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For years Ken Lubas’ (a.k.a. “True Eyes,”) photographs could be found on pages of The Los Angeles Times accompanying stories of breaking news, in-depth investigations and standalone features. His resume includes two Pulitzer Prizes for team projects dealing with the Northridge earthquake and the city’s riots. Nominations submitted to Pulitzer judges over the years included work dealing with the homeless, wildfires, floods, the O.J. Simpson saga and standalone feature packages. In all instances the images were straightforward, un-altered recordings of moments in time. Lubas said, “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 policies.

Today, while he still practices photojournalist style photography, Lubas also focuses on what he terms “the mind’s eye.” For years this kind of creation took place in the photographer’s darkroom with burning and dodging. In Lubas’ case it unleashed the ability to create images seen in “the mind’s eye,” not just light painted on a single piece of film. It became a dual role for the camera, to capture untouched reality on the one hand and the attempt to tell stories by combining multiple images on the other. (Combining images in the darkroom was labor intensive and his first attempts were simple negative and chrome sandwiches followed by multiple exposures.)

Then came the digital revolution. He no longer needed 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. Lubas retired in 2001 to pursue a career in fine art photography and photo illustration.

One of Lubas’ 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, public libraries and galleries in Southern California, Washington state, Chicago, Ill., and Santa Fe New Mexico

As a result of his work with the Native American community he was honored by a Chumash spiritual leader in a sacred naming ceremony with the name “True Eyes” during a William S. Hart Powwow in Newhall where he sits on the board of directors and his work is shown each year. Presidents, Vice Presidents and Hollywood celebrities are among those who have acquired his work. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Press Photographs Association of Greater Los Angeles, and the Board of Directors of Sarvey Wildlife Center, Arlington, Washington. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the William S. Hart Powwow held each September.



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