Donald Kinney Photography Exhibit
We’re thrilled to present Donald Kinney Photography Exhibit at McLaren Lodge: Atmospherics.
Oct 16, 2019- Nov 26, 2019
Oct 16th, 2019, 4:00pm-7:00pm
McLaren Lodge, 501 Stanyan Street, SF
Dave Christensen, Director of Harvey Milk Photo Center
I am a dreamer. My mind tends to wander from familiar places to new destinations of escape. It’s easy for me to display my thoughts visually –– more difficult with words. I knew from a young age that my channel of communication was through the lens of a camera.
My first images were color slides taken while I was backpacking along the eastern slopes of the Sierra. My jaw dropped when they came back from Kodak. I was 12 years old. It’s such a vivid memory –– I knew right then that I wanted to be a Photographer.
I was the lucky boy growing up on the Monterey Peninsula, walking in the footprints of Weston and Adams. Instead of doing homework, I spent every minute outside shooting pictures or developing in the darkroom. Deep inside was this glorious feeling that I finally had a voice. And inspiration would find me when I least expected it.
It was a bright, chilly morning in Carmel when I spotted the man I admired, if not idolized: Ansel Adams. There he was in the flesh –– bushy beard, string tie, wide brimmed hat, and confident stride. I recall his voice was high pitched, yet soft. He had a kind manner. Surprisingly, I found him rather elf-like. Somehow I mustered the courage to ask him to view my pictures. To my amazement, he agreed. The next thing I knew I was sitting nervously in his Carmel Highlands living room while he looked through my rather pathetic prints. But he was careful and considerate; explaining his “Zone System” and how I could improve each shot.
His advice was inspirational, yet humbling. I had work to do. A few months later he agreed to review my “new work”. He complimented me on how much I improved. Beyond his willingness to share his technical secrets, he taught me a lesson in generosity.
Photography can be an all consuming endeavor. I regret that I lapsed from 1971 to 2001. I worked at mundane jobs in manufacturing and retail, all the while complaining, “On a day like this Ansel Adams would be out photographing.” Lucky for me, I was able to take early retirement and resume my journey.
My return to photography coincided with the new digital medium. Gone was the drudgery of long hours in the darkroom and the expense of film. I could get back to what I loved — “in Marin”— an exceedingly beautiful area just north of San Francisco.
My days start well before sunrise — just me, with prayers for atmospheric drama. Some days I photograph on the shore of San Pablo Bay; other days I head down to the Golden Gate Bridge. On a different morning, I may be captivated by the sun struggling to break through clouds above the lake in west Marin.
Ripples and reflections of our creeks put on a wonderful show. I never know what I will discover during a hike through redwoods and ferns, or in my own backyard where I’m greeted by a mother deer and her fawns. I am a lucky guy. I have developed a voice and I appreciate beauty.
Thank you for visiting. Soak in the atmosphere and welcome to my world!
Photo by Donald Kinney
501 Stanyan St. San Francisco
Monday-Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm