Like many of us in rural Colorado, Jake Niece works two jobs to fund and fuel his first love, photography, which he's also parlayed into a third job.
"Fire and Ice," the works of the wildland firefighter and photographer, are on display through Feb. 27 at Pine River Valley Bank in Bayfield.
Niece is an engineer-turned-firefighter originally from Greeley who now works in Telluride. In addition to his wildland firefighting, he works on snowmaking crews in the winter. Some of the photographs of his "ice" work captures the creation of "whales," the large drifts formed by snowmaking machinery. At an artist reception at the bank on Feb. 13, Niece explained it can be difficult juggling photography and firefighting while he is on a wildland job. He gets most of his shots with a Sony camera, not a top-of-the-line model, because the big cameras are too bulky to carry with his firefighting equipment.
Niece's work was featured in the online version of National Geographic in November. He was one of two firefighters and one freelance photographer chosen for the prestigious website.
More of his work, as well as a link to the National Geographic feature, can be viewed at www.jakeniece.com.