Tim Ernst is Arkansas's Wilderness Photographer. He has been hiking, driving and crawling around the wonderful Ozark Mountains for most of his life, preserving the images he sees on film for everyone to enjoy. His photographs have appeared in hundreds of national, regional and local publications. Some of his credits include National Geographic, Audubon, Backpacker, Outside, Outdoor Photographer, American Hiker, Natural History, Country, Chevy Outdoors, and Arkansas Times magazines, Sierra Club and Hallmark calendars, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service maps and brochures, Readers Digest Books, and The New York Times. Much of his time these days is spent teaching digital photography workshops in the Buffalo River wilderness.
Tim has also been a long-time outdoorsman and hiker. He founded and was the president of the Ozark Highlands Trail Association for 28 years. This organization, with members in 25 states and five foreign countries, has contributed 350,000 hours of volunteer labor to the U. S. Forest Service and various local agencies. He was also president of Friends of White Rock, the volunteer organization that has restored and re-opened the Lodge and cabins at White Rock Mountain in the Ozark National Forest. He served on the board of the American Hiking Society (a past vice-Chair), the Arkansas Wilderness Steering Committee, was the Arkansas Coordinator for National Trails Day, Chairman of the Arkansas Trails Council, and served as an advisor for the National Trails Symposium.
He has received many awards for his volunteer service, including the "Volunteer Of The Year" for the nation from the American Hiking Society. He also received a special award from the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service for his contribution of 10,000 hours of volunteer labor, and has been to the White House in Washington twice to accept "Take Pride In America" awards (President Ronald Reagan). In 1995 he received the Henry Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service from then Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker. He has also led adult volunteer vacations to do trail work in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming for five summers.
His backpacking articles have appeared in numerous national publications, and he is the author of more than a dozen hiking trail guidebooks, including The Ozark Highlands Trail Guide, Buffalo River Hiking Trails, Arkansas Hiking Trails (which President Bill Clinton wrote the foreword to), and the Ouachita Trail Guide. His newest guidebooks include the Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook, which details more than 200 great waterfalls all over the state (published with color photos of each falls); and Arkansas Nature Lover's Guidebook, which details 101 great scenic locations all over the state. Tim's wife, Pam, wrote a hiking trail guidebook of her own - along with their daughter, Amber - called Arkansas Dayhikes for Kids and Families, and details easy trails statewide. These books, which have already sold over 100,000 copies nationwide, have contributed to the substantial increase in out-of-state users of the Arkansas' trails system. He received over 10,000 letters and phone calls from just one article alone!
Twenty collections of Tim's wilderness photographs have been published as coffee table picture books - Arkansas Portfolio: Twenty Years of Wilderness Photography (1994), Wilderness Reflections: An Intimate Look at Wild Places in America (1996), Buffalo River Wilderness (with watercolors by William McNamara, 1998), Arkansas Spring: Dogwoods, Waterfalls and Wildflowers (2000), Arkansas Wilderness: My Favorite Photos from the Natural State (2002), Arkansas Portfolio II: Spectacular New Images from The Natural State (2005), Buffalo River Dreams (2006), Arkansas Waterfalls: Scenic Icons of the Natural State (2007), Arkansas Landscapes (2008), Arkansas Wildlife (2009), Arkansas Autumn (2010), Arkansas Portfolio III (2011), Arkansas Landscapes II (2012), Buffalo River Beauty (2013), Arkansas Nightscapes (2014), A Rare Quality Of Light (2015), Arkansas In My Own Backyard (2016), Arkansas Beauty (2017), Arkansas Splendor (2019). and Tim's newest picture book (and his final one), Arkansas Greatest Hits (2020).
Tim has been writing his popular online Cloudland Cabin Journal since 1998 (now titled Little Bluff Journal). In more than 3,000 pages so far he details life in the wilderness, and has readers from all over the world that check in daily to see what he is up to. You can read about the adventures that go into creating his many publications, and see hundreds of great photos too. The entire first year of the Journal is available as a hardcover book - Cloudland Journal ~ Book One.
Each year Tim creates new slide programs of his work and tours them around the region, normally in November and December. These audio-visual programs come to life with moving photos and wonderful music that you really have to experience to believe. These free programs are normally always open to the public, although private showings are available for corporate or convention use. See the program schedule here.
Tim has been teaching photography workshops now for more than thirty years, specializing in digital workflow and fine art printing. His workshops are for all skill levels of photographers and types of cameras. They are held at his print studio and classroom facility, the Tim Ernst Canvas Gallery. (Tim in no longer offering photo workshps.)