Professional Photography College Faculty Deliver the Knowledge You Need

The faculty of the Professional Photography program consists of two full-time faculty members in addition to its adjunct faculty. Full-time and adjunct faculty members are working photographers specializing in a variety of photographic disciplines.

Derek Johnston, Professor and Program Director

Derek Johnston is the program director for the photography program in the Isaacson School at Colorado Mountain College. Derek’s fine art landscape work has been exhibited and collected throughout the United States including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL. He has been honored with a Colorado Council on the Arts Grant in Visual Arts and is included in the critically acclaimed anthology, Photography’s Multiple Roles: Art, Market, Document, Science, published by the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Derek’s work is inspired by the beauty and complexity of the natural world. The product of this inspiration has various manifestations. Portfolios include traditional landscapes, studies in natural history, and conceptual works based on landscape issues and natural forms. Derek is no stranger to adventure and has spent over two decades wandering and exploring wild places in search of images and inspiration.

Derek matured as a photographer in the age of film and still uses traditional photographic processes on certain portfolios. With his Fourteener project, Derek took on the arduous task of photographing all of Colorado’s fourteen thousand foot peaks with a 4×5 view camera and black and white film. A sense of idealism and commitment to revealing more than just the geography of these majestic mountains resulted in over 15 years of climbing and photographing. Working in all seasons with extremely variable weather conditions, Derek has spent countless days upon end in high places waiting for the perfect combinations of light and weather.

Derek was awarded CMC Spring Valley Faculty of the Year in 2015. He is a member of the Society for Photographic Education and the American Society for Media Photographers.

Joseph Gamble, Photography

Joseph Gamble is a professor of photography in the Isaacson School at Colorado Mountain College. He holds an MFA from the Savannah College of Art Design and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College. His work is included in numerous private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has been exhibited at the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Gallery 501, the SNAP Orlando Photography Festival and was recently featured in Denver’s Month of Photography. He was awarded a Telly Award in 2009 and received an Artist Grant in 2013 from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County.

Prior to committing to the classroom full time, Joseph was a professional photographer with work appearing in newspapers, magazines and web sites including The Christian Science Monitor, CNN, Fortune, Garden & Gun, MSNBC,, Nature, NY Times, Photo District News and USA Today. He is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, the Explorers Club, the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for Photographic Education.

See portfolio at

Klaus Kocher, Photography

Klaus Kocher is a photojournalist and adjunct professor in the Isaacson School at Colorado Mountain College. He holds an MFA in Photography from Ohio University along with a Bachelors in Business and Bachelors in Food Technology from Iowa State. He has won numerous awards with the Denver Photographic Society, was a finalist in the Gordon Parks Photography Competition and recently received honorable mention in the Rotary International Photography contest.

Before coming to the Roaring Fork Valley, he worked as a contract photographer for United Press International (UPI) and The Associated Press (AP) in Iowa, the Centerville-Bellbrook Times, the Kettering-Oakwood Times, and the Troy Daily Times in Ohio. While living in Denver after graduate study, he worked at the Camera Obscura Gallery with his mentor Hal Gould. Klaus continues to shoot as a freelance photographer based in Glenwood Springs. He is always traveling the world with camera in hand and loves to teach darkroom photography.

Klaus was awarded CMC Spring Valley Adjunct Faculty of the year in 2015.

See newspaper profile and video: Klaus Kocher focuses a wide lens on the world. Produced by Isaacson School graduates working at the Post Independent.


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