Readers of Sunday’s Missoulian will be treated to a four-page spread in our Territory section — as well as 71 photos online — featuring the work and words of longtime photographer Kurt Wilson, who retired this month after 34 years at the newspaper.

Simply put, Wilson’s work is superlative. He’s repeatedly won state, regional and international awards, and a quick scan of the photos we’re featuring shows why. His images capture the heart and soul of our community and our region, in moments both lighthearted and profound. To see them is to feel the instant jolt of recognition—not only for people and places, but of the emotions they evoke.

They’re a testament to the value of strong photojournalism, always a trademark of the Missoulian. Fortunately, that work will be carried on by newly named photo editor Tom Bauer, at the Missoulian since 1990, and Tommy Martino, who joined us in 2015, as well as interns whose training is a vital part of our mission.

Wilson points out that he, Bauer and Martino all are former Missoulian photo interns. His advice to young photojournalists more or less applies to us all: “Be nice; be curious; work from your heart; trust yourself; look outward, not inward; it’s not about you; have a sense of what has come before you in the profession and build on that; work hard; be responsible for your mistakes as well as your successes; the success of a photograph does not always correlate to the amount of time you put into it; and remember, it’s not rocket science.”

And, as always, thank you for supporting local journalism.

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