Samuel Fee’s photography emerges from his interests in archaeology and digital media, both fields in which he conducts research and teaches. While these two fields might seem disparate—one very old and the other very new—they both illuminate how human beings have sought to act upon their environment. Fee’s photography traces these activities and records their effects on the natural world, particularly as reflected in landscapes and textures.
Specifically, Fee’s photography is designed to challenge two common misperceptions: the first is that the desert is a lifeless and bleak landscape, and the second is that the landscape is still and without narrative. On the contrary, the desert is full of life, but that life takes different—and one might argue, more dazzling—forms from what many viewers might expect. And the sudden emergence of those forms provides an action in the narrative that landscape photography can tell.
More recently, Fee’s work has served as an exercise in Conservation Photography, with a focus on telling stories with pictures about the relationships humans have with nature. Conservation Photography is a relatively new movement that serves to further the social goal of preserving the environment as well as producing powerful imagery.
Fee attended the Ohio State University, graduating with degrees in ancient history, archaeology and technology along with a Ph.D. in educational technology. At Ohio State, Fee cultivated interests in classical archaeology and worked extensively with the OSU Excavations at Isthmia in Greece. His dissertation, The Construction of Knowledge from Multimedia Applications, explored the ways in which students learn about archaeology through multimedia materials—thus anticipating the focus of Fee’s photography, which seeks to capture images that are instructive, as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Fee has been teaching undergraduates for seventeen years, and is currently tenured at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA near Pittsburgh. At W&J, Fee enjoys the blend of artistic production, technical development, and student interaction that characterize his daily activities. Dr. Fee’s artwork has been displayed through solo shows, group shows, and juried exhibitions throughout the United States and Canada. He also holds photo credits in various texts, magazines, and internet publications.