Issue No. 47
The Creative Journey
Last year, iconoclastic photographer James Fee was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he kept on working despite the hardships. Writer and friend Dean Brierly tagged along as Fee this fall took a series of final road trips. (News of Fee’s passing reached us just a few days before this issue went to press.)
Best known for his Rephotographic Survey Project, in which he traveled into the Western wilderness to reshoot the canyons and cliffs first captured by the 19th-century expedition photographers, he has long made time the subject of his work—his latest series is titled Time Studies. We are pleased to bring to readers a selection of his new work.
He went on a photography expedition to Mexico in 1953, when he was still in his late teens. Now, 50 years later, he’s finally printing his long-forgotten negatives.
Growing up in an Italian village by the Adriatic Sea. Today, living in New York, he is still drawn to the sea and the shore.
This Toronto-based photographer, who focuses on document-ing the joyful and rhythmic entanglements of people dancing their hearts out around the world, was inspired to embark on her quest after hearing the music of the Buena Vista Social Club, the delightful movie filmed in Cuba.
Daring a bone-chilling minus-20-degree Yellowstone morning, he finally managed to capture the kind of winter images he had long visualized.
At first inspired by Ansel Adams and others of the classical “straight” tradition, he changed direction when he encountered the work of Czech photographer Josef Sudek, of whom he says: “There was never a better poet with the camera.” After initial emulation, this Las Vegas-based photographer now walks his own path.
After a successful career as a commercial photographer with clients in Hawaii and Florida, he longed to return to his first love: black and white fine art photography.
He roams the world with his 4×5 camera, approaching his travels without expectations and agenda. He’s in love with people and life. A day that yields no printable negatives is never lost if he has met someone he can talk to and glean insight into their world.
Two decades ago, he shot a series of starkly abstract nudes, using long exposures and a homemade lamp, but was never able to make prints he was happy with—until now, using digital technology.
“I go out photographing not knowing what I’m going to shoot,“ he says. “It’s like panning for gold, hoping to find something. And sometimes you do hit a nugget.“