John Clement (BA Geology, 1971)
Professional Photographer in Kennewick, Washington
I'm a Master Professional Landscape Photographer for the past 41 years. My focus has been the NW Drylands here in Eastern Wa. and Oregon. I've been based out of Kennewick Wa. the whole time. I ran my own gallery for 20 years at Columbia Center Mall closing in 2005 to focus on doing more regional shooting.
My photography career actually started at Central while majoring in geology and geography. I took a basic class my senior year in B&W and was hooked. After graduation was job hunting in Portland with some other friends I grew up with who had graduated that year also. The Australian government was looking for some exploratory geologist so I interviewed and was accepted to start the process and paperwork to go to Australia and go to work in geology. About 2 weeks before I was to go thru the final processing steps a friend called about a company looking for photographers. I checked it out and the pay was going to pretty good with lots of travel. So I cancelled the Australian job and took the photography position. During my US travels I met a Dr. Welman in Arkansas who was teaching geology at Jacksonville State University and we hit it off as friends. He invited me to become a partner in a mining operation he had and for a whopping $25 bucks I became a 50/50 partner in a beryl mine. We were digging for Aquamarine and Golden Beryl in one of Arkansas pegmatite dykes. The gem quality from this vein was some of the highest quality found in the US at the time.
I donated one of the big beryl crystals I found to CWU back in the mid 70's. I was still doing my photography at the time but mining every chance I had until the mine owner passed away and the family members wanted it back to resume dumping there trash into the big shaft we had dug. Today I mine in selected location in Oregon with my brother Tom for druze crystals, opal, agate and occasionally gold, all of which we have found!!!
My time at CWU geology gave me a love for the landscape we live in and its unusual geology. The knowledge I gained at Central in geology helped me help my brother in his exploration of remote areas we mine in. Mark Fern retired Oregon state geologist has been a big help in our exploration and understanding of that region. We have taken our mining experience and knowledge to help kids in Young Life Ministries and Boys and Girls clubs raise money by auctioning off mining trips to some of our finds. Last years mining trip netted $9,000 for one of our gold mining trip and the miners did find gold!!
So as you can see my time at Central was well spent with Ring, Bentley and Farkas who made the classes enjoyable and challenging and fair!! I was a poor math student. My photography career keeps me pretty busy with a lot of commercial decorating with regional architects who use my work in new construction and remodel projects.
I work with writer Richard Scheuerman and we have done 5 books together on NW history with me supplying the photographs. I have my own book "Seasons of the Northwest Drylands" a retrospective of 35 years of photography. Forward by Alexander McGregor another big supporter of my work. Richard and I have traveled the world together exploring, teaching and writing. I use my photography of the landscape to also raise money by auctioning off hundreds of pieces a year for about 15 different nonprofits in our region.
I have 4 grown kids all married and successful, 2 grand children, my wife Sharon of 45 years is retired school teacher and travels with me as long as we can stop at quilt & yard stores along the way. My daughter Colleen my youngest have been doing midwest storm chasing trip for several weeks the past 3 years photographing and exploring the landscape and wild weather. There is much more to this story but for another time.Information last updated on Jul 19, 2018