Articles by James Kay
Perhaps you were channel-surfing with me a couple years ago when I stumbled across a fascinating special about a team of underwater photographers working to document the prolific underwater habitat surrounding Cocos Island off the coast of Central America.
Beginning in the early 1990s, I set out to explore and photograph every nook and cranny of the canyon country across southern Utah, from the volcanic highlands of the Aquarius Plateau to the remote backcountry of the Dirty Devil Canyons.
Even before Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon were established as national parks, their marvelous landscapes attracted photographers with an undiminished magnetism. When I began my photography career back in 1980, I soon realized that my home in the mountains of northern Utah provided me with an ideal location.
When I began to turn my photographic efforts toward capturing landscape images of the American West 17 years ago, it seemed as if there was no virgin territory left. At first, I felt obliged to search out those iconic photographic overlooks from the Grand Canyon to the Grand Tetons, but I soon became frustrated as I found myself jockeying for position at even the most remote backcountry locations with hordes of other photographers. As I ventured farther and farther off the beaten path in search of new places, I began to discover locations in the West where I had the opportunity to create images where no photographer had previously deployed a tripod.
To photograph colorful fall foliage, the conventional wisdom says go to New England, but for photographer James Kay,no place is better in autumn than the American West. Kay, who makes his home in Salt Lake City, has photographed the mountain west for almost 25 years, and he still relishes its grand vistas of vivid autumn color.