Jes Lee

Lake Superior Project

I am a photographer, documenting memories of our landscapes. I photograph what we leave behind on this earth, what appears, what disappears, and what remains. Using my camera I document our fragile home, witness the changes, and attempt to tell her story.


Much of my work focuses on water. Our bodies of water hold memory of the space they occupy, how it has changed over the centuries, how the surroundings change. They hold the memory of our footprints on this earth, the memories of centuries of inhabitants within and without.


In this project I document a year of the water’s memories. Lake Superior’s was the first body of water I photographed, stopping at four locations along the north shore. These photographs were taken with medium format film from the same vantage points at Canal Park, Brighton Beach, Gooseberry Falls, and Tettegouche State Park. I photographed each location once per month from May 2018 through May 2019. The final journey to these locations was embarked on one year from the date I started, completing the cycle. To create the final images, I layer these photographs on top of one another. Through this process I create an image of one full year of memories of that water and land.


In May 2020 I began documenting a year of Mississippi River memories. I identified six locations between South St. Paul and Elk River to photograph and photographed at each location every month for one year.


Last summer I started photographing Lake Mille Lacs. I will finish photographing this lake in July 2022.


If you are interested in supporting this project further, and getting more behind the scenes updates about it, please find me on Patreon!