David Sandt of Clarkfield jokingly says that his vehicle should have a sign that says "this car makes sudden stops."
Maybe it's because he has a tendency to quickly get out of his car every time he sees something he wants to take a photo of.
Sandt recently had an exhibit of his photography at the Daily Grind in Marshall. He said it's been a lifelong hobby.
Photo courtesy of David Sandt
Clarkfield photographer David Sandt likes to get as close as he can to subjects, which includes a bug inside a morning glory.
When he was 4 years old, both he and his sister received a Brownie camera at the same time.
"It had the built-in flash," Sandt said.
But like most young kids, Sandt said he mainly took photos of feet or the sky.
"You don't learn to aim a camera until you get a better perspective on things," Sandt said.
Eventually Sandt got a better perspective as he tries to take a different view of various landscapes. It could be the same subject matter, he said, but a different view or angle makes it interesting.
When he was 9 years old, Sandt had a little film developing kit he set up in the basement of his family's home.
"I had a light table where I could develop my own prints," Sandt said.
In junior high, he took a film developing class, working with black and white photography. From there, Sandt started taking photos of the landscape, wherever he may be.
"I've been privileged to travel a lot, both as a child and as an adult," Sandt said.
And during those travels, he'll have a camera with him. When he plans a trip, he figures out what he wants to get photowise.
"I'd climb a tree, I'll lie on the ground, I'll walk in the water," Sandt said about getting the perfect shot. Early morning, late in the evening or the dead of noon are the best times, he said.
"It creates different lighting and shadowing effects," Sandt said.
A couple of the places he likes to travel to are Lake Superior and upper Michigan.
"To get a lot of these pictures, I did a lot of camping and backpacking," he said.
He enjoys taking photos of flowers and insects and he keeps a garden that draws the insects.
"I make them come to me," he said. "I can get within inches of an object or an insect."
He also likes to capture things that are occurring. One such scene he noticed in his travels was in a line of electrical poles. Several of them were leaning.
"Because you'll never see them again," Sandt said.
Sandt said he will often soften the focus on certain photos to achieve the effect of having the photo look like a painting.
Sandt said he may be driving along and see something that catches his eye, like the sun may be just right.
"I'll see that scene and back up a mile," Sandt said.
A majority of his photos are of the landscape. If he uses people in his photos, Sandt said he prefers to do candid shots, catching them in natural poses.
Sandt plans to start a line of greeting cards using his photos. He said he has a good-sized collection of shots he's taken around the country, from the Southwest to Canada.
"I hope that my legacy will be to leave a new perspective on the ordinary, everyday recognizable subjects," Sandt said. "Images that a person can relate to and never tire of. The world is a kinetic playground for the photographic eye to capture and present it in a moment of static beauty."