ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
An excerpt from the March 23, 2004
County Clipper, the Davis Life section:
- John Cox has what he refers to as a "seeing eye." With
this kind of vision, the Farmington resident is able to look
beyond what the average person might see, and find the hidden
beauty. But with a camera in hand, John Cox is also a
walking advertisement for Utah tourism, capturing some of the
most beautiful images the state has to offer.
Cox was born in England and picked up his first Brownie camera at the age
of 15. He enjoyed photography and was delighted when the
local film developer told his father that he'd taken some good
pictures. With this encouragement, Cox began what would
become a great hobby and joy of his life.
"I was under training as an aircraft engineer," says Cox of his
apprenticeship with British Airways. "I joined the
photographic club at British Airways and won my first
competition at the age of 18."
His photograph, a black and white image of the London LDS Temple located
near his home, took the grand prize. That was the
beginning of a long and lasting love affair with the camera.
His career as an aeronautical engineer with British Airways and
later with International Affairs of the LDS Church, took him
throughout the world. And wherever he went, his camera
went with him.
When he was asked to relocate by the LDS Church to Utah in 1983,
however, he wondered what such a move would do to his interest
"When I moved to Utah, I thought, 'What am I going to film in the
desert?'" remembers Cox of his initial impressions. It
didn't take long, however, for Cox to "fall in love with
"I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the desert," says Cox of his first
few trips to the southern part of the state. "The
wilderness has a beauty of its own." But even with the
beauty, this landscape photographer has learned how to plan his
work and work his plan to produce the beautiful images he has
"Photography is 90 percent about seeing and 10 percent technical," he
explains. "In order to make a good picture, the
photographer must 'see' or pre-visualize the story he wants to
tell." This planning and preparing takes time and
patience, but the rewards are priceless.
His training as an engineer has also helped Cox in his photography
efforts. "Photography requires technical skill; to be
scientifically-minded," he explains. "I can see something
and know that it looks good; that it's photogenic."
An example of this is the photograph, below right, taken at Arches
National Park. Cox had been to the site before and was
familiar with the terrain including the potholes between him and
the monolith. So, the day a storm came rolling in, Cox
knew he would find something special.
"I knew if I came after the rainfall, there would be puddles," says Cox,
displaying an example of his "seeing eye." Sure enough,
when he returned to the site, the puddles were there and offered
the reflection he had previously anticipated.
But with all the scientific and technical advancements that have taken
place in the past years, Cox relies on
a non-digital, non-battery operated camera.
Harking back to the images of turn of the century photography (1900s,
that is), Cox really does throw a
cloth over his head to capture these beautiful landscape images.
While his Zone VI Classic camera can't take pictures of fast
moving objects or snap several photos in quick succession, it is
perfect for the slow, methodical
nature photography that Cox has grown to love.
John Cox is now retired and is thrilled to be able to spend his time
pursuing his interest in landscape photography.
His wife, Iris, is an avid hiker and joins him on many of his outings.
Cox has also secured an agent and
hopes to publish a book of his work one day, in addition to
selling prints of his photographs to the public.
Moving to Utah has been for Cox a "photographer's dream." And
sharing that dream with others makes the whole experience all
the more wonderful.
By Janine Creager, Clipper Correspondent