ever.

      I suggest you take it down from Facebook. I hate Facebook anyway.

      • Hi John,

        Thanks for your reply,

        I wanted to be clear that I haven’t done anything with your photo on Facebook or elsewhere, have I nor claimed any permission granted by you. I simply saw it when it showed up in the Laguna Beach Vibe page and the above link was simply copied from their page.

        I am not them. I’m a locally based magic realism painter (www.paulbondart.com) and when I saw this image it impacted me and thought I’d inquire about whether you were OK with me using it as a basis for a painting. I respect your work and your wishes which is why I inquired. I recognize that I can use it as a basis for a work even without express permission, but I don’t like to do that unless the artist/photographer is OK with it.

        If you would rather I didn’t I would respectfully not do so. But if you are open to it I would be happy to credit you for the background image. Either ways is really fine. Just loved that shot…


        Paul Bond

  2. John- I am interested in your photo of the tennis ball at the beach for possible use as a Facebook page background photo- non profit, community, media page.

    Could you tell me what the costs are or the logistics for use in this manner?

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