If you’ve attended the Castlegar Craft and Farmers markets, you’ve probably seen Dan Salekin. He’s usually wearing a fun T-shirt and standing in front of a booth showcasing his photographs, most of which have been taken in and around the city. Dan was born and raised in Castlegar and says he’s been into photography ever since he was a kid when he won a 35mm camera as a door prize at a hockey game. Since then he’s been honing his craft while exploring the local countryside.

We caught up with Dan as part of our monthly series that celebrates and showcases local artists to discover how he got started with photography and what is favourite subjects are to shoot.

Hey Dan. You live in Castlegar now. Did you grow up here?

Yes, I was born and raised in Castlegar and after graduating from Selkirk College, I left the area to pursue my career and travel. I returned in 2007 and have not looked back.

What’s your professional background? Have you always been doing photography?

I graduated from Selkirk College with an Electronic Technologist diploma. This was a great start to my career in communications and computing. My first camera was an Agfa 35mm film camera, which I won at a hockey tournament as a young kid. The camera sparked my interest and I’ve been taking pictures ever since. Several years ago, I decided to invest more time and work towards mastering the craft. I am still working on it.

Your landscape photography is great. What are subjects do you like to shoot?

Thanks for the kind words. It’s rewarding to hear that people are enjoying the pictures and stories.The rugged geography of the area has a unique beauty and peacefulness that I am trying to capture in pictures. I enjoy seeing the vistas in person, and if I’m successful, I can share the experience with people viewing the image for the first time.

What things do you do when you’re not behind the lens?

Now that there’s fresh snow on the ground, I’m looking forward to cross-country skiing on the Paulson trails. As a member of the local Men’s curling club, I get out weekly for a few laughs with a great group of people. In the quiet moments, I have a small stack of books I’m trying to make my way through. Forever a classic rock fan, I’m often listing to music.



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What do you love most about living in Castlegar?

The people here and the easy access to four seasons of recreation: kayaking, swimming, skiing, and hiking. I also love just going for a walk in Millennium Park.

What’s the funniest moment you’ve had while photographing?

I had been planning for a while to take a picture of a beaver’s house at a nearby pond. During my drive home, the RCMP stopped me for a roadside check. The officer’s first question was “where are you coming from?” Before I could think, I said “the beavers house.” I was impressed the officer held back his laughter, but he did keep me there for a few more questions just to be sure all was well.

What’s some advice you have for kids interested in getting into this type of work?

For people getting started in photography, just get out and take pictures. Any camera will do to get started. Pick a theme that you like, long shadows in the park for example, and see how many different pictures you can take. Consider entering a photo exhibition such as an event at the Fall Fair. The most important thing is to have fun and just get out and take some pictures.

What do you do when you’re not working?

When I am not working, I hike, snowshoe, walk the dogs, read, water ski, workout and watch movies.

Dan at the Craft Fair in Castlegar

Where can people find more information about you and your photography?

I’m a regular vendor at the Castlegar Craft & Farmers market and I have pictures available at the Kootenay Gallery of Art gift shop. Online, I can be reached via dansalekin.com.