Detroit Artist: Nadir Ali

A lifelong Detroiter, photographer Nadir Ali knows Detroit. Regularly working with community partners such as the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Downtown Detroit Partnership and the Platform, Nadir really knows Detroit.


Detroit in 2022



As a community partner for several well-known Detroit organizations Nadir feels like a historian for the city.


“There are so many transformational projects happening right now in Detroit. There won’t be another opportunity to document the redevelopment of Michigan Central Train Station, the development of the Hudson site, the reimagining of West Riverfront Park. I want to capture these sites now so that when everything is completed in 2022, we’ll have a well-documented history of the ‘before.’”


As the city evolves, so does a photographer’s technology. Nadir actively explores drone photography in and around the city, capturing the city from the clouds. His Instagram handle @3andathird mostly features drone photography around the city, showing users the city like they’ve never seen it before. Now he is especially focused on lighting in his photographs – capturing similar still frames at sunrise, sunset, different times of the day or in unusual weather patterns. Nadir is excited to continue this exploration as Detroit watches it’s buildings grow before our very eyes.


Born and Raised



Having grown up in Detroit, the majority of Nadir’s life experiences take place inside the city – he even proposed to his wife inside the GMRENCEN – so he focuses on the positives taking place here.


“I love Detroit. I choose to focus on the positive things going on in the city like business development and community growth instead of negatives like ruin porn. My goal is for someone from Detroit to stop and say ‘Hey, that’s my city.’ And to make them proud,” said Nadir.


To accomplish this Nadir is capturing moments and editing photos daily. Never to miss a moment he always has a camera or some form of equipment to capture a scene when he’s out and about. Influencers like Big Sean and Pure Michigan have shared his work.


Follow the GMRENCEN on Instagram to see Detroit through Nadir’s lens when he takes over our account for the next two weeks.


Nadir Ali lives in Detroit. Follow him on Instagram at @3andathird or see his online

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