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Interview: Ken Koskela, Photographer Specializing In Travel Photography And Environmental Portraiture

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Chicago based Ken Koskela is a well known travel photographer who has visited 75 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.  His works have been published in calendars, magazines, and travel guides all over the world. Ken holds a dual-major MBA in international business and finance.

His breathtaking images of nature, as well as his striking photos of urban landscapes, caught our attention.  We are excited and honored to feature him in our website.

Morning on the LiPhoto by: Ken Koskela 

Chicago Winter SkylinePhoto by: Ken Koskela 

Can you tell us a little about how you got started in photography?

Ken Koskela: Although I owned a camera and took some pictures while in college, I really got started with photography as a serious hobby about 7 years ago.  It started with the realization that I had been fortunate to have visited some beautiful places and had no truly good pictures to show for it.  The realization came on a beautiful beach in Zanzibar.  I was watching my colleague taking pictures with a good digital camera while I snapped photos on a cheap cellphone.  And this was before cellphones took good pictures.

I decided then and there that I was going to get a decent camera when I got back home and at least capture some images of the places I was visiting.  Little did I know that I would become instantly hooked on photography from day one.  Since then, I have spent at least a part of every day either photographing, processing, writing about photography or trying to learn something new about it.

The View - Yangshuo, ChinaPhoto by: Ken Koskela 

Chicago after hoursPhoto by: Ken Koskela   

Cormorant Fisherman on the LiPhoto by: Ken Koskela 

When did you discover your talent?

Ken Koskela: For me, it hasn't been so much about discovering a talent as it has been about seeing my photography develop and improve over time.  The vast majority of my initial portfolio images have been replaced as I've gotten better at composing and processing.  I am never completely satisfied about where I am as a photographer, though, and keep setting the bar higher for myself.  There are many outstanding photographers out there that remind me that I still have more to learn.

Light Trail - Chicago SkylinePhoto by: Ken Koskela 

Twin Shadows - Xiapu, ChinaPhoto by: Ken Koskela 

Underneath the Bean - ChicagoPhoto by: Ken Koskela  

What inspires you?

Ken Koskela: I am most inspired by seeing the amazing photography of others. Jim Zuckerman was a big influence on me initially and taught me a lot of what I know about composition.  On landscapes, I am inspired and amazed by Marc Adamus.  I had the opportunity to do a workshop with him a few years back and learned a lot about what it takes to compose and process landscape images that stand out.  On environmental portraits, Rarindra Prakarsa is a mentor of mine and inspired me to focus much of my photography on portraits.

Clouds over the terraces - Guilin, ChinaPhoto by: Ken Koskela 

River and Bridges - Chicago
Photo by: Ken Koskela

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Website:   Ken Koskela

Ken Koskela
permitted to use the above images.

Ken Koskela Website