Kelly Countouris will speak on

The Photos and History of John K. Hillers:
First Photographer of the Grand Canyon (1870) and Chief Photographer for the United States Geological Survey

Digital Imagers Meeting

Sunday March 7, 2004 at 1:15, Pitt Scaife Hall Room 1102 Oakland


John K. Hillers (1843-1925), began his photographic career when he accepted the job of boatman in 1871 for Major John Wesley Powell. Hillers accompanied Major Powell, United States Army, on his second expedition of the Colorado River and soon rose from the ranks of boatman to chief photographer. Hillers was the first to photograph the Grand Canyon. His mastery of the wet-plate Collodion process (light on a glass plate coated with collodion and sensitized with nitrate of silver and bathed) recorded numerous images of ethnographic and archaeological value. Through the years he made many series of now classic photographs of the Indians and the geological formations of the Colorado Plateau and the American Southwest. Most of these photos, along with his diary, now reside in the Smithsonian Institution.

Kelly F. Countouris, great-great granddaughter of John Hillers, will give a presentation about his career and share some photos from his private collection. Additionally, Ms. Countouris will bring Hiller’s Diary and other books about him and his works for viewing.

Kelly F. Countouris is a native of the Washington D.C. area who now resides in Zelienople with her husband Mark and two sons. Mrs. Countouris received her B.S. from West Virginia University and her M.S. from Texas A&M University.