I would like to introduce myself, the man behind the lens of Bear Naked Photography, my name is Jeff Johnson. I was born and raised in Texas where I have lived most of my life. Simply raised by down-to-earth, practical parents. I was taught to appreciate the little things in life. That has grown with me into a passion for photography, nature, wildlife, & history.
I am a Type 1 diabetic who was diagnosed as such, at 3 years of age. This diagnosis effected every aspect of my life. As a child and then a teen with a misunderstood disease, I felt awkward and shy. This disease has caused not only pain and suffering, but made me retreat into books and magazines. This is ultimately where my love for photography began. I read National Geographic and admired the amazing photographs presented within, of far away places, exotic plants, and majestic wild animals. These photographs inspired me to pick up the camera so I could show others the beauty in nature as I see it.
As I have grown and my diabetes has progressed it has changed my vision. This change known as retinal detachment has caused what I see to not only be distorted but blurry. I have undergone five surgeries in an attempt to restore my vision. As of now I am still legally blind. Looking through the camera lens, my subject matter is not crisp nor clear. I can enhance the image with my camera equipment and produce clear crisp photographs. I choose not to do this because I want to show what diabetics face as this disease robs us of our vision.
As you will see in my gallery, I intentionally take and produce blurry distorted photographs to show there is still beauty to behold with damaged eyes. My perspective, through diabetic eyes, is a unique look at the magnificent world around us. I am always able to find and see the simple elegant beauty within nature. A bright flower or a glowing sunset helps to ease the depression brought on by my disease. Capturing that beautiful aide for others to share, is another way I battle and survive.
I have always been a history buff, intrigued by discovering the reasons why our forefathers did certain things in the manner they did. Learning the dates, names and events of historical value that shaped not only this great nation but our entire world is a true pleasure. Those things are significant to bringing history alive. Growing up in Texas and now living in the Bear Lake area of Idaho fuels this intrigue. My interest in old west history & native American heritage has grown even more. This area is along the Oregon Trail and therefore allows me to photograph historical sites. I have found the perfect way to make a living in this great community as a Wagonmaster at the National Oregon California Trail Center. I give guided living history tours of this section of the trail.
Many traveled the trail and there are numerous opportunities for exploring and learning the sites they camped and lived. This helps me to blend my passions for history and nature with photography.
With this website and my photographs I wish to educate you about this disease and be an advocate for you to understand a few of the struggles the diabetics you come in contact with may face. We are not drug users, over eaters of sweets and sugars, contagious, or freaks. We are in pain, depressed, frustrated, and fighting every day.
I hope everyone visiting my site and looking at my photographs can appreciate the beauty that I see and try to convey through these photographs.