I'm Pittsburgh nature photographer Don Orkoskey. Nature photography and our world are passions of mine. I'm fascinated by our natural world. Now, I'm documenting it's complexity and that which is challenging and shaping it. My work focuses on systems that impact nature.
Like much of my other work, I'm exploring the impacts of human-made and natural systems. At it's core, my nature photography focuses on how these systems intertwine. I'm always striving to center nature in my work. Additionally, I'm interested in the people working to preserve and protect our planet. People are harming our world. However, other people are dedicated to mitigating and stopping this harm.
I'm documenting threats to our delicate ecosystem. Are you working in conservation? If so, I want to help. Contact me and let's talk about documenting your work. Additionally, if you're looking for help publicizing threats or other critical issues contact me. I want help. I can do so by photographing what is happening in a compelling way.
Nature shows us how collaboration results in abundance. Too, we see patterns that lead to regeneration, healing, and guidance. Additionally. the interaction of elements included within the system receive the benefits of working together. Natural systems create more than they consume. In summary, natural systems work. That said, I'm fascinated by juxtaposing natural and human-made systems. Human systems often benefit only a select few. Too, these benefits come at great expense to many more people than they help.
Enjoy my nature photography work below. Read about select specific projects listed below my photos. I'm proud to share these projects. If you're interested in learning more please contact me to set up a appointment.
(2021 - ongoing) Extraction is a series of landscape photos I continue to create. In these photos, I'm examining extractive industries and their impact on the world. I began by taking photos near my childhood home. The destruction there from fracking is enraging. First, this was once a verdant forested valley and rolling pasture. As you read this it's actively being destroyed. They're replacing it with an immense toxic retention pond. They're flooding acres of pasture and the forests of Echo Valley. If that were not enough, this was already the site of mountain-top removal in the 80s. They've returned again. Today they're extracting coal that was useless 30 years ago.
Beauty and the Obscene
I capture the beauty and the obscene in the same frame. First I want you to see the beauty of the land. How many an ecosystems were at work here? Second, the obscene is obvious. That is, the destruction and extraction. Too, the obscene health and wealth disparity that follows. This is both nature photography and ecological horror.
I'm juxtaposing visually pleasing landscape interrupted by eco-terror. All of this extraction benefits a select few. Plus, most who benefit are already incredibly wealthy. Too, the majority of people living through this extraction suffer. Finally, that majority pays in a myriad of ways. First, they pay with their health. Second, through their taxes which go to fix roads and clean up superfund sites. Lastly, they pay by having the value of their homes drop. For many this is the only source of wealth they have -their houses. Yet, despite talks of the economic values of extraction, here again that seems to only go to a few.
The beneficiaries of these extractive enterprises refuse to step aside. They go to great lengths to not lose their source of power. The end result is suffering and loss. Extraction is an ongoing project You can buy small prints and merchandise on my sales website under the Extraction gallery.
Passage of Time
(2021) Passage of Time is a limited series of fine art photos. In these, I'm centering the question of how time is measured by humans and nature. When creating these photos I asked why some obsess over time. Why do people worry, feel anxious, act impulsive? I've yet to find the answer. Too, nature's time is impacted by climate change. We are accelerating and mucking up the work of the natural world.
Additionally, Passage of Time examines how humans are impacted by time. In this work, I'm first looking at how humans are impacted by time. Second, I'm exploring how humans impact natural systems. Passage of Time was a limited photo series made in 2021 consisting of 12 photos. The number 12 noting both the hours on clocks and the number of months in the calendar.