As a kid growing up in rural Arkansas, James Wheeler used to roam, wild and free. Scenic Ouachita National Forest surrounded his family’s farm, and he lived down a dirt road – the last house before the forest consumed everything. In the evening, looking over the pastures to the west, spectacular sunsets would fill the sky, sparking imagination and the beginnings of a desire to capture that magic moment that would otherwise quickly fade into darkness and be forgotten. In high school, James served as the yearbook staff photographer. Although the experience behind the camera and in the layout room was good, his focus remained on scenic photography.
In recent years, surrounded by the hills of South Central Pennsylvania, James has rekindled his love of photography, as well as of writing. He has published a semi-autobiographical book of short stories as well as a photobook entitled A Window to my World. He and his wife Robin are founding members of the Susquehanna Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, and together founded Wheel of Light Studio.
I sit outside on a warm summer morning, at one with my world. As all the senses come alive, I taste and smell and touch the dewy air, listen to the mockingbird’s song, and it is with regret that I recognize the limits of my medium, which can only capture a tiny bit of this world. Yet with every photograph, some part of that moment is captured, and an old story is given new life.