Don France Photography

            The way I see it...

About

My interest in photography grew out of my love of motorsports.  For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated with cars, and in particular, racing cars.  I remember seeing John Frankenheimer's movie "Grand Prix" in Cinerama -- 70mm Super Panavision.  I think I must have seen it 10 times in its original theater release with that great Academy Award winning theater sound and just being mesmerized.  I
own the DVD and have seen it several times since!  Sights and sounds...

I discovered that photography improved my attention to the details of the action in motorsports and I began to see the entire process differently.  I worked on creating photos that depicted the action as I saw it.  Back in the days of film, I was lucky if I'd get 1 or 2 images out of a roll of 36.

To me, nothing gives the feeling of speed as much as capturing a moving vehicle (racing car, motorcycle, or fighter jet) with clarity/focus at high speed with a slow enough shutter speed to produce a blurred background.  Add in good photo composition and it has taken a lot of practice!

Over the years, I find my eye has become increasingly more discriminating.  The clarity of my photos has to be unbelievably sharp to meet my satisfaction.  I produced the first of a series of calendars for 2006 entitled "The Essence of SpDon Franceeed" that featured some of my early motorsports photos and a few of the Blue Angels flying over San Francisco Bay.  I've continued to produce new calendars each year since then and have expanded the subject matter beyond motorsports to include the handiwork of my wife's remarkable green thumb with "Donna's Garden."

In a long conversation with a friend about my "Essence of Speed" calendar, he suggested I had a whole series of calendars or books.  He suggested it not just be about "speed" but more about the "essence" of the subject of my photographs!  If I could work on finding the "essence of speed" I could find the essence of anything or anyone else.  That became a huge challenge for me that led me to portrait work.

From time to time, I had a number of people asking me about doing portraits and family pictures.  Frankly, without any clear reason, I always resisted the idea.  I'm not sure why -- I just wasn't interested in shooting portraits of people.  My friend's comment about finding the "essence" became the catalyst for me.  How can I depict in a single frame the essence of the person I'm photographing?  I had to learn a lot more about lighting.

I enjoy portrait work.  The challenge has been enormous and I like talking with people to get them comfortable so that they almost forget I'm there to take their picture.  And the lighting is an interesting challenge.  I've put some of the portraits I've done on the "Faces" page.

I also added a page ("Mélange") that has images from an assortment of work I've done... flowers, gardens, travel, night scenes, landmarks, and all sorts of other areas where I may be experimenting.

One of the benefits of branching out into other areas has been that it ultimately recharged my motorsports work.  Without question, it has helped me see things differently, more clearly, and with added perspective.  I also believe it has moved the quality of my work up to another level.  My most recent motorsports work is featured on the "At Speed" page.  What I've learned about lighting portraits has carried over into my vision of how I see light in motorsports, landscapes, and portraits.

The overriding factor in my photography has to be am I satisfied that the image I've captured brings me back to the feeling of what I was seeing when I took the photograph.  And that's what led me to adopt my tag line of "The Way I See It!"


My new book, "The Essence of Speed" is available thru Blurb's bookstore.  For a preview, simply click on the widget below...




The book price has been reduced to $51.95 plus shipping.  You can get the regular edition from Blurb by clicking on the widget above.  All of the Limited Editions are sold out!  Thank you.

For information on prints, pricing, and framing, you can download the current copy of my "Image Catalog" that contains over 130 of my best photographs as well as those used in the 2010 calendars.  To download a copy, either click on the image or the button below...




As always, your comments and suggestions are welcomed.  If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call or send me an email.  My contact info... 

   -
Don@DonFrancePhotography.com

   - PO Box 622, Alamo, CA 94507

   - 1.925.917.0890