TK Thompson

TK  Thompson

About the Artist:

My work, both realism and abstractions, is based on the grand landscape and macro-environment cameos of nature in both monochrome and color photography. My prints make use of the latest archival technology to insure long-term stability.  I try to give my work an emotional component that speaks to the viewer the feelings I had when making the image.  I like to focus on new  material close to home as finding it is a greater challenge than placing my tripod legs in someone else’s  holes in the ground.  Favored subject matter is the local landscape and flora.



I grew up in the Midwest as a member of a family of farmers and others close to the land.  I still have many fond memories of forests, lakes, hikes, and enjoying the outdoors in those carefree times. This continued through the years of education, but still making time for outdoor activities to preserve ones sanity.   I finally graduated from college with a degree in Chemical Engineering, a wife, and 2 kids and headed for Idaho to start my career as an educated “garbage man”.  By that I mean I focused my engineering skills on solving hazardous waste problems.  I basically designed chemical processes to remove the “hazard” from “hazardous waste”. These ranged from processes to solidify high level radioactive liquid wastes, treatment of other radioactive and industrial hazardous material, to the smokeless combustion and energy recovery from lumber mill and industrial residues.


Growing up, I was always impressed with my father’s interest in photography.  I always thought there was something magical with recording a scene and putting it onto a piece of paper.  I was attracted to the way photography combined art and science to create a pleasurable experience.


At age 12 I “borrowed” the family folding Kodak camera to be used for photographing my then passion of steam engines.  I continued photographing on a personal level through the high school and college years.  I was greatly impressed with the monochrome work of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams seen in exhibits at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  These exhibits opened my eyes to the artistic possibilities of what could be done with photography. Photography could be the path to getting in touch with one’s inner feelings and emotional self.  A photograph is more than just a literal rendering of a subject, it has an emotional component also.


To further my photographic education I have taken nature photography workshops with Jerry Seive, Steve Terrill, John Ward, Carr Clifton, and Fine Art black and white printing with John Sexton, a former assistant of Ansel Adams. For many years I had my own darkroom and focused on the Fine Art archival processed black and white print. I had to give this up due to worsening chemical sensitivities to darkroom chemistry. This fortuitous event led me back to working in color using commercial labs and eventually led to the digital world.  I now shoot exclusively digital and make use of the latest developments in photography.


I have helped organize several local photography shows.  My work has been chosen for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce calendars and has been accepted in several juried shows at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  I have had a one person show at the Camera and Darkroom in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  My work hangs in the Los Alamos Medical Center, Los Alamos National Bank, and Cornerstones in Santa Fe in addition to government, private and business collections in the United States and Canada. The most memorable was the selection of my large format black and white image of Casa Rinconada in Chaco Canyon for the Office of Historic Preservation in Washington D.C.  


As I have gotten older I have discovered that photography has become more important in my life.  Also the natural progression of aging has forced me to sharpen my focus on what I like to do most.  Photography and the creative process is now foremost – it’s what keeps me going!


I am trying to show a vision of the landscape that is a positive and uplifting experience.  Too much of today’s world in enveloped in chaos and negative energies.  My photography tries to present a positive statement.  A major theme in my work is to present a “reality check” on our perception of the natural scene, including both the grand landscape and macro-environment abstractions.  Each piece presents a visual enigma, sometimes very subtle and sometimes very obvious.  Is what we are seeing real, or has reality been distorted and/or tempered by the hand of humans or higher spirits?


As age takes its toll I find myself more and more limited on physical photographic excursions. My newer work has more wildflower images and small landscape macro-environments.  I am exploring reprocessing old black and white negatives using modern digital tools and techniques that enable me to further refine my original visualization as well as new presentation methods.