Until September of 2011 John Van Winkle was the Principal Orchestra Librarian of the San Francisco Symphony and is a self-taught photographer.  Now, he is able to devote his "retirement" time to fine art photography.

In the mid 1960's he started photographing using transparency film, and in 1978 he set up a darkroom working primarily with black and white film in formats ranging from 35 mm to 8x10.  Since 2007 he has also been working with digital photography.

He enjoys photographing landscapes and close-up subjects in and around Yosemite, Mono Lake, and the Pacific Coast. Symphony tours also provided him with opportunities to photograph more of the United States, Europe, and Asia.

His photographs have been in publications of the Yosemite Association and he has had exhibitions at the University High School in San Francisco, Albany Arts Gallery, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Piedmont Center for the Arts, Rockridge Cafe, PhotoCentral Gallery in Hayward, the Kensington Library, Marin Society of Artists, and the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara.  His photographs are also in private collections on at least three continents.

He now has an ongoing exhibition at the Edward Jones office in Piedmont California that is rotated every six months with new photographs.

For John, photography has been an ongoing exploration of the wonders of nature, light, his own curiosity, and personal expression.  Form, tone, dynamics, scales, textures, and content are important ingredients in music, just as they are in his photographs.

John does his own printing and matting.  His photographs are prepared using the finest archival materials.