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Elias Nesser: Photographer

 written by Shannon Koga

Light reflects off the pathways. It glints in the dew drops of the mowed lawns. Shasta College is beautiful and someone needs to capture said beauty. Elias Nesser uses his camera to capture the side of our town and our school that we would otherwise miss.

A graphic design major and photographer, Elias Nesser is the first to have an art show in the library. His photographs hung tall in the student lounge:  lakes, seagulls, and even the Sundial Bridge.  Underneath each photo was a plaque depicting the circumstances of each shot.

People swarmed to see the images—images that would be sold as prints and postcards. Needless to say, Elias was humbled by all the attention.

“This show was the first show I had ever. It’s really opened doors for me,” Elias says, “When I started I considered it a hobby—now it’s a passion.”

He sold five prints since the show. His business cards were set up at the front of the library. Those who say “follow your dreams” will not be disappointed by Elias’s success.

His favorite photograph in the show? The tree.

“I took that picture just for fun, really,” Elias says, “I didn’t think it was gonna become something. It’s taken with a large aperture, which usually makes detail more focused to one spot, and then the rest is kind of blurry. But what’s interesting about that one is it really captured the whole tree. The whole tree is in detail. And that’s with the camera pointing vertical. I’d say the tree was about fifty feet tall.”

When asked how long he’d been studying photography, he says, “I’ve taken one class at the school. I wanna take Jennifer Daley’s class. I can take it I guess three more times. I’ve been doing it about seven years, with an interchangeable lens camera. I started with a little point and shoot. It was a Kodek. I used to work at a school bus mart. I used to wash school buses. I ended up taking thousands of pictures of school buses…” he smiles, “I’m over the school buses now.”

He’s moved on to more diverse things. He is especially fond of nature. “Nature’s beautiful. Nature’s imperfect, nature’s intricate. I like to see things in different light. The thing about photography that I like, is that when you take something one second, and then even in a split-second, it could be totally different. Even with the filters I use, it all changes with the twist of a knob—the push of a button. And it’s just an awesome art. “

And with all his work, most of his photographs are taken in the moment.

He says, “Usually I don’t have a plan of what I want to shoot before I end up shooting it. I try to shoot things people don’t normally shoot. If it is something people shoot often, say, the Sundial Bridge, I try to get the angles that people don’t normally see. I got a tri-pod that sits maybe five inches off the ground. So that’s a level you’d only be at if you’re laying on the ground. It’s an angle people normally don’t see.”

Elias had been studying computer technology before he delved into graphic design and photography. For aspiring photographers, he says, “Keep shooting , even on days that are rainy. It’s not the camera, it’s the eye—the mentality of the person behind that camera. It takes time, it takes doing it, it takes an eye to see the way light hits objects. Most importantly is to just keep doing it.”

Elias’s next mission is to photograph spring—mainly flowers. Like Elias Nesser says, nature is, indeed, beautiful.


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