Images of Fire

The Photographers:

Dustin Bradford moved to Durango in 1995. He has been working as a photojournalist for 3 years and is a senior at Fort Lewis College. “What affected me most while photographing the Missionary Ridge fire was the humbling responsibility of being part of the community's link to the incredible disaster. I saw that fire destroy my playground and affect my friends, and neighbors. Being one of the people to tell it's day-to-day story was an unforgetable experience. I feel for the people who were powerless to protect their lives and homes from the fire, and am honored to offer my views of it to help them.”

Brian Capalbo is a freelance photographer living in Bayfield,CO. He is the district photographer and a firefighter for the Upper Pine Fire Protection District.

I grew up in Texas and started my photography career at 16 shooting for my high school yearbook and newspaper. I then advanced to shooting for Reuters News Service covering many different professional sporting events. Wanting to expand my portfolio in natural beauty, I moved to Vail Colorado and have been fortunate to photograph this beautiful state for many publications, magazines and advertisements. After 10 years in Vail, my family and I moved to Durango last year. Unfortunately our house sits in the middle of the Missionary Ridge fires in Sierra Verde Estates at Lemon Reservoir. My Photos start from the first hours of the fire to the total devastation of Tweens subdivision. Hope you enjoy my front row seat to this Monumental fire of 2002.

My childhood interests were in the same things I surround myself with today, and this led to a master's degree and work in the fields of zoology and archaeology. Luckily, I also discovered photography, which became another passion. These interests eventually merged and evolved into my career as a photographer, writer and guide.My work has appeared in calendars, posters, and numerous publications including "SIERRA", "BACKPACKER", "WILDERNESS", "BUGLE", "WILDLIFE CONSERVATION", "OUTDOORS", TIME/LIFE BOOKS, THE NEW YORK TIMES, and many others. "AMONG THE ASPEN", published by Northland Press, features my photographs along with the writing of friend and naturalist David Petersen, and my book "ONE DRIVE IN A MILLION, published by Desert Dolphin Press, is a guide to the San Juan Skyway of Southwest Colorado.

Nancy Richmond has been a photojournalist for the past 20 years, beginning at a large, daily paper in New Jersey, and now working for the Herald for the past five. She shoots stock photography for four stock agencies, and does hand-colored black & white portraits which have been exhibited in Durango.

After visiting this area several times to photograph the landscape, Ralph Shearer moved to Durango in 1998 to take over ownership and operation of Southern Lights Photographic. Since aquiring the business he has upgraded the equipment to include automated film and print processors and has expanded services, offering darkroom supplies and film intended primarily Ralph worked with the Forest Service to document the work of its’ employees during the fires this summer.

Photojournalist Shaun Stanley, 39 has worked for The Denver Post for 14 years, previously working for newspapers in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. The last two years he has been based in Durango Colorado covering the Southwestern United States. His experience includes extensive foreign news coverage including famine in Africa, political upheavel in the former Soviet Union and Cuba, and social documentary work in Mexico and Europe. This past year his work has included coverage of the war on terror from the flight deck of the USS Enterprise, Eygpt, Israel to the West Bank and Gaza. He and his wife Kelli were evacuated from their home during the Valley fire.

Brett moved to Durango in 1993. A old camera given to him by his mother after college provided him with a new passion and ultimately, a profession. A member of the team at Imagesmith, his interest is photographing Wilderness. “ Disasters like the Missionary Ridge fire make a person take note of all the little things, taking them less for granted and and realize the fragility of life.”

In 1971 Robert hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. By completing this 2000+-mile journey, he became just the 36th person to have walked the entire trail continuously in one year. Along the way, Robert carried an old Argus C-3 camera that he borrowed from his grandfather. It had no light meter so Robert wrote down all of his exposures in a notebook so that he could learn the best camera settings for different light conditions. Upon completion of the Trail, Rodale Press contacted Robert to contribute to a book called "Hiking the Appalachian Trail". One of his photos appeared on the cover of the second volume along with thirteen other photos on the inside.

While Robert was completing his graduate work in biology, he entered a photo contest run by Nikon and won a fourth place. Later, while teaching Wilderness Studies at Idaho State University, Robert entered one photo in the National Wildlife Cover Photo Contest and won the grand prize out of over 10,000 entries. While at ISU, Robert took photography courses in the Art and Journalism departments. At this time, he also began teaching nature photography classes.

Since moving to Durango in 1981, Robert has been a full time freelance nature photographer. His work has appeared in many books, magazines and on many gift items and in as many as 20 different calendars in one year. Thousands of publication credits include: AUDUBON, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WORLD, NEWSWEEK, NEW YORKER, OUTSIDE, SIERRA AND WORLD WILDLIFE FUND. His photos have been used in national ad campaigns by such diverse entities as AMTRAK, THE NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, PHILLIPS PETROLEUM, SERENGETI and THE DETROIT TIGERS BASEBALL CLUB. Two of his photos can even be seen on the tails of FRONTIER AIRLINERS. Since 1989, Robert has lead photographic tours to special locations around the world.