David Ellingsen is a Canadian photographer creating images that speak to the relationship between humans and the natural world. He works predominantly in long-term, cumulative projects with a focus on climate, biodiversity and deforestation.
Ellingsen lives and works in the Pacific Northwest with a place-based practice formed by the landscape he grew up in. His photographs are made primarily between his home in Victoria and the island of Cortes, where he was raised, 150 miles to the north. Since arriving as that island’s first immigrant settlers in 1887, five generations of his family have resided on these traditional, unceded territories of the Klahoose, Tla’amin and Homalco First Nations.
Intersections form a foundation of Ellingsen’s practice – intersections of observer and participant, archivist and surrealist, documentary photography and contemporary art. He is interested in the craft and evolution of the photographic medium and thus utilizes a wide range of technical means across his projects.
Ellingsen’s photographs are part of the permanent collections of the Chinese Museum of Photography, South Korea's Datz Museum of Art and Canada's Beaty Biodiversity Museum and Royal British Columbia Museum. They have been shortlisted for Photolucida's Critical Mass Book Award, appeared with National Geographic, and awarded First Place at the Prix de la Photographie Paris and the International Photography Awards. In his earlier years Ellingsen was a freelance assignment photographer, eventually shooting for clients such as the New York Times Magazine, Business Development Bank of Canada, Canadian Medical Association, Oprah Winfrey Network, People magazine and CBC Radio Canada.