Photographer of Marin County

A Day in the Life of Donald Kinney

We are pleased to showcase the photography of Donald Kinney.

Donald is one of those photographers who always carries a camera as he traverses the idyllic areas in Marin County, be at dawn or dusk.  His work so inspires the senses, offering us a balm to our psyche, so needed today. Growing up in Pacific Grove, California, I totally understand what sparked his interest as a budding photographer, as so many master photographers flocked to this mecca on the West Coast.  Donald’s story of stalking and seeking out Ansel Adams on several occasions, and being able to secure an audience with Ansel, is a testament to his perseverance and desire to grow as a photographer. How many people get the chance to meet Ansel Adams twice in one lifetime?

We look forward to you joining us on March 6, 2021 for our live webinar with Donald Kinney.

Dave Christensen
Director, Harvey Milk Photo Center, March 1, 2021

*Online gallery will be available from Feb 25, 2021-July 17, 2021

Artist Statement

I think of photography as my responsibility to show the stunning beauty of Marin County. My desire is to inspire; to encourage you to visit this paradise just north of the Golden Gate. Marin is filled to the brim with beauty and creative excitement. I will often rise long before sunrise to make sure I am in proper position with my camera and tripod to capture the brilliant morning colors. Later that morning, I might find myself photographing at China Camp, a historic Chinese shrimp fishing village on San Pablo Bay, established in 1863. 

Not far from China Camp, is Frank Lloyd Wright’s fabulously designed Marin Civic Center where I might stop to “shoot up a storm.” Or I might continue to the sparsely populated farmland and rolling hills of the Nicasio area where a lake offers stunning reflections on its mirrored surface. On another day, I might attempt to capture the mood from dense low fog right down on the lake’s surface as the rising sun struggles to breakthrough. Narrow roads continue deeper into the farm and ranch lands of West Marin where the adventure becomes a search for shapes and designs in its hills. Point Reyes National Seashore is not far distant — and yes, all of this is in “my” Marin County — a place of abundant beauty. 

Returning back towards civilization, I frequently visit Lagunitas Creek where for years I have photographed its colorful ripples and reflections. I find a combination of tranquility and excitement in the abstract water designs that seem to magically appear on the creek’s surface. Returning towards my home (Fairfax), I may head out westward on what I consider to be one of the most beautiful mountain roads in America. A narrow path takes me past gushing streams with cascading waterfalls. The road zigzags up to the shoulder of a most graceful mountain with the shape of a sleeping lady — Mount Tamalpais — which is the centerpiece of Marin. From its peak are splendid views of San Francisco Bay and city skyline. I don’t have to travel far because I have it all right here in Marin.  A luckier person I could not be — I truly love Marin. My philosophy is that when we love our subjects sufficiently, it is almost impossible to make anything less than a beautiful image. I’ll let you be the judge, but I consider myself to be a very fortunate guy!

Dave Christensen
Director of Harvey Milk Photo Center

Free Live Webinar:
Mar 6th, 2021
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PST

*Register must be completed 2 hours before the webinar begins.

Help us Continue Serving Our Community by Donating Generously Today