On Saturday November 6, 2021, James “Jim” Valentine, loving father of four children and five grandchildren, lost his battle with cancer at the age of seventy-nine.
A native Floridian, Jim grew up in Fort Myers Beach and lived in Tallahassee for 25 years.
Jim was a poet, master photographer, artist, naturalist, explorer, educator, filmmaker, and wild lands advocate. He founded and was president of the non-profit Quest Foundation now celebrating its 50th Anniversary. He was a National Fellow of The Explorers Club.
Considered one of the most extraordinary photographers in the South Jim dedicated his life to preserving and celebrating the Earth’s wild lands through his fine art photography. He leaves so much of his spirit behind in his many books and photographs of the wild places he loved. Through his photographs Jim showcased the unusual beauty of the Southern lands as well as the urgent need to preserve them.
Jim will be best remembered for his large-format fine art photography published in fifteen books including Florida – Images of the Landscape, North Carolina, Volumes I & II, and Southern Light. He was working on his tour-de-force, Islands in the Sky, Lost Worlds of El Dorado, a spectacular photography work showcasing South American table-top mountains where he and his coauthor made four expeditions to a remote and poorly known biodiversity hotspot. Lean more about Jim’s work at QuestFoundation.com.
Jim is survived by his four children Forest Valentine, Philip Valentine, Lisa Valentine and Mark Valentine, and grandchildren Kailee Evamarie Valentine Smith, Sterling Valentine-Hewitt, April Hansen, Faye Valentine, and Isaiah Edgar-Valentine. He was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Joseph Manson and Elizabeth May Valentine.
A Celebration of Jim’s life will take place in the coming spring.