Jack Fields, Photography


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Jack Fields

  As a young boy in Kansas, Jack Fields dreamed of "far-away places with strange sounding names". After a formal education and a wartime stint in the South Pacific, Fields embarked upon a 50 year career, traveling exotic lands on assignment for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Look, Life, and Saturday Evening Post.

    Before World War II, Fields earned a BS in science from Kansas State College and was planning to teach but was sent to New Guinea with the armed forces where he began taking pictures. He was assigned as a photographer for the Air Force’s Yank Magazine when he contracted tuberculosis and was returned to the U.S. to recuperate. While in a veterans hospital in Colorado Springs, Fields met Dorothy, also a patient and fellow TB sufferer, whom he married in 1948.

    After five years of recuperation, the Fields moved to Los Angeles where Jack attended the Art Center College of Design while his wife enrolled in a writing school. As an art student, he sold his first photos to Look. Completing studies, the Fields traveled to Europe contracting with various publishers and then returned to photograph in the USA and South Pacific. Because the South Pacific continued to lure Fields, he now has one of the world’s largest collections of color photographs of that area. His work has filled twelve photobooks, including "South Pacific", beautifully produced with text by his wife, Dorothy.

    Fields was the first photojournalist to report on Micronesia after it became a U.S. Trust at the end of WWII. He shot the laser beam at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center which is being released as a commemorative stamp in August, 1999. In the late 1970s, Fields served for three years as Visiting Professor at San Jose State University where he pioneered a "no-nonsense" approach to photography, a subject that has often been presented as "pure art" at many universities.

    Fields’ photographs are preserved in the Corbis files, Bill Gates’ agency that stores photos, art, letters and manuscripts on digital discs for worldwide distribution. Fields was founding chairman of the Bay Area chapter of the American Society of Magazine Photographers. Jack and Dorothy Fields reside in Placerville, California.




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