John L Mathis

Railroad Photography

Biography - John Mathis

For those of you who might be curious, here's some information about me. I've been making railroad photographs for over 60 years (as far back as 1952 as nearly as I can tell). I'm now 75 years old.

I was born in California in 1938, lived there until 1958 when I went to Germany, courtesy of Uncle Sam and the U.S. Army. While living in Germany for 9 years, I began computer programming upon leaving the army in 1963. Varying aspects of software development and micro computer hardware kept me occupied until I retired in 2001.

From 1969 until 1998 I lived in Rhode Island. In 1999 moved to Colorado, 2000-2002 in Iowa. In June 2002, my wife and I moved to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We live in a beautiful area surrounded by nature and two steam powered narrow-guage railroads.

The digital darkroom and the world wide web have allowed me to organize and present images which I hope you will enjoy.

My railroad photography began in the early 1950's in Fresno, California. My first pictures were made with a Kodak Baby Brownie Special camera (127 Verichrome). The next camera was a Brownie Hawkeye which used 120 film. Santa Fe steam was mainly a memory by then, but I do have several blurry images that were beyond the cameras' capabilities. In my last high school years I did get some pictures of SP steam using a Kodak Pony 135. My nature photography began somewhat later.

Although continuing to take pictures as work, time and family allowed, the majority of my images were taken between 1979 and the present. In late December 2000 I switched from film to digital photography using a 4MP Olympus E10. Although I kept my film gear until acquiring my Canon D60 in mid 2002, I never again used it. Currently I'm digitally copying my 35mm slides and scanning my 2-1/4" slides (and a few negatives) as well as taking digital photographs.

Since becomming involved with digital imaging, several of my images have won prizes in the 2004 and 2005 annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photography Contest. In addition to the printing and sale of my own images, on canvas up to 38"x56" or paper, I have also done contract printing for local clients and a photography studio. Currently I am a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. Several of my canvas images are on display in the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge RR museum in Durango.

Thanks for visiting this site. Enjoy the images, and do come back, as the site will be continuously upgraded and new images added.

last revised: 2/23/2014