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thegoldenmean.com is the personal web site of Steve Nelson. The following essay is about the site, and about … me.



was fortunate enough to find that this superb domain was available in August of 2001, but I was too timid to admit ownership until March of 2002 when again good fortune favored me with the generous offer of hosting by Pat Richard of Running Wolf. That was the precipitating event that opened the flood gates of ideas I have been accumulating!

But I’m getting ahead of myself…



I am a commercial still photographer. Currently I am the principal studio product photographer at FAYFOTO, Inc, a Boston–based still photography firm. I have held that position since 1983 which seems like a long time considering my favorite saying is “photography is a great career for people with a short attention span”. It has gotten really interesting in the last decade though. Photography, like every aspect of contemporary business, is in the midst of grappling with the changes the digital era is imposing. I have that covered pretty well in the FAYFOTO site, so I’ll invite you to learn about my professional accomplishments there.

I also laughingly call my career in photography a hobby that got out of hand. I particularly love black and white photography because it is so hands–on. I’m never so much interested in taking the picture as I am in obtaining an expressive print. Black and white photography lets one get much more involved in the process. I always studied developers, film curves and alternative processing in the wet darkroom. The goal of course was an expressive print — but a great deal of craft was involved in obtaining that result.


the computer

Creating graphics on the computer has been a natural evolution for many photographers. My own passion for photography really stemmed from its unique blend of science and aesthetics.

Both personally and professionally, the computer has become the natural extension of the wet darkroom for me. My first Mac arrived in my life at a critical juncture: as I was accumulating young children the barrier of the darkroom door became a luxury I could not indulge in. Photoshop permitted me to retain a creative visual outlet, but upstairs! With the lights on! And unlike film processing or printing, I could leave a project on short notice and come back to it later.

the internet

Coincident with this first Mac and Photoshop came my first modem — a hand–me–down from my brother Phil. What an intoxicating revelation. This web site is the culmination of years of learning Photoshop, html, scripting and recently Flash.

I have produced several web sites in addition to the one you are currently visiting. If you are interested, please visit

gurusnetwork tileIn addition to using the tools for personal satisfaction and for commercial assignments, I am proud to be affiliated with the teaching outreach of a site called the GurusNetwork. This group grew out of a shared desire to place quality instructional materials in one place. The interests of the group span graphics and code, and all the material there is original, written for the site. I was one of the charter members, and have a number of tutorials in their index. I encourage you to take a visit.


I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although I had some training and success with classical music, the passion was always with hand craft projects — model cars and jewelry making in particular. I loved making things, tangible things, things I could see and touch. A career in photography seems to fit with this need to make things.

My undergraduate degree is from Clarion State University, a B.A. in Speech Communications. I graduated in 1976 and moved to Boston to study in a Master’s degree program at Emerson College, earning a Master’s degree in Oral Interpretation Spring 1978, at which time I immediately started looking for a job in photography. Go figure…

I married Vicki in October of 1978. We live in one of the first suburbs south of Boston. Our family presently includes three daughters and one irrepressible standard poodle.

Click this link to contact me by Email.
The Golden Mean.
Don't be in a hurry here.

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