About Johnny

Reflections of an Artist
Stock Photography


Johnny’s passion for nature developed very early growing up in the hill country of Austin, Texas. His love for animals led him to study wildlife management at Texas A&M University, and then in 1968, to take a job as a ranger in Denali National Park in Alaska. As a ranger, Johnny met numerous professional photographers and gradually honed his own picture-taking skills. His Denali experiences prompted a major change in 1977 when he became a full-time wildlife photographer.

Since then, Johnny has worked on assignment for National Geographic and his photos have been published worldwide in magazines, calendars, and books. Included among these are Natural History, Audubon, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Time and Newsweek. He is also represented by two stock photo agencies.

An avid outdoorsman, Johnny has climbed Mt. McKinley, skied across the Brooks Range, and built his own log cabin. Other adventures have included six expeditions to Antarctica and safari trips to Africa. His images are never taken in a zoo or game-farm. None of his prints are computer manipulated. Each image is an attempt to connect to the true soul of our natural world.

Johnny currently resides in Anchorage-Alaska with his wife, Peggy and their labrador retriever dog.



   11-Denali-Park-Ranger_2         11-climbing-mt-mckinley


Read the journal of Johnny's 1972 McKinley Overland

 Expedition to the Summit of Mt. McKinley - click on link-

Ascent of the TRAL...
By William E. Ruth

Reflections of an Artist

Photographing Alaska's Wildlife: Forty Years of Memories

I arrived in Denali Park by train in June of 1968. It was love at first sight - a turning point that forever changed my life. I was in awe of the vast wilderness and its wildlife. I couldn't wait to begin exploring it.

A week later, while on my first hike into Denali National Park, I was chased by an angry mother moose. Then while threading my way through a dense alder thicket, I came face to face with a sleeping grizzly bear. As a finale, I was upended while crossing upper Riley Creek at flood stage, losing my camera, binoculars and nearly my life. This was definitely not the Texas hill country of my youth.

Over the next three years I spent all my spare time in Denali's backcountry. I'd go as far as my two days off would allow, sometimes returning just in time to begin my shift as a seasonal park ranger. My outdoor skills improved along with my photography.

In the mid-1970's I began to explore and photograph other parts of Alaska. One of the most memorable experiences was a late winter ski trip through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the northeast corner of the state. My two companions and I began our journey in the Eskimo village of Kaktovik on the Arctic coast. It was - 30 degrees Fahrenheit when we arrived. Over the next 19 days, we traveled over 180 miles across the windswept coastal plain and through the highest mountains of the Brooks Range. Our trip ended in the Athabascan Indian settlement of Arctic Village. We encountered arctic fox and musk oxen on the coastal plain and saw dall sheep and wolves in the mountains. Further south we saw bands of caribou and even a wolverine. The arctic wilderness is unique and I feel privileged to have been there.

Another great memory occurred in the early 1980's when I received an assignment from National Geographic magazine to photograph grizzly bears in Katmai National Park. In a ten-week period I shot over 9,000 photos of all aspects of bear behavior. When my assistant and I left in late October, two feet of snow covered the ground and the bears were leaving for their winter dens.

I can also recall some wonderful times photographing whales in Southeast Alaska. They present a different challenge than land mammals since they are underwater most of the time. Humpbacks are my favorite whales because they display so much behavior on or near the surface of the water. Once I remember two humpback whales approaching our boat as we sat motionless in the water enjoying our lunch on a beautiful, calm sunny day. They lined up side-by-side near the bow and appeared to go to asleep. We watched them for over an hour and then for reasons beyond our comprehension, both whales rapidly cruised forward about 150 feet, dove beneath the water and then executed the most spectacular synchronized, double-breach I've ever seen. It all happened so fast, no one took pictures, but none of use will ever forget that day!

As I look back, it's that rare moment of experiencing - and maybe not even photographing - an extraordinary event that makes it all worthwhile. I've seen the aurora dance over the Alaska Range and eagles soaring with the wind. I've heard loons calling at Wonder Lake while Mt. McKinley took on a glow like melted pearl. I've heard grizzlies roaring in the night and the howl of a wolf break the white silence of winter. This is why I live in Alaska. It's not the picture but the memories gained in making them that provide the real reward.


Stock Photography

The business of stock photography involves licensing the rights to use photographic images that are already in existence for various publications ( books, print ads, magazines, websites, calendars, etc...)

Johnny Johnson’s nature photography is represented by two different stock photo agencies that sell rights to use his images worldwide.

You can view Johnny’s images on these online stock agencies at the links below:


Go to Getty Images.Com at the link above / at search box click on more search options / from the advanced search box click on drop box arrow that says keywords or image number / click on photographers / type in Johnny Johnson/ finally hit go


Go to AnimalsAnimals.Com at the link above / type in Johnny Johnson in the quick image search box on the home page.