TraverseCityCreative.com showcases the work of Dan Nielsen, a photographer, writer and digital artist based in Traverse City, Michigan, USA.
I began snapping pictures as a teen, got serious about photography in college, and built much of my journalism career around images. My titles at newspapers in Nevada, Colorado and Michigan always included the word “writer,” but I’ve always considered photography an essential part of my journalism.
Early years involved Tri-X film, D-76, Dektol, contact sheets and enlargers. I wore out a Nikon FTN and a couple of Nikkormats taking pictures of football games, people, things, places and events for print publication. I broke a Canon rangefinder when I tumbled down a ski slope while on assignment in Colorado. My Nikon F4 survives, but looks pretty beat up.
Technology — crazy stuff like auto exposure, autofocus and digital sensors — made the technicalities of shooting easier as the years passed. Today I mostly use a Nikon D5200 with a couple of zooms for my day job, but my old D200 still gets a workout, too. An Olympus Tough TG-5 has proven useful. Tripods and flash units are essential tools, but I lean toward available light and handheld shots. I love my wide angle lens.
Photography has been part of my personal journey for decades. I enjoy street photography and closeup work, but gravitate toward landscapes.
I still have darkroom gear sitting in a box somewhere, but Photoshop is safer from a chemical standpoint and makes experimentation cheaper and faster.
Strictly for fun, I’ve recently dabbled in digital painting, the modification of photographic images into something akin to painting. I’ve always been fascinated by Impressionist paintings and their simplified view of reality — which I find triggers my imagination. Software enables me to create painterly images based on my vision of the world, captured in a camera and re-imagined inside my head — without the need for brush-level dexterity.
Traverse City and northwest Lower Michigan have been my primary subjects since I moved here permanently in 1989. Michigan has 3,200 miles of shoreline, and there’s still a lot of beach I haven’t explored.
Contact me at tclocal(insert symbol for at here)gmail.