I'm Pittsburgh nature photographer Don Orkoskey, a nature and fine art photographer and photography teacher. My work focuses on the systems that impact our world and those living on it. I am passionate about documenting threats to our delicate ecosystem. If you're working in conservation and want assistance documenting what is happening in your area of expertise or you're looking for help publicizing threats or other critical issues please contact me to discuss how I can help photograph what is happening.
Like much of my other work you'll find that my nature photography focuses on human-made and natural systems that surround us. At the core of my nature photography is a focus on how these systems intertwine and weave around us.
Much of my nature photography work centers nature itself but also the people working to preserve and protect our planet. This is because it's often people causing harm to the natural world. In nature we find patterns that are regenerative, healing, and guided by interactions of elements affected by and included within the system. Natural systems seek balance and progress and this fascinates me. This is especially true when juxtaposed with human-made systems that are often designed to benefit a select few and at the expense of many and which often fail to be self-sustaining.
Below you'll find some examples of my nature photography work along with explanations about these projects. If you're interested in seeing more about any of these projects or in publishing these stories or others like them please contact me to set up a appointment.
(2021 - ongoing) Extraction is a series of landscape photos examining extractive industries and their impact on the world. Begun as a few photos taken from my childhood backyard of the immense coal retention pond that has flooded acres of pasture and forest-land in the Echo Valley of Northern WV on land that was already the site of Mountain-top removal when I was a young child.
The processes at work here are photographed as visually pleasing landscape photos interrupted by the horrific action taking place within them. The systems at work benefit so few people. I would much rather live in a world where alternatives to these practices were common but the beneficiaries refuse to concede power and go to great lengths to not lose their source of power.
Passage of Time
(2021) Passage of Time is a limited series of fine art photos centered on the question of how time is measured both by humans and by nature. Human can obsess over time and how quickly it passes and even nature can be thrown off by the impact of weather often accelerating the work of the natural world.
Passage of Time also examines how humans are impacted by time and how humans in turn impact natural systems because of their relationship with time. Passage of Time was a limited photo series made in 2021 consisting of 12 photos. The number 12 having the significance of noting both the hours on clocks and the number of months in the calendar.