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San Diego Environmental Photographer Jim Karnik Dies

Jim Karnik poses next to one of his prized cameras in this undated photo

Credit: Jim Karnik Films

Above: Jim Karnik poses next to one of his prized cameras in this undated photo

San Diego lost a noted environmentalist and photographer when Jim Karnik died this week.

Jim Karnik's career as an environmentalist and photographer came to a sudden end this week when he died of a heart attack.

Karnik filmed and photographed all kinds of natural places around the county from vernal pools to riparian habitat in the back-country.

Peter Jensen, president of the Torrey Pines Association, worked with Karnik during the last five years on a series of films that capture the essence of the state reserve.

"I think the remarkable thing about Jim was that he was a talented artist with a camera, but at the same time, he wanted to get a message across. He wanted to protect and preserve this place that we love, called San Diego," Jensen said.

Just a month ago, Karnik worked with a long-time Torrey Pines docent on a film documenting this spring's massive flower bloom. Margaret Filius was always struck by Karnik's patience and his passion.

San Diego Photographer Dies

"I guess it is that love for what he was doing and his eye for what is good," Filius said.

Karnik's work endeared him to a lot of people in San Diego's environmental community.

Many found out about his death from Facebook. A message from his daughter noted Karnik's death this week.

"His contributions to this community and its natural habitats are unmatched. He only showed loved and kindness towards all creatures and wildlife, endlessly working to protect those that could not protect themselves. And his photography and videography will continue to do the work he so loved doing," the statement read.

The images Karnik captured and assembled continue to play inside the park's historic lodge, which will allow people to see the park as he did.

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