Bio - JohnAshleyFineArt
John with a juvenile Harlequin Duck

In 1977, John’s grandmother gave him $200 to start his college fund. Instead, John used the money to buy his first 35mm camera, and then he used the camera to put himself through college. He earned a biology degree from the University of Montana, and became an award-winning photojournalist at newspapers in Florida and Montana. By 1982, he was ranked by the National Press Photographers' Association as one of the top newspaper photographers in the United States.


But the frantic, deadline-driven lifestyle lost out to the more humble call of the natural world. Along this path, John worked as a biologist for many years – mostly with the National Park Service – working to conserve California Condors, Bald Eagles, and his favorite -- Harlequin Ducks.


John completed the circle by combining both of his passions -- photography and conservation -- in the form of Fine Art Photography. His images remind you of the natural beauty and humor that is inherent in wild places and wild critters.


He lives with his wife and business partner, Tracy, and their two dogs at the end of the road just past the town of Kila, in northwestern Montana.


(Click on images below for a short, erratic history. Read more history here.)


Powered by SmugMug Log In

Pelican Rodeo

Banding young, flightless pelicans is a hoot. The parents all fly off to find food, leaving a group of about 100 juveniles on the nesting island. As we encircled them, the birds all faced towards the outside of their circle, aiming their hooked beaks at us. We grabbed them one at a time. I would get close, lunge forward and grab the beak with my left hand, and wrap my right arm around the body to fold the wings in. Then they would let us pretty much carry them around to band and release. This was 1992, working for my late biology mentor, Dr. Jim Reichel. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find anyone who can fill his shoes as a mentor.