Q & A: Donald Robinson
The photographer looks back on 50 years of celebrating nature's beauty and discusses his new installation in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes.
Donald M. Robinson explores the world with a love and respect for both its wildlife and varied cultures that permeates his many photographs. He has been taking photographs for 50 years, documenting people, landscapes, animals and plant life. His photography is a testimony to the artist’s lifelong conviction that the world is essentially a beautiful place and the environment is its greatest treasure. We took a few minutes with Donald to discuss his photography and the inspiration behind this project.
How did you first become interested in photography?
In my early childhood, I was fascinated with black and white photography. I set up a darkroom in the basement of my home and spent many hours captivated by the images.
Where do you get the inspiration for your photos?
Photography is one of the great joys of my life. When I plan to photograph, my day begins with barely containable excitement, and, by the end of the day, the beauty I have experienced has renewed my soul. Photography has given me another career, another chance, a real treasure in the changing fortunes of time. In my search for images, I am constantly reminded that the world still is a beautiful place.
What are your favorite places or objects to photograph and why?
My favorite place is Antarctica because everything is so magnificent and beautiful. The penguins, seals and other native wildlife are most cooperative and can be photographed quite easily. The landscape is surreal.
What is the most difficult part of the photographic process?
Carrying a lot of equipment and setting up a tripod to obtain a precise sharp photograph is the most difficult part. Traveling to some very difficult landscapes can also be a challenge.
Can you describe the concept of the pieces featured in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps?
All of my images featured in the CSL are from western Pennsylvania. I am constantly reminded of the natural beauty in our area. I also tried to represent our various seasons.
What impact do you hope your photographs will have on CSL visitors?
I would like the visitors to be impressed by all of the beauty that we have here in western Pennsylvania and the beauty that they can experience at Phipps.
Photo © Donald M. Robinson
Other Featured Exhibits & Events
- Summer Flower Show
- May 10 – Oct. 5, 2014
- Romero the Corpse Flower
Turns Over a New Leaf
- Farmers at Phipps
- Wednesdays, June – October 2014
2:30 – 6:30 p.m.
- Biophilia: Pittsburgh
- Next Meeting Oct. 2, 2014
6 p.m., with networking and refreshments at 5:30 p.m.
- Party in the Tropics
- Select Fridays
Next Party Oct. 3, 2014
7 – 11 p.m.
BETA Art Tours
- First and third Saturdays, July – October 2014
Next Tour Oct. 4
11 a.m. – noon
- Fall Flower Show
- Oct. 18 – Nov. 9, 2014
- Halloween Happenings
- Oct. 24, 2014
4 – 8 p.m.
- Native Plant and Sustainability Conference
- Nov. 1, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh
- Garden Railroad
- Now Open
- Tropical Forest India
- Now Open