Nature photographer John Fielder is passionate about protecting the Colorado ranches, open space, and wildlands he’s been photographing for 40 years. He’s donating 10,000 of his photos, in addition to some of his photography equipment, published books, papers, and an oral history of his time in the wilderness, to the public domain through History Colorado, which keeps photo archives and historic treasures for the state.
“My images represent the sublimeness of the place I think is most beautiful on earth: Colorado,” Fielder says. “However, they represent something else perhaps even more important than their sense of place: They are a record of nature as of 2022.” As global warming continues to alter the earth, Fielder hopes his images will serve as a baseline against which scientists and observers can evaluate that impact over time.
“I have never felt that I owned my photographs, only that I was borrowing these places to explore and record and that I would give them back someday,” he says. “That day has arrived.”
Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.