Who Is John Krill: email@example.com
Born in Brooklyn, New York but grew up in Burbank, California.
Roger Kahn maybe thought the Brooklyn Dodgers were The
Boys Summer but the Endless Summers defined southern
California in the 1950s.
I was not an athlete or a geek. Didn't have geeks in the
50s. Did have friends and we all roamed freely around Burbank,
riding our bikes over Barham Blvd into Hollywood, hiking the
hills above Burbank and trying to sneak into the back lots
of the movie studios. And it was fun. Didn't feel the presure
that today's teenagers claim to have.
School was school. There wasn't any pressure to excell until
the stupid Russians launched Spudnik. From then on it was
math and science. Schools weren't ready for it and we just
didn't care. That endless summer thing.
Beach was 2 hours away. No Ventura Freeway to get you quickly
to Zuma. So the beach was only on the weekends when someone's
parents would take us. Then when dad took his vacation it
was to the beach. Mother grew up on Long Island and Jones
Beach was her summer hangout so here in California it was
first Newport Beach and then Carpinteria. In the 50s there
was no limit on how long you could stay. Every 3 weeks you
just went and signed up for another 3 weeks. That ended with
the reservation system.
In high school I was a marginal student. Got C's with
a couple of D's and a few B's and A's. College
was no different - marginal. The problem was parents wanted
an engineer and I didn't. For me it was photography. Problem
was I didn't have the balls to do it. So instead I just dropped
In '64 I said to hell with it and traveled up the coast to
San Fransico. Lucked out and got a job my first day in the
city. Schafer's Camera store. Rented a studio apartment on
Hayes St. 3 blocks form the Opera House. Bus cost 10 cents.
Didn't need a car. Had mine stolen because I never drove it.
In early '65 got a notice from the draft board to get a physical.
Had to go back to L.A. for this. I knew I was going to get
drafted so I moved back to Southern California. Ended up in
As a Marine I was marginal. One of the reasons I joined the
Marines was to get to Vietnam and while there carry my Nikon
and photograph what was happening around me. Then use that
experience to get a job that would take me back as a civilian
I didn't join the Marines on condition they make me a photographer
but they did anyway. As a photographer I was very good. Loved
doing it. So for 4 years I lived and breathed photography
and just maintained as a Marine. Problem was it took 3 1/2
years to get to Vietnam and was in country only 5 months.
Right here I should say that I am proud of my tour in the
Marines. I have no regrets. I would do it again.
When I was discharged from the Marines in June 1969 I didn't
want anything to do with Vietnam. If I had I probably could
have gotten a job that would have taken me back but not wanting
to see that place again made it tough to get a job in photojournalism.
I wasn't a minority and I didn't know anyone in the business.
After a couple of years of frustration I said the hell with
In 1973 I went to Control Data Instutite to become a computer
hardware technican. I did. And I was very good at it. Never
gave up photography but never made any money from it. So for
30 years I was repairing computers. First big iron then mini's
and lastly crapy miros. Haven't done any computer repair for
Now it's back to photography. What changed? The technology.
As an independent photographer you no longer need outside
support. You can do everything yourself except the mass printing.
Still haven't got a digital camera but I'm considering it.
If I do get a digital camera it will not be a high-end reflex
camera with multi lenes. Why? Because the web can't take advantage
of the higher quality that those cameras produce. A high end
point-and-shoot digital with do nicely.
Consider the Canon S80. It has an 8 megapixel CCD. The lens
with go from 28mm to 100mm (35mm camera equilevant.) For this
photographer the wider angle is more important than a long
All those years in computers didn't go for naught. I am very
much a ease with computers and I have used Windows since 1986.
Now I have to take all that knowledge of Windows software
and hardware and my 50 years in photography and put it to
work. We will see.
John S. Krill