Anderson especially likes to picture larch trees. “Those are a few of my preferred trees,” he said, “and they are tough to picture. We have a lot of larch trees, however they are not in locations the average traveler sees, however if you get up in the air and enter into the wetlands, there are a lot more.” Photo by Dan Anderson.
Innovation has actually sent out professional photographers scrambling throughout the past years. Nowadays, nearly everybody has a powerful video camera in their pocket at all times, so those who make a profession out of taking images have had to discover brand-new ways to separate themselves from the beginners.
Among Door County’s leading photographic eyes is no various. Ellison Bay fine-art landscape professional photographer Dan Anderson now discovers his edge from a different viewpoint and by using various equipment: high above with a drone.
“When a professional photographer gets a new lens, you can go crazy with it for a while,” he said. “It’s the very same with a drone.”
Anderson bought a drone in 2018– a Mavic Pro II with a 20 megapixel fixed lens– and stated he now utilizes it as much or more than his routine video camera.
“It’s a different method of looking, and it has totally extended my vision of photography,” he said. “Instead of looking towards something and zooming in or out, looking best or left, now up and down becomes another element because compositional tool box.”
When Anderson set out to shoot the Seaquist cherry orchard in Ellison Bay, he was amazed to discover the highway capture his eye among the blooms. “I am flying over the orchard and doing many structures. Then I looked down and was extremely high and saw the highway made a great straight down shot with truly excellent patterns. I got the gimbal looking directly down, and I can make little tweaks and line up the road, and after that a little red SUV doing highway speed entered the image, and as quickly as he appeared, I began taking shots. I got that cars and truck in three different areas. The one here is my last one.” Image by Dan Anderson.
Anderson studied with renowned photographer Ansel Adams and then was one of Adams’ assistants at his workshops for numerous years. Adams had his own way of developing raised pictures: He put a heavy piece of plywood on top of a station wagon and positioned his view camera up there. Anderson said it wasn’t to get a vertical view down, however; it was to shoot over the low brush and scrap on the ground.
Anderson doesn’t photo people or the rural town images that draw the eye of many on the peninsula. Rather, his images are of landscapes, the structure determined by climate condition, the environment, the season and especially the light.
His design of shooting has actually changed with the drone too, as he explained in describing how he approached the Cana Island Lighthouse.
“If I am around Cana Island, I look at the lighthouse and pertain to a composition,” Anderson said. “I see the lighthouse is where I desire it, and the structures and the lake are where I want them, however am I at the right altitude? When I am in the air, I am without restrictions due to the fact that my composition and editing are so quick.”
It’s a far cry from the 8 × 10-inch view-camera days of the 1970s, when he might traverse a landscape for a complete day simply to get six shots.
“I might hike five miles out and back, and find the best shot of the day, and not have adequate film,” Anderson stated. “So I usually returned with one sheet of movie left, simply in case.”
Anderson is drawn to where ice meets open water, and where the water cuts through the land. Image by Dan Anderson.
Drone Opens the Door to New Views
Last February was an extremely icy season, according to Anderson, who has actually photographed ice from Antarctica to Greenland and all around Door County.
Still, he stated, “I was not impressed. But when I came through Sister Bay, I looked out and might see the Little Sis Islands, and behind I could see towers of ice– big ice shoves.”
He discovered the closest area he could and released his drone.
“You would never dare take a snowmobile or trek [to that area],” Anderson said. “A drone or an airplane was the only way to get the shot. Those ice pushes lasted about 10 days prior to the snow covered them, and I was out shooting 6 or 7 afternoons or evenings when the sky wasn’t overcast.”
The ice cuts a brand-new pattern at the docks of the Shoreline dining establishment in Gills Rock. Picture by Dan Anderson.
His preferred Door County places to picture are the junctions between water and land.
“Wherever it is, it constantly seems to attract me when I am looking down at it,” Anderson stated. “It is genuine– you can inform what it is– yet the structure is abstract due to the fact that we don’t see it that method. The human eye is not accustomed to looking directly down from a height.”
Another preferred drone subject is wetlands– particularly the area around Mud Lake and North Bay.
“Those locations are so challenging to get to on foot, and after that when you do get far inland, you are into low trees and branches, and strolling in water with waist-high turf all around you,” Anderson stated. “It’s not only difficult to get there, however it’s hard to compose because it is so untidy right in front of you. However then you jump in the air with a drone and are looking down, and all of an unexpected, those barriers are gone. I am not young any longer, so the idea of wet feet and [being] approximately my knees in water if I can just fly over it and look down isn’t fun.”