James Valentine is a visionary naturalist, photographer, artist, poet, speaker and filmmaker whose works have helped preserve millions of acres in the heart of wild lands. He coordinates his photography with leading nature and cultural organizations throughout the Americas. He has published fifteen large-format photography publications featuring some of the best natural history fine art photographic coverage of the southeastern U.S. He is in mid-production on his sixteenth publication of fine art wilderness photography depicting new scientific discoveries in the Guiana Shield, South America.
Through his photographic explorations, Valentine is considered one of the most notable photographers in the South. He has journeyed deep into old growth forests, isolated marshlands and pristine seashores with his exquisite eye and large format cameras to develop fine art photography books and collections of images that celebrate both the unusual beauty of the southern lands as well as the urgent need to preserve them.
He founded and is president of the Quest Foundation, now celebrating its 50th Anniversary. For over five (5) decades James Valentine has working hard to preserve and celebrate wild lands using arts and sciences. His fine art ecosystem photography has been showcased in museums, cultural centers and in major health care facilities. He has spent a lifetime building an exemplary collection representing environmental fine art large, medium and small format photography.
Presidential Library Commission
Valentine was commissioned to produce four albums exploring the Georgia wilderness landscape called The Presidential Photographic Portfolios. They are housed in the archives of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. These portfolios explore the cultural and ecological importance of wilderness Georgia from the mountains to the coast.
The exhibition: Guale: The Golden Coast of Georgia was developed and shown at the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia. At the time it was considered the largest environmental art, scientific and natural sound exhibition of its kind in the country. The scientific based photographic research, book and exhibition brought attention to the establishment and importance of the Cumberland Island National Seashore Park and the preservation of many of Georgia’s coastal river systems, estuaries and barrier islands.
The Guale, the Golden Coast of Georgia book and exhibition helped strengthen the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 for the protection of the entire continental U.S. Sponsoring Institutions: State of Georgia / Office of the Governor / Jekyll Island State Park Authority / Georgia Power / Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
In 1988, Guale – The Sacred Landscape was Valentine’s second book that explored and captured the cultural and natural beauty of Georgia’s coast with poetry based text and a Forward by Eugenia Price, Peachtree Publishers: Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1979, Valentine’s book: North Carolina, Volumes I & II, was published by the Graphic Arts Center: Portland, Oregon. Text by Marguerite Schumann. These books are a photographic and scientific exploration of North Carolina’s wilderness starting in the highest mountains in Western North Carolina and ending on the Outer Banks along the coast. Some major cultural landmarks are represented in this publication. Sponsoring Institutions: University of North Carolina / Corporate and Private Sponsors.
In 1991, Southern Light, Valentine’s book on the South was produced by Oxmoor House: Birmingham, Alabama, with nationally known poet, James Dickey. This acclaimed book documents twenty years of Valentine’s exploration into the ecological wilds of the South and covers ten southern states. Sponsoring Institutions: The Nature Conservancy and Private Donations.
In 2011, Valentine coordinated with the University of North Carolina Press to release Southern Appalachian Celebration – In Praise of Ancient Mountains: Old-Growth Forests and Wilderness. Valentine created a stunning collection of the Southern Appalachian large format photographs that present an enduring portrait of the region’s unique natural history. The text is by Appalachian nature writer Chris Bolgiano with an introduction by the late, longtime conservationist Robert Zahner. The book is published by The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
In 2015, Valentine coordinated with Pineapple Press to finalize a series of three books: Florida’s Magnificent Land, Water and Coast. The books are co-authored and text written by D. Bruce Means, PhD. The series of books showcases several decades of exacting large, medium and small format landscape photography and poetry illustrating the best of what Florida has preserved and those places that need protection for future generations. The books are a Pineapple Press Imprint with Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.