2334 |  Like

In Conversation with David Ellingsen

Sometimes coincidence works in a very mysterious way. A month ago while I was preparing the Tom Ford blog entry I wanted a black and white photography to add some personality to the imaginary space I was creating. Back then I remembered I saw a beautiful photograph at our local Liberty Store. I went online and I visited Liberty’s site and I was introduced to David Ellingsen’s photography. Then I went to his website and I was even more impressed with the fact that he had even more beautiful images than the ones I recalled. The scope of his work and the quality of the images is truly throughout his site, and his vision is totally innovative and unique. The next day when I posted the Tom Ford entry, I received a very kind email from David Ellingsen thanking me for including his work in my blog. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and asked him to do an interview for my blog.

Iván Meade – What was the first photograph you ever took, do you still remember the subject?

David Ellingsen – I don’t remember my first one…I do remember the first class I took at Camosun College and the addictive quality of the almost magical darkroom process which hooked me. The Victoria darkroom collective I joined right after fueled the process further.

Dune Study – Fine Art Photography

IvánWhen did you first get started in photography?

David – Not until I was 30…a bit of a late bloomer career-wise. My older brother is an accomplished artist, and was from a young age, and I realize that I had subconsciously given him the place as the artist in the family (apparently I thought there was only one spot for that). I did not even consider it myself until I was sliding towards 30 and seriously looking for a fulfilling career. Completely self-imposed situation, but better late than never I suppose.

Fraser Delta Study 1- Fine Art Photography

– What is it about photography that interests you as an artist?

David – The combination of technical mastery with artistic vision constantly excites me. When both come together in a successful image the sense of elation I feel tells me I’m on the right path.

Georgia Straight – Fine Art Photography

Have you always worked in photography or have you worked in other mediums as well?

David – Only photography so far…although print making and painting are probably on the horizon in some capacity.

Georgia Straight South 1 Orcas Island – Fine Art Photography

– What has influenced you and your sense of style?

David – My upbringing on a rural farm in Desolation Sound and the tight knit large family definitely had it’s effect on me. As a result, appreciation of the natural order of things, solitude and honest inter-personal relations are some of the themes I see in both my Fine Art and Commercial work.

Other photographers like Richard Avedon, Sarah Moon and Jean-Paul Goude also are strong influences.

Richard Avedon

Sarah Moon

Jean-Paul Goude

Hibernus 26 – Fine Art Photography

Iván – Do you have prefer black and white over colour photographs?

David – I feel the choice between B&W or colour is specific to the photograph you are making and consequently do not have a preference.

Hibernus 28 – Fine Art Photography

Iván – Where do you draw your inspiration from?

David – A close observation of life around me.

Iván – Who or what would be your dream subject?

David – That’s a hard one…and constantly changing…too many to list I think.

Right now I’m working towards two series involving the themes of death and mankind’s relation to the natural world.

Ogden Point – Fine Art Photography

Iván – I noticed you are involved with the community and social issues, how important is this to you?

David – I think growing up in a small tight knit community you realize the importance of helping others in whatever capacity you can, financially or otherwise, for the greater good. I was raised in a family that would bend over backwards to help each other and the community in general…it seems this has stuck with me in some capacity.

Iván – I also noticed your portrait of David Suzuki, how “green” is photography these days?

David – On the plus side there are far fewer chemicals going down the drain these days. But the digital revolution has produced a huge amount of waste in itself and the constant need for upgrading equipment and software to stay competitive is frustrating to say the least, financially and environmentally.

David Suzuki Portrait – Commercial Photography

Iván – If you weren¹t involved in photography, what do you think you would be doing?

David – I think I’d probably have my own restaurant/café/etc. I worked in that industry for a long time and really enjoy it…especially the co-workers it seems to attract…a crazy bunch.

Untitled 027 – Fine Art Photography

Iván – What art do you have on your walls?

David – Paintings by artists I know personally and lots of my own work.

Iván – What is your favourite photograph?

David – Of my own work the two “Untitled” Series are particularly satisfying…a real step forward for me in my own artistic journey.

Of other photographers I’d have to say Richard Avedon’s American West series is probably one of my favorites. Also Joel Peter-Witkin has my great respect for his entire body of work.

Joel Peter-Witkin

– Your photographs have a very dream-like quality, do you ever draw inspiration from your dreams?

David – Never from dreams. My inspiration comes from a specific idea/concept or the evolution of one through the working process.

For more of David Ellingsen’s stunning photography please visit his website at:

1304 Seymour Street – Main Floor
Vancouver BC V6B 3P3, Canada

THEY Representation Inc.

Getty Images