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Read this brief article by Malia Wollan about my research on "lament" that recently appeared in the New York Times Magazine. 

Go now to my Amazon author's page, which includes a link to my new (summer 2017) textbook introducing linguistic anthropology, called Culture and Communication: An Introduction.


The first photo I remember taking was of a mother hummingbird sitting on her nest outside our  front door, when I was 16 and living in California. A year later, I got my first taste of serious birdwatching while living in Connecticut with my aunt and uncle and their daughters, but somehow it didn’t “take.”

It wasn't until 2005 that I took up birding again. A sense of relationship with birds — and more recently insects and flowers — now provides the energy for my photography. Beyond that energy, I owe much of my knowledge to my wife Sarah Wilce and to photographer Stephen Bruno, whose work you can find here on SmugMug.

In addition to the pleasure I find in my photography, I have a rewarding career as a linguistic anthropology professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. My research involves studying language as a cultural resource and exploring different cultural ways of communicating. 

I am privileged to have two daughters and a granddaughter. I sometimes write poetry and sing in the local symphonic chorus.

By the way, most of the photos you'll find in these galleries I have taken in northern Arizona and represent an attempt to capture the riches of this area. That is the reason I devote a special folder ("Beyond Northern Arizona") to photos from southern Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, and (hopefully in the not too distant future) Australia and Europe.

One final note… I have noticed in the past months a particular photographic vision emerging. I look for couplings, juxtapositions. The most basic and universal is between some subject and the light that strikes it, is reflected by it, is absorbed by it, etc. But I try to capture pairings of all sorts in my photographs.

Enjoy, comment— join the dance!

Love and the Camera’s Eye

Love is that

which strains to see what’s loved.

For birders it may mean

a wait while staring,

knowing the shrub or tree

with leaves dense,

hides what for now he loves

He’s fickle as they come.

He sees the goldfinch in the picture made,

a file of digits — zeros, ones —

grabs intimacy (not the bird).

The photo fires feeling

like being inches from the subject’s face.

It takes his breath so by surprise

a gasp there comes, though trapped inside

This bird whose call a cry,

a whimper, this

is but the signal,

turning lover’s eye,

which burns with effort

‘til finding her in bush.

There’s she!

but with a partner ‘ready!

The birder, not all shameless

keeps his distance, waiting long

as though her turn-ed gaze

were all the love he might e’r need.

Led by her sound,

bewitched by color,

too far for smell, yet

close he falls under her spell.

And in the end the camera’s all that tells:

“Love … the name we give the effort."

© Jim Wilce 2015