About

Sarangkot, Nepal

David J Kennedy

David J Kennedy is a photographer, traveler, and adventurer. He likes airports, driving back roads, and a breakfast burrito with coffee at 4am. He not only enjoys making the photograph, but the innumerable steps that lead up to it. The research. The logistics. The early starts and late nights. The long hike by headlamp. Waiting. Shooting. Adjusting. Repeating.

His love for the outdoors, travel, and just being on the go led him to start documenting a few moments via his camera. Soon, it grew into a desire to take photos worthy of those unique experiences.

First picking up a camera in 2007, he delved deeper starting in 2011. Ironically, it was his moving away from Colorado – and the mountains he frequently hiked and climbed – that led him deeper into photography. No longer did he have such obvious subjects (i.e. mountain peaks) on the plains of the Palouse, causing him to search further for strong subjects and compositions.

He has since moved back to Colorado where he has most frequently resided since 2000, and you will frequently find him photographing around town, in the foothills of the mountains, and Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to extensive travel around his home state and the US, David has visited more than 20 countries on four continents.

David’s photography captures the calm beauty of the world, with clean, uncomplicated images. He strives for simplicity and strives to communicate the sheer emotion of being in that spot, with that experience.

David keeps learning and pushing himself, and he regularly shares the results on his blog as well as on Instagram and via his weekly newsletter.


All photographs are available for purchase, both prints and digital. Please contact me for pricing.

Ethics

David believes photos are made, not taken. From the planning, through triggering the shutter, and final editing, each step is an important one. His goal is to capture the feeling of being there, but to also stay true to reality and to respect the environment in which he is photographing.

 

Photo Editing

Photographers are often asked, “is that Photoshopped?” When it comes to David’s editing, the answer is always, “yes,” but not in a manipulative way (see below). More accurately, his photos are organized and edited in Adobe Lightroom, with some editing occurring in Adobe Photoshop or via other plugins. These edits are most commonly basic tonal adjustments, lens corrections, noise correction, and other minor adjustments.

Photo Manipulation

Often, when someone says “Photoshopped,” they are referring to outright manipulation of a photograph to the point that it no longer accurately represents reality. David’s goal with all of his photography is to capture realistic portrayals of his subjects. He does not substitute skies, add or remove subjects, or do other significant edits that leads to a misleading photograph.

If he were to take significant liberty with a photograph, it will clearly be disclosed.

David does, however, utilize tools and techniques to overcome shortcomings of the camera, such as HDR, focus stacking, and panoramic stitching. He will also occasionally remove minor distracting elements, like dust spots on the lens, a small bird in the sky, or a foot print on the ground. He makes these edits to eliminate distractions and focus the viewer on the primary subject.

Nature

Before any editing, however, comes the actual capture, and there, too, David believes care must be taken. When out in the field, he strives to follow Leave No Trace principles and he won’t modify scenes to get a better shot (yes, he’ll push a branch out of the way, but he won’t break the branch off).

With wildlife, he keeps a safe distance (as much for them as for himself) and never bates or lures animals. While he is no wildlife biologist, he follows posted rules and have worked to learn more about the animals he looks to photograph.

Travel

David respects local laws, rules, and norms while traveling. In addition to trying to educate himself before a trip, he approaches his photography, at least initially, conservatively to ease into the environment and prevent missteps. Afterwards, he takes care what he posts on social media and how he telld its story.

Baby Elephant, Kruger National Park

Partners

David’s passion for the outdoors extends beyond simply photographing scenes. He also enjoys partnering with outdoor organizations whose missions he supports. He has provided photography services for the following organizations and is always looking to for future partnerships (contact for more information).

American Hiking Society

Annual report cover, mailing pieces, and social media campaign.

VOC

Social media and organization stock photography.

Greendals

Social media and stock photography.