John Fielder's latest book was 1.8 billion years in the making. Rather, it is the subject matter that took nearly 2 billion years to form. Mountain Ranges of Colorado (Westcliffe Publishing, $75) is the prolific photographer's latest endeavor, a gorgeous, massive book of photography covering 28 mountain ranges in Colorado, from the Flat Tops to the Spanish Peaks and the San Miguel Mountains. A nationally renowned photographer, nature advocate, teacher and publisher, Fielder will appear at the Ute Pass Cultural Center tonight at 6:30 and at All Souls Unitarian Church on Tuesday, Nov. 9, to present a slide show and sign his new book. The event will benefit the Pikes Peak chapter of the Sierra Club.
Fielder spent 15 years collecting the materials that would eventually become Mountain Ranges. To capture the massive-scope scenic photos that he is known for, Fielder lugged 65 pounds of large-format camera equipment on his back or with the help of a llama.
Many of his other books are focused on wildflowers and trees, and while Mountain Ranges does include flora and fauna, it focuses mainly on what may be found above tree line. The book is lush with vibrant color, with over 200 photographs, each jaw dropping. It's a great follow-up to Fielder's "big brown book," Colorado: 1870-2000, which has the distinction of being the best-selling Colorado book ever.
"It's the most effort I've ever put into a book. People say all the time to me, 'I love your book [Colorado: 1870-2000],' but that book is purely from a historical perspective," said Fielder. "My heart is in nature. Of all the Earth's ecosystems that I've visited, the alpine zone of the Southern Rockies is by far my favorite."
The book also explains Colorado's geologic formations, nearly reading like a textbook. Luckily, Fielder usually gets chatty about the places he loves, dispensing plenty of anecdotes about his travels. The book's publication also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964, with Fielder expressing the need to keep Colorado's wild and open spaces, well, wild and open.
-- Kara Luger
capsule John Fielder will show slides and sign Mountain Ranges of Colorado
Thursday, Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m. Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland, Woodland Park Free 575-0976
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. All Souls Unitarian Church, 730 N. Tejon St. Free 520-5381