John Sklenak (1940-2013)
— avid photographer and naturalist
In his photography, John Sklenak combined his passion for the outdoors with his enjoyment for the creatures that inhabit it. He strived to capture each scene from a different perspective to present his own unique view. His favorite subjects included the historical areas of his hometown of Sudbury, landscapes, wildlife, and candid human behavior. John enjoyed photography from the time he was a child, but his love for the hobby blossomed after his retirement. He quickly became recognized throughout the region through numerous awards and local exhibits. He published his work under Blue Heron Studios.
Sudbury’s Wayside Inn area was one of his long time favorites for photo opportunities. Cape Cod, particularly the Provincetown area, was another favorite. He was always seeking out events, like a local parade or the local colonial fair to capture unique people moments.
John was a photographer of opportunity and convenience. He was more apt to shoot a scene that he happened upon than to plan a specific time (e.g., sunrise) and location. Thus, many of his photos were captured on sunny days with less than optimal light, and his travel photographs were those captured from the sidewalk or a pullover on the side of the road. As his passion for photography grew, his desire to be out with his camera began to outweigh the inconvenience of the weather or the exertion to gain a better perspective on a scene.
John was an engineer at heart applying his technical skills and analysis to his compositions. Like the typical engineer, he was also looking to improve his photography through researching and purchasing the latest photography gear.
John passed away in January of 2013 after a brief battle with Pancreatic Cancer. His daughter, Kathryn, and son-in-law, Jeff, share his love for photography and at John’s request and in his memory, they continue to keep his photography alive. Reprints of his work are available.
This section of the website is a tribute to John and his work. Highlighted in the gallery are some of his more popular photographs.