RIP David Chesterfield: A Photography Life Well Lived


A little while back we were very sad to hear about the passing of our good friend and irreplaceable community member, David Chesterfield.

The way in which David's departure has resonated in our community and has been profound the overwhelming response in our little photography group got us thinking about how he had a huge impact on us outside and the group of people who come through our doors for a common love of photography

When it was announced on the forums and to our group, a lot of people left messages of condolence and recited many wonderful memories about their interactions with David both online and in person. And a lot of us were simply left speechless.

“If there’s a heaven for photographers, David is in it and shooting spectacular photos of angels, light, God, and infinity.” Marty E

For over a decade David has been a pillar of strength and support in our community for literally thousands of budding photographers. As well as being a beloved moderator a generous judge and an avid contributor David really embodied the spirit of what we try to do here at Light Stalking. He just got it

He was also one of the most creative and proficient photographers in our little group with his images of light painting as well as macro being especially loved by the community.

What set him apart was the generosity with which he would share his insights and knowledge of the craft to anybody who wanted to know. And there were many!

“To say there is going to be a hole in the site where David's shares brightened our days doesn't begin to say it.” Robert Apple

David was prolific here and elsewhere! He joined Light Stalking in 2011 where he participated in thousands of forum conversations and Flickr in 2012, and across these 12 years, he published 17,871 photos there. And as the meticulous photographer he was, we are sure this is just a glimpse of all the shots he ever produced. Today, we want to share a brief overview of his relationship with photography.


Strange Planet – Copyright David Chesterfield
Painting With Light – Copyright David Chesterfield
Copyright David Chesterfield
Lightpainting in New Farm Park – Copyright David Chesterfield


Mopsus mormon – male – Copyright David Chesterfield
Oil & Water – Copyright David Chesterfield
Jumping Spiders – Opisthoncus nigrofemoratus – Copyright David Chesterfield
Rainy Day Macro – Copyright David Chesterfield
Jumping Spider – Cosmophasis micarioides – female – Copyright David Chesterfield
Hatching – Copyright David Chesterfield
Fig Leaf Beetle – Copyright David Chesterfield


Milky Way – Copyright David Chesterfield
Copyright David Chesterfield
Copyright David Chesterfield
Seascape – Copyright David Chesterfield


You can never predict what you'll get – Copyright David Chesterfield
Liquid Art – Copyright David Chesterfield
Dancing Droplets – Copyright David Chesterfield
Reflections In Black and White – Copyright David Chesterfield

A few of us were even lucky enough to know David in person I know that is generosity extended both offline and online.

Light Stalking founder, Rob Wood with David in 2017

For many of us who love the craft of photography One small Comfort will always be that for those of us who are keen sharers, as David was, our images will live on for a very long time. Given David’s creativity and the popularity of his images, this will almost certainly be doubly so.

Farewell, you brilliant image maker and friend!


Perhaps it's best to let some of the messages left at David's passing through the talking

I am so sorry to hear this sad news, my condolences to his family and friends Lesley Kiker

so sorry to hear this. I started following his photos on Insta and he was an incredible photog. thanks for sharingAnn Zeilman

My condolences to you and David’s work family and to his family family. His spirit will live on through his contributions to the Light Stalking community.Richard Davis

May he Rest In Peace. My condolences to the family.Hugh Zammit

Really sorry to hear this news. I can understand your loss. May his soul rest in peace. Sudipta Ghosh

So sorry to hear that, may his soul rest in peaceVagoni Vebasa

Thanks for the email and deepest sympathy for your loss. Death is always a shock, it’s so final. RIP David.Joe Rice

May the departed soul rest in peace. Amen ! – Alok Baranwal

With Deepest Sympathy & Heartfelt Condolences to Mr David Chesterfield! Alistair Leo

I'm so sorry to hear about this. My his soul R.I.PMaria Alexandra Paez-Pumar

My condolences to you and his family, such sad news.Tracey Clark

So sorry to hear that bad news.Darren Armstrong

My deepest sympathies for the loss of David 🕊️ – Elizabeth Dilliplane

Love and prayers for his friends, family and the Light Stalking team. I am so sorry for your loss. Kimberli Swenson

So sorry for your lossSíle Horan

Deepest condolences for your loss. 💐 – Jane Currie

Very sorry about David and condolences go out to his family from the photographic folksHeather Iles

My condolences to his family and for all who knew David. May he rest in peace.Sandra Garnier

My prayers are with the Family. Heartfelt Condolences Arul Ramalingam

So sorry to hear this! Please share my condolences with his family and the Lightstalking family. Bruce Gordon

I’ve been off the forum for quite a bit, but will be hopping back on soon. I'm truly sorry for the loss of your friend. 🙏 – Susan Snyder

My deepest condolences to you, your team, and all who knew and interacted with David. Allena Graciani

So sorry that’s very sad Xecute Farrow

Sorry to hear. May he rest in peace. Sanford Ibrahim

So sorry for your loss, he will truly be missed. Peter Methner

My most sincere condolences…Santiago Proaño

And more memories of David in our forum.

Written with Federico Allegria and Rob Wood.

About Author

Federico has a decade of experience in documentary photography, and is a University Professor in photography and research methodology. He's a scientist studying the social uses of photography in contemporary culture who writes about photography and develops documentary projects. Other activities Federico is involved in photography are curation, critique, education, mentoring, outreach and reviews. Get to know him better here.

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