A couple of weeks ago I told you how my friend Chris is always telling me about great photographers and she has found another great one today as well. I’ve only known of Adrian Donoghue for a short time, but I am very impressed. His work is quite different to what I normally show.
My first thoughts when I saw his work was that it reminded me a lot of the work by Edward Hopper. I asked Adrian about Hopper and he said that he loved his work and had one of his books. I think you can definitely see the influence.
I asked Adrian where in the world he was.
I live in the leafy surrounds of Eltham, a suburb North East of Melbourne. However when photographing, I am drawn to cityscapes, so I spend many weekends exploring the streets of Melbourne.
He has some very iconic buildings of Melbourne in his images, and often you see them in ways we don’t normally. The image above, very rare to see an image of that with so few people in it.
As you know, the second question was how long had he been taking photos for and why.
Like many photographers, I have loved photography since my childhood, however career, children, music and a mortgage occupied much of my adult life. I returned to photography in the early 2000’s, when life became a little quieter, and just at the start of the digital revolution. As a result, digital capture and Photoshop post processing seemed a natural seamless combination.
While I think many of images are composites, there are some, like this one that I don’t think is. It seems like a real scene that he has given his unique look to.
I asked Adrian about inspiration.
My inspiration comes form a number of sources. I love the Australian artist Jeffrey Smart for the way he ‘stripped bare’ the urban landscape to create a feeling of surreal reality. His inclusion of a single human form would suggest a narrative, often left up to the viewer. In addition, the ‘film noir’ movie genre has inspired my use of my ‘hatted protagonist’, who is often set in dark and threatening urban scenes. Finally, Australian artists like Charles Blackman and Arthur Boyd; these artists focussed on figurative art with many works being part of a series. Much of my recent work forms part of a series, as a result, a theme or idea can be explored in many settings.
So many of his images have been taken of places I recognise and it is nice to see them. I find the work quite inspiring and the you could be forgiven for thinking they were paintings. They really do have that look about that.
My next question was to ask him if there was anything special about the way he worked.
A hard question to answer from the inside looking out. Others have commented about my ‘style’, so I guess there is something ‘special’ about my work. Maybe a slightly dark, surreal, movie poster look.
There is a real sense of theatre and drama in his work. It looks like it has been set up, and we know that it has. Many of the images are like stills from a movie or play. They demand you pay attention.
My final question, as always, was about his gear.
I use a Canon 5Dii, with either the Canon 17-40 mm or 24-105 mm lenses. I own a 70 – 200 F2.8, however I rarely use it these days, as I am mostly after wider angle streetscapes with good depth of field. I am increasingly using a tripod, to get more interesting evening light, and have the potential to apply HDR processing.
I want to thank Adrian for giving me permission to feature his work here and show it to you. I think it is quite amazing. You can find a lot more of his work on his website, Adrian Donoghue Photography. I do hope you will go and visit, sit for a while. I have a gallery for you now of my favourite images from his site.