Photo by C. Joseph Gough 2000

John Charles Woods has been photographing for over 40 years. His personal work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and Europe. This includes more than 50 one-man exhibitions and group shows. Public collections of Woods' photographs include the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Center for Creative Photography, The Polaroid Corporation, the Oriental Photo Corporation collection, the Ansel Adams Archives, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Helmut Gernsheim collection, the University of Alaska and the Photographic Art Museum in Australia.

Woods has produced four limited-edition portfolios and several limited-edition posters of his work. He is the author of two textbooks on the craft of photography The Zone System Craft Book and the unpublished View Camera Craft Book. Woods' definitive biography of photographer Brett Weston, A Restless Eye, was released in July 2011. Other writings include a memoir of Woods' association with photographer Brett Weston that is featured in Ken Markus' 2003 publication Dune - The Sand Dune Photographs of Edward and Brett Weston. He also authored Ansel Adams, Cave Photographer for Lois Mannos' 2009 book Visions Underground: Carlsbad Caverns through the Artist’s Eye. Woods was the recipient of the National Speleological Society's 2012 Spelean Arts and Letters award.

Woods in a New Mexico Cave

Photo by Jenny Kuo 2004

Woods is a noted cave explorer with numerous first descent credits in the United States and Mexico. He was film editor and crew member on three documentary films on cave exploration and has been a caving consultant for feature pictures, documentary films and television productions. As a Fellow of The National Speleological Society, he teaches climbing and rescue techniques on a national level. He has been an avid cave photographer since 1966. In June 2004 Woods released On Three! An Introduction To Digital Photography For Cavers, the first interactive CD-ROM on digital cave photography and the definitive publication on the subject.

Woods has devoted much of his life to the conservation of natural resources and biota worldwide. His efforts include lectures throughout the United States, coordinating photo monitoring projects, surveys and gating projects for the National Park Service, the California State Forest Service, the California State Park System and the National Forest Service.

John Charles Woods 2009

Woods has served as an consultant for the National Caves and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in Carlsbad, New Mexico and as a technical consultant during the planning and establishment of comprehensive climbing plans for Joshua Tree National Monument and Pinnacles National Monument. His work has been featured in American Caves magazine, the publication of The American Cave Conservation Association. Woods has written numerous articles on cave exploration and cave conservation. He is also recognized as an expert in the field of vertical techniques and has written numerous articles on the subject.

Woods holds both BA and MA degrees in photography from California State University Long Beach. He was born in 1952 in California and still resides there.




Contact information

John Charles Woods

5192 Huntswood Cir.

La Palma, CA 90623

(714) 739-4514

Send an email to John Charles Woods