John W. Snell

Landcapes and Horses: My Kentucky Home

April 6th through May 26th, 2018

Opening reception with the artist; Friday, April 6th from 6-9pm.

Artist's Statement – John W. Snell



I acquired my first 35mm camera in 1980, at the age of 32, and my view of the world has not been the same since! I love making images in “My Kentucky Home,” whether of the natural areas so abundant in the blue grass state, or of equine subjects lazing in central Kentucky paddocks or racing around the track at Keeneland. It’s taken a long time to develop a photographer’s eye that finds subjects and/or views that are fresh and which evoke thoughtful nods of appreciation from myself or others. Simplicity is a key…not attempting to include too many elements of nature in a photo or finding an interesting backdrop at Keeneland and photographing the horses as they run past it.

My photography is about bringing to print the beauty I see wherever I venture, be it in my beloved Red River Gorge, the Smokies, great expanses of the American west or the “horsey” venues of central Kentucky.  Lots of folks dismiss photography as "art," suggesting that the camera does all of the work.  I, and untold numbers of photographers in my corner, beg to disagree.  Without light....without subject matter...without judicious attention to foreground and background…without precise positioning of the camera to suggest three-dimensionality in a two-dimensional medium, all you have are snapshots. 

And the process doesn’t end with pressing the shutter.  Au contraire! The digital age has given me complete control of the process. From ‘click’ to print, it’s now all done in accordance with my preferences. No more worries about scratched film. No more debates with print labs about their inability to produce prints that adequately represent the slides I submitted to them. And there’s virtually no time lag between taking the picture and making a print. I’ve shot images at sunrise and had 16x24 prints to show my friends at lunch just a few hours later!

Oftentimes, I merely capture the routine...the typical. Sometimes I see nothing that merits lifting the camera to my eye. But every time out gives a promise that by being there, something new, something enlightening, something to be savored in my mind and in-camera might just happen...and I don't want to miss it!

John W. Snell Bio



John W. Snell, a Kentucky native, is an award-winning photographer whose work graces the walls of numerous corporate, institutional and residential locations through the United States.  John's passion for photography was realized following a computing career spanning nearly 30 years.  He is completely in his element while toting 30 pounds of camera gear, trekking around Kentucky's Red River Gorge or other equally photogenic venues in the Smokies, North Carolina and the stunning southwest.  John's other photographic forte is thoroughbred horse racing.  His work is characterized by saturated colors and his desire is to represent his subjects in ways that evoke smiles of wonder. 

John's most recent book, Red River Gorge, My Second Home has been acclaimed for its picturesque representation of that wild and scenic area of Kentucky.  His work has also appeared in numerous publications including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, Keeneland magazine, textbooks and numerous local publications.  John's images are marketed primarily through galleries, Kentucky gift shops and art fairs throughout the region.  Additionally, he conducts photographic workshops and provides digital printing services.

John is a juried member of The Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and the Kentucky Arts Council's "Kentucky Crafted: The Market" program.  He currently resides in Lexington with his lovely wife, Anne and their sweet miniature long-haired dachshund, Abby.

Image Gallery:

  • Thunder on the Turf

  • Colors of Cumberland Falls

  • Keeneland Threesome

  • Through the Arch