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About Nicholas DeVore III

Nicholas DeVore III (April 24, 1949 – May 16, 2003) was born in Paris in 1949 and moved to Aspen in 1960. “NDV3” as he was fondly known, was a freelance photographer in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s who traveled the world working for National Geographic, Fortune, Life, and GEO magazines. 

A charismatic student, DeVore graduated as class president from Aspen High School, where he played hockey and ski jumped for the Aspen Ski Club. He graduated from Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School, and worked as a wilderness ranger, soloing for days in the backcountry. DeVore received his first camera when he was 19. An avid hunter and marksman, he had a natural eye that transitioned from gun sites to camera lens. After studying briefly at Colorado Mountain College and Aspen's Center of the Eye, Nicholas practiced his outdoor photography while working for the US Forest Service. In 1972 DeVore caught the attention of Robert Gilka, director of photography at National Geographic from 1963-1985, and DeVore landed a career start as the Geographic’s youngest contributor. 

Physical and technical prowess proved him a go-to for arduous photojournalistic assignments including South Pacific canoeing with celestial navigators in the tradition of Polynesian seafarers on the Hokūle’a canoe from Hawaii to Tahiti,  Arctic dog sledding, and Trekking Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary.

Bob Gilka commissioned DeVore to the Wind River Range in Wyoming’s Bitterroot-Wind River National Wilderness to cover the National Outdoor Leadership School where Nicholas had to accomplish technical climbs and framed shots high atop rock faces. 

An inveterate traveler, Nicholas crisscrossed the globe. A thirst for adventure, even while working, led to exploits such as entering the private world of geisha training in Kyoto, Japan, eating camel meat in the Sahara, being shipwrecked in the Sea of Cortez, flying in illegal airspace in the Himalayas, scaling New York landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Chrysler Building, and perilously descending a Colorado Fourteener during a surprise blizzard. 

DeVore was acknowledged as an excellent technical photographer, yet it was the way he embraced cultures and provoked people that made his work stand out. His focus on international destinations – landscapes, people and culture – continues to draw admirers and followers. 

A signature expression of his style, subject matter and viewpoint remains the book Village Japan: the Four Seasons of Shimukappu, photographed in Shimukappu, Hokkaido. Sam Abell, a staff photographer at National Geographic for 33 years, said DeVore was the most charismatic and flamboyant character he ever came across. "Even though ‘adventure travel’ didn't exist then, he would have been its primary photographer." 

His work exploited vivid color and advanced in-camera techniques such as double and triple exposures. His style sometimes countered traditional travel and adventure photography standards as he promoted impressionistic images created by “huffing” or fogging the camera lens with his breath and using natural settings such as water, rain, condensation, glass, etc. to frame and artfully distort the picture. 

In 1985, DeVore opened Galerie FotoArte and showcased fine art from other Geographic photographers and his own growing artistic and abstract body of work. He acquired portfolios from other well-known artists such Ernst Haas, a friend and strong influence. 

DeVore was a principal founding member of Photographers/Aspen, a consortium of photographers with artistic talent and assignment sense who captured daring action, serene beauty, seasons of nature, and celebration of humanity. DeVore was also represented by photo agencies in New York, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, and numerous works are in private collections worldwide. 

Nicholas died in Bisbee, Arizona in 2003.

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SnowlightArts Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!

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