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Famous photographer John Fielder dies 3 weeks after History Colorado exhibit opens displaying life’s work

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado is mourning the loss of nationally renowned nature photographer John Fielder.

Fielder died with loved ones by his side on Friday at the age of 73.

The History Colorado Center had just opened an exhibit showcasing his work last month. FOX31 was able to interview Fielder at that time.

The most important thing about this exhibit in my repository is beauty. That people get to look at the photographs and that they, like me, realize that we are living in the most beautiful place on earth. A state called Colorado,” Fielder said.

Fielder told FOX31 that he was battling pancreatic cancer during the interview.

He went on to give Governor Polis a personal tour and never skipped a beat.

“I came to Colorado in the late 60’s, became a businessman, but then I started backpacking and learned the mountains were for me, especially the Rocky Mountains,” Fielder said. “In 1982 I quit my fairly high-paying job in the department store business to become a nature photographer.”

He donated more than 7,500 of his photos to History Colorado to be displayed in an exhibit called “Revealed: John Fielder’s favorite place.”

That place was The Weminuche Wilderness Area in the southwestern part of the state. He believed it was one of the best photos he ever took.

The exhibit chronicles the days of meticulous planning and hiking it took for that picture.

That photo would be the focal point of the exhibit that the center began to put together quickly because of Fielder’s diagnosis.

“He shared that with us even though he did not want to share that publicly at the time. For that reason, we knew we had to work quickly,” History Colorado president and CEO Dawn DiPrince said.

The efforts worked and allowed Fielder to see the exhibit come to fruition. Three weeks later, he died.

“I feel like the universe had a hand in making sure that all of this could happen while John was still with us,” DiPrince said.

Among the last photos Fielder was able to take a few weeks ago was some of the Gore Range where he lived, History Colorado said.

One more gift from a legendary photographer who helped persevere some of Colorado’s most beautiful landscapes.

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