Updated Interview With Photographer Cindy Knoke

The Pandemic has changed everyone’s life’s in so many ways that I wanted to check in with Cindy and see how she is coping with the Pandemic and how it has had an impact on her travels.  

I’ve updated the post to include a few more of my favorite photos. 

A little about Cindy’s background.

Cindy is a psychotherapist by training and had a thirty-year career as a therapist and mental health director. She retired early to travel and that is when she started paying more attention to taking photos. On Cindy’s first trip to Africa, I took photos as usual with those throw-away cameras you could buy in drugstores.

My husband was the family photographer and had a decent, but not pricey, Canon camera. He looked at my photos, said they were better than his, gave me his camera, and showed me how it worked…… That is the extent of my photography training. 

How has the Pandemic, from a time and photography standpoint changed your life? 

The pandemic has dramatically changed my life as it has for everyone. Going from traveling 4+ months every year, to being mostly housebound, and taking care of my two-year-old twin grandsons while their parents work, is quite a change. 

How many publications have you been published in and which ones?

My photos do end up all over the place, but I don’t keep track of where. People/magazines and even businesses are good about asking if they can use my photos and I am always pleased when they do. I don’t enter contests or submit to professional journals. Actually, that’s not entirely true, I did enter The Nature Conservancy photo contest about a decade ago when I first started taking photos and made it into the finals which shocked the bejeezus out of me. I was using a really cheap camera!! 😉 Most of my photos are taken with a sony HX 400 which costs under $300.

Have you traveled stateside lately?

We did some limited stateside traveling after we were vaccinated and before the Delta variant messed everything up. We traveled up the California coast and into Oregon. We stayed in the desert. We are renting a beach house at the end of the month with the kids and grand twins, but no travel by plane or out of the US. I miss traveling viscerally. 

How many future trips do you have planned at this time? What are some of the locations you are traveling to? 

Antarctica is still on the books for a return trip in January. It was canceled this year. It looks very unlikely that we will go due to delta, and the fact that many of the countries we would be traveling through are being overwhelmed by covid. I do wonder if/when life will ever return to the way it was before.

Has COVID changed your life? 

I am certainly much closer with my grandsons than I would have been before the pandemic. My daughter and son-in-law relocated their family from The Bay Area and bought a house close to The Holler, and this has been a very positive change for all of us. But there is a lot we all have given up. Just going places locally without considering crowds, distance and safety is a thing of the past.I am glad I live in The Holler because we are surrounded by nature and open space and that is a balm for me. The pandemic has dramatically changed my life as it has for everyone. Going from traveling 4+ months every year, to being mostly housebound, and taking care of my two-year-old twin grandsons while their parents work, is quite a change. 

Previous Interview

Cindy Knoke has traveled the world, to the most unusual off-the-beaten-path places you can imagine. Her photography is a window to the world. I ask Cindy a few questions to learn about her photography background and how she plans for the monumental trips.

At what age did you pick up your first camera? Did the world look different thru the lens?

My first camera was a silly Swinger Polaroid camera which I got at around age 6. It had a jingle associated with it which I loved and remember verbatim today, “Meet the Swinger. Polaroid Swinger. Only 19 dollars and 95! Swing it up. It says Yes! Take the shot. Rip it off.” This was the essence of my photographic knowledge!! Laughing……. Here’s the jingle starring Ali McGraw:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7k2uwJmwxo

I had family members growing up who were talented photographers but I never even thought to be one of them and never had any cameras. In adulthood, my husband, Jim, was our photographer and had good cameras. I used to buy those throw-away cheap plastic cameras at drugstores for trips since I liked taking different photos than he did.

When we retired, we started dedicated chunks of travel time. Jim looked at my photos from the cheap camera, compared them to his, said, that I had something “special,” and gave me his camera a Canon, and showed me the basics on how to work it. That was my introduction to photography and it has been a serious joy in my life ever since. Jim is the person who encouraged and guided me to it for which I remain very grateful. He still encourages me to this day. I am not a trained photographer by any means, definitely self-taught and a hobbyist, not a professional.

What type of camera and software do you use now? 

I use two cameras a Sony HX400 and a Sony RX10 V. I use the 400 the most due to its variable zoom up 1200mm equivalent. I also have a Sony underwater camera which I hope will have a chance to use during our upcoming trip to the Cook Islands.

What software package do you use for editing?

I use Sony Play Memories Home and Windows Photos.You travel extensively, how do you plan for each trip? Jim and I discuss, propose, and agree on where we want to go. We use the internet to do all the research and planning.I propose an itinerary and Jim tweaks it. We devise the modes of transport together although Jim takes the principal role here. I book the accommodations and Jim books the transport. Half of the fun we have in traveling is in the planning. When we are not traveling, we are planning! 

How do you get access to the amazing Cathedrals and the intricacies of others visited? 

We use the internet extensively. We research online before we go, and while we are traveling. Whilst traveling research for each specific locale is key to finding unusual places.  Blogs are excellent travel resources leading us to interesting out-of-the-way places.  Travel is so much more fun when you plan a trip according to your particular interests, and internet resources allow everyone to do this!

Thank you, bloggers!! Your posts improve my travel, and my life too, of course! Bloggers Rock!

You can visit Cindy’s blog at cindyknoke.com

You won’t forget the great places she’s been.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from her extensive collection. 


Please be sure to check out Cindy’s extensive collection of photography and poems on her website.

Happy Snapping!



  1. I am sincerely touched by your thoughtfulness Melinda. The reason I keep on blogging is because of my friendships with lovely people like you. Your blog not only finds the light, it creates and transmits it, to all of us lucky enough to see and read it. Thank you for being a source of light in our lives Melinda & stay safe and well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Cindy for your kind words. I enjoy delving into people lives when there is something others might find intresting and a bit differetn from what I write about everyday on Looking for the Light.My site For the Love of Art is a nice outlet for me since I am seroius art lover and have been lucky enough to travel and see some great museums. Have a great day. 🙂


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