John Fielder’s lifetime of Colorado photography can now be viewed online | Lifestyle


Anyone at home can now view the vast and varied beauty of Colorado through the eyes of the state’s most celebrated landscape photographer.

History Colorado on Tuesday announced it had finished digitizing, cataloging and organizing a repository of more than 6,500 images of John Fielder’s illustrious career spanning close to 50 years. History Colorado had previously announced Fielder donating his life’s work in hopes of inspiring an appreciation of nature and climate action.

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The photos found on the John Fielder’s Colorado Collection webpage can be pulled for private and commercial use. The site includes curated lists for viewers to explore the mountains and plains of every county in the state just as Fielder did.

For decades, the photos have been seen in coffee table books and across walls of homes and offices everywhere. That includes the office of Gov. Jared Polis.

“This photograph is a constant reminder of the natural wonders found in our state, which generations of conservationists, lawmakers and everyday people have fought to protect for the enjoyment of future generations,” Polis said in a news release. “This collection, and the exhibitions that will come from it, are a chance for us to celebrate John and all he has accomplished, but more importantly, to honor the legacy he has created and the gift he is giving to the people of Colorado.”

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Later this summer, History Colorado expects to open an exhibit at its downtown Denver center affording a more intimate journey through Fielder’s career. Much of that career has been dedicated to conservation; Fielder has always sought lands and waters to photograph and show to lawmakers in charge of protection.

The collection “is a profound opportunity for Coloradans to see the breathtaking vistas that define the Centennial State,” History Colorado Executive Director Dawn DiPrince said in the news release, “and evaluate if the relationship we have with the land will allow for our grandchildren to experience the same wonders.”

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Upon the announcement of his donation, Fielder in an interview explained how he had seen landscapes change since he started photographing in the 1970s. In a life that saw him lose his wife to illness and son to suicide, Fielder described the loss of nature as heartbreaking as well.

“It’s like losing a wife and son, you think about them every day,” he said. “So too do I think about the impact humans have on Earth and what it’s going to be like here.”

In preparation for the donation, sifting through tens of thousands of files from his pre- and post-digital camera days gave him that reflection. It has been a deep time of reflection for Fielder, 72.

After months of quietly battling pancreatic cancer, he recently went public with the diagnosis.

One “incredible asset to (organizing the collection) is I revisited all these places that have defined my life, the most sublime places in Colorado,” Fielder said in a previous Gazette interview. “That was an incredible treat.”

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He thought back to his father from his North Carolina childhood. He remembered the man for volunteering and raising money for charitable causes.

“He was a man who believed you have to give back to your community,” Fielder said. “I’ve been able to give back to my community, and I feel like no matter what happens to me, I’ve achieved all of my goals.”