Ken Sklute – Friends with Vision

Ken Sklute Photography HeashotBio: Ken Sklute has enjoyed a diverse career photographing people, nighttime skies, landscapes, professional sports, architecture and weddings. Ken spends much of his time photographing, teaching and lecturing both nationally and internationally.


Ken is proud to be or have been a Canon Explorer of Light, a Kodak Mentor, an Epson Mentor, an Adobe Influencer, a Delkin ImageMaker, a Datacolor Friend with Vision and an FStop Gear Team Pro.


He has concentrated on capturing nighttime images of the Aurora Borealis, the Milky Way, monsoon lightning storms, tornados and many other very difficult subjects to capture.


Ken began his photographic career capturing 200 mph race cars in New York at an early age. He soon moved into the wedding and portrait industry where he was quickly recognized as a trend setter, receiving many accolades throughout the industry. He chose to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona in 1996 in order to be out photographing the beautiful desert Southwest landscape.


Ken Sklute Photography Top Fuel Dragster This unique view of a Top Fuel dragster was taken from a DJI Mavic Pro drone, captured in Phoenix, Arizona. Ken Sklute Photography Canyon in Page, Arizona Layers of light and color made for a wonderful horizontal composition, created in the slot canyon area near Page, Arizona. The image was captured on a Canon EOS 5DSR and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 lens. Ken Sklute Photography I have envisioned this image for over 30 years in my minds eye. I attempted this shot in the past from my hot air balloon but was not successful. The long shadow of the passing Amish buggy was due to the setting sun in the west. I flew my DJI Mavic Pro drone over this 5 corner intersection to capture the image. Ken Sklute Photography Lancaster, PA Pre-visualization is a part of how i capture imagery. This image was made one evening in Lancaster, PA. I found the background first based upon my thoughts that when the buggy came along it would complete the equation for a balanced composition. My Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and EF 16-35mm 2.8 lens were on the ground to be sure to be able to see the sky underneath the buggy, separating the dark silouhette from the ground. Ken Sklute Photography Arizona Desert Working in the dark of night in the Arizona desert provides me a wonderful target rich environment in which to create unique imagery. With a sliver of the moon still above the horizon, I chose to create a panorama consisting of 8 vertical frames to extend my vision to a field of view of approximately 120 degrees with a 14mm 2.8 lens. It was a thrill to be able to capture the Milky Way and an illuminated desert foreground together. Ken Sklute Photography Northern New Mexico I lead a workshop each year as we chase steam locomotives through the peak of autumn color in northern New Mexico. I really enjoyed this capture as the train came between the trees to frame the locomotive and stack the layers of the scene leading your eyes through the scene to the gorgeous clouds low on the horizon. The image was made on my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and EF 28-300mm L lens. Ken Sklute Photography Hot Air Balloon One of my other passions in life is flying my hot air balloon. This beautiful morning found us flying in the Valley of the Gods in southeastern Utah. My canvas was the gorgeous landscape dotted with 15 other balloons, magnificently backlit! This image was captured with my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and EF 28-300mm L lens. Ken Sklute Photography Monument Valley In my world, photography often has a bit of serendipity attached. I originally moved from living in New York to come to Arizona where I could visit Monument Valley any time that I wanted to. I have been to this spot many times through the years but yet weather was rarely cooperative. In this case, photographing the “Forest Gump” pullout just to the north of Monument Valley had spectacular weather visible in the sky. My decisions when photographing are often light and weather based. Ken Sklute Photography Rainbow and Hot Air Balloons Serendipity! That rings true to so many of my good fortunes in seeing potential images. This image was made as I flew from the launch field at the Albuquerque Balloon fiesta. This fine morning had us flying around some beautiful weather, helping to create dynamic images. In this case, as I flew west I could see this unique small rainbow and a few balloons that were close in proximity. I was fortunate with the combination of my movement in my balloon and the balloons in the image to have the moment align where the balloon drifted across the rainbow creating this memorable image. I fly with my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and EF 28-300mm L lens as a rule to provide me using both a wide angle and telephoto lens on one body allowing me the versatility to reach out and capture what I see. Ken Sklute Photography Mammoth Mountain Pre-visualization at work again on this image. After photographing this December wedding the night before on Mammoth Mountain in California, my clients agreed to spending Sunday evening with me at Mono Lake in hopes of capturing a magnificent image. We were certainly very fortunate as the sun made a guest appearance for about 5 minutes to illuminate the area. We had already scouted the paths around the Tufa formations so we could capture this image with minimal walking for my clients and to be certain not to damage and effect the delicate tufa landscape. Ken Sklute Photography Lava Flow I have been photographing the exciting and colorful lava flow of the Big Island in Hawaii for many years. On the final morning of my workshop in Hawaii, I chose to offer a few lucky attendees the ability to hire a boat to shoot the lava as it entered the ocean. This image was created with my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and the EF 28-300mm L lens for its versatility. We began this journey many hours before the sun rose in order to be in position at the right time! Ken Sklute Photography Monsoon Storm Chasing monsoon storms in the open Arizona desert is one of the best perks about living in the desert. Each summer the desert erupts with the monsoonal moisture from the south that creates these dramatic storms. This line of isolated storms made their way to me just as the sun set bathing the scene in reds and purples and dropped some dramatic lightning completing this exciting image. Made with a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and EF 14mm 2.8 lens. Ken Sklute Photography Fairbanks, Alaska Serendipity arrived with me on the first night of a back to back workshop in the Fairbanks, Alaska area. I had been hoping for a special image for a friends family who had just lost their Dad. Suddenly this heart shape began to appear in front of me making a memorable gift for the family. Captured on my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and 14mm 2.8 lens. Ken Sklute Photography Monsoon and Lightning This image was created on one of my Monsoon and Lightning workshops in Arizona. There were 16 of us watching this scene come to life. I watched the storm cell grow in the eastern sky and at the same time watched as the storm in the west dissipated allowing the setting sun to illuminate the falling rain. A beautiful lightning bolt completed this memorable image. My Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and 16-35mm 2.8 lens captured this moment. Ken Sklute Photography Hot Air Balloon in Valley Having the ability to fly in my hot air balloon with my camera provides me the opportunity to look for strong images. This lovely leading s curve delivered my eye to the balloon that had landed there for a brief respite while flying in the New Mexico desert. The image was made with my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and EF 28-300mm L lens. Ken Sklute Photography Steram Locomotives Chasing steam locomotives as they pass through the landscape makes for a fun afternoon. Here in Minnesota, the stormy skies that you see here were raining down on this scene just until the train came into view. It then stopped raining and I could get out of my car with my infrared converted camera body along with my 24-105 mm f/4 lens to capture this beautiful scene as the train crossed the trestle bridge over this creek. Ken Sklute Photography Amish Farmlands Patience and pre-visualizing helped make this capture in the Amish farmlands of Pennsylvania. It was an infrared type of day with the beautiful cumulus clouds above the rolling hills. I saw this mighty oak tree in the field and sat to await the farmer as he planted his field. The composition came together as he came up upon the tree creating a diagonal dynamic image.