Nelson has photography on display at MAFAC

Image courtesy of Tommy Nelson Pictured is one of Tommy Nelson’s photographs on display through Feb. 9 at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council’s arts center

MARSHALL — After his coworkers encouraged him to enter the Marshall Area Fine Art Council’s Photography Contest and he won his first award, Tommy Nelson said he wanted to further his photography.

Nelson’s photography is on display through Feb. 9 at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council’s arts center. An artist reception will be from 2-4 p.m. today at MAFAC.

Nelson has been doing photography for eight years. He said he’s always liked taking photos, and it slowly progressed into a way to express himself.

“When I discovered light painting (it) is where it really took off,” he said.

Nelson entered the annual MAFAC Photography Competition and Exhibit a few years ago and has done well.

“I was nudged by a couple of coworkers who believed I had a chance and should go for it,” he said. “I did and won three out of the four awards being presented, including first place, best of show and people’s choice. When I won my first award it boosted my confidence that I was part of this world and wanted to further pursue photography.” The following years he’s won first and second places, best of shows, people’s choice and honorable mentions with the MAFAC contest, adding up to 10 different awards.

What Nelson enjoys about photography is the ability to capture a moment in time and being able to create art without being a traditional artist. He doesn’t look for anything specific when he shoots a photo, he said.

“Whatever I capture with my lens usually captures me first,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he feels like a lot of photography is repetitive, but it comes down to your experience and the different angles you see throughout life with new eyes.

“You can photograph the same thing over and over again but should always be looking for new ways to capture that image,” he said.

In the MAFAC exhibit, Nelson has a wide variety of images, including sun dogs, a super moon, macro, vivid flowers and light painting.

“Most of the pictures were taken right in or around Marshall with a couple of them taken at McCrory Gardens in Brookings,” Nelson said.