For more than 33 years Ken Lubas' photographs could be found on pages of The Los Angeles Times accompanying stories of breaking news, in depth investigations and stand alone features.
Lubas' resume includes Pulitzer Prizes for team projects dealing with the Northridge earthquake and the city's riots. Nominations submitted to Pulitzer judges over the yeara included work dealing with the homeless, handicapped, elderly, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, the O.J. Simpson trail and stand alone feature packages.
In all instances the images were straight forward, un-altered recordings of moments in time, reality painted with light. A true journalist doesn't inject his beliefs into a story, and a photojournalist doesn't alter the moment captured on film or digital memory card. The results can be world shaking, a single image can influence public opinion and reshape policy.
Still there is more what is seen in the mind's eye. For years this took place in the photographer's darkroom with burning, dodging and ultimate fuel for the artist in all. In Lubas' case it unleashed the ability to create images seen in the minds eye, not light painted on a single piece of film. It became a dual role for the camera, capture untouched reality on one hand and attempt to tell stories by combining multiple and images labeling it illustration.
Combining images in the darkroom is labor intense and his first attempts were simple negative and chrome sandwiches followed by multiple exposures. Then came the digital revolution. There no longer was the need to stand over enlargers and breathe chemical fumes. Work was now possible on a computer. The magic that took place in a darkroom at home and at The Times would be no more.
It was during this time period, the mid 1990's that Lubas underwent a personal transformation and reshaped his goals. He still had his passion for photojournalism, but also an interest in creating art.
His efforts focused on the resurgence of the bald eagle and Native Americans, both threatened with extinction, but re-emerging with strength and dignity. The work was recognized with showings at Los Angeles City Hall and public libraries. In recognition of his showing at Los Angeles City Hall, then Mayor Richard Riordan proclaimed Nov. 15 2000 Ken Lubas Day in the City of Los Angeles.
Lubas has also been given the name "True Eyes" during ceremony at William S. Hart Pow Wow in Newhall where his work is shown each year. His work can be seen in galleries, both here and in Canada and may be viewed at his website, artbeyondcontrol.com. An exhibit featuring two dozen of his images is currently on display the Chumash Museum in Thousand Oaks, California.