Posts tagged ‘michael donnor’

January 19, 2011

There’s a darkness upon me…

by donnor

“There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light.” The deafening white silence falls with the flakes of snow, I can see what is before me, yet it is still journey. Alone at night staring into the dark woods I feel so much hope, for here I am, somewhere is nowhere. My camera sits next to me still encased in it’s tomb, I have not made one frame in months, but I am seeing more than ever. It is so beautiful sometimes I don’t want to steal it, just watch it. Let us slow down and watch, then we will truly see;  in a Universe with so much darkness, we have found light.

White Moon   2010

Encaustic Finished  Toned Gelatin Silver Print


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September 20, 2010

New Work…

by donnor

When mind connects with the world; everything seems a bit more clear, makes a little more sense, and we are able to step back breathe a bit easier for a moment in order to contemplate, “where the hell were we?”

Killer Meteor, an incredible band thank you both.

July 28, 2010

To shoot film or digital…

by donnor

Ahh… The age old question, well I am not a film snob, as I previously mentioned in this blog; then why you ask do I stick my feet in the mud and protest digital? One reason; digital is way to clean for my taste, embracing imperfections is really in everyday life, and I want my art to reflect that? Of course so many will say “you can change this” and “tweak that” “make it look like film.” Why not just shoot film? When photographing, it feels right to enjoy the release of the shutter, when we believe, “hey that might be something.” With me at least, when shooting digital, my finger becomes numb, and my mind soon follows… Unless… I work like I am shooting film, a couple things I like to do…

  1. Cover the display screen… Try to stop looking at it, it completely destroys any train of thought while working on a subject.
  2. Shoot with a small card…This will help us value the moment the shutter is released, thereby forcing us to be more present.
  3. Simple but often overlooked, manually focus. Again by being more present our images will only get stronger.

When recently in NY someone asked “do I shoot digital?” “well sure I do”, “but,” “sometimes,” “and you know I,” “and well…” Was my staggering answer… She described that basically clients want to see immediately how the shoot is going. Fine, I can shoot it, but it will never look like film… or will it?

And of course the above shot is…. digital, and below is my beloved film!

July 14, 2010

Better to shoot and fail, than to fail by not shooting….

by donnor

Let’s talk about this idea… I know for me it is a constant struggle always battling with myself whether to pull the trigger or not. Remember when we first picked up the camera, and there were infinite possibilities all around us? What happened to them, and where the hell did they go?  Between talking myself out of a photograph, and declaring in my mind whatever I will get is going to be a pile of… I sometimes find pushing the shutter happens too few and far between. This process is wrong though, we must not wait for the photograph otherwise it will be too late and gone. And we must not mindlessly shoot, without care for consequence. We need to find a common ground within us, a place where we push ourselves from behind the lens and still find the balance to think about what is before us. It is a delicate dance to be able to force yourself to shoot, and then work through the situation that otherwise you would not be photographing. The only thing that I know for sure… you will miss all of the photographs that you never took. Below are some images that were made after I told myself there was “nothing to photograph here, what is the point donnor of wasting the film” Then I told myself to “shut the f$%^@! up and pick up the camera.”

It is better always to shoot and fail, than to fail by not shooting…

July 10, 2010

Slowly, Turning, Into…

by donnor

Slowly turning into is an infinite question and answer… My answer though would be the same as the question. The most important aspect for me is that I am always slowly turning into….  In this regard we are always, evolving, growing, shifting, learning, and adapting. This can be a life philosophy but for our purpose here let’s apply it to photography. This time we are now in, and maybe more than ever, is shifting and changing at an incredible speed, not just the technology but also the way in which our whole medium exists. When we try and hold onto to everything we end up with nothing in our grasp; for art and especially photography this is very true. There is so much out there for us to learn, understand, and use in photography; there really are a million ways to get to the same point. What is important though, is not letting ourselves get to distracted by all of this then finding us chasing the tail that cannot be caught. We will never learn everything in our medium and there will always be some new camera, or lens or software that someone swears bye that if you don’t quickly buy, or learn you will be lost and left behind….

The most powerful software and technology though we already have; let us understand and master it and our photographs will always be slowly, turning, into…

May 25, 2010

Dreaming Tree

by donnor

I have always loved looking at photographers contact sheets, it’s just like looking into their thought process. To be able to see how they work, execute, problem solve their way through what is presented before them. Getting the shot is only the beginning; recognizing it in the edit and choosing it is the next step. When I look at the contact sheet above I see a lot of images I like, they each could probably work, but the way I edit is by comparing them to each other. Try and find out the one that is the strongest among themselves, and when that is done you will be left with the best image. The next part in editing is knowing what you want to say or trying to say with the image, if you understand that you will be able to edit faster and never second guess yourself. When I was looking at the contact sheet of Dreaming Tree, I realized hope and loss was the thought presenting itself, and then knew instantly what image captured that the best. Once the image was selected, getting it to the final print as seen below is accomplished by being patient and open to what the image needs. There is no better way to explain it than simply; I knew what the image had to become, but forced nothing, I let it live and take me where the image wanted to go.

By slowing down, listening, thinking, and being present with your work, a path will present itself for you to follow.

Then you put on your creative boots and follow it wherever it leads… always and uninhibited!