The Artist

Photograph by JP Atterberry

Photographer Information

Douglas Frank, American, Born 1948; Currently living in Portland, Oregon.
Photographer’s Contact Information :
Earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Marquette University, 1971 and 1974, respectively.

Mr. Frank’s photographs have been exhibited and published worldwide in numerous shows and publications over the past 35 years. His published books include:

Douglas Frank Landscapes, The Halsted Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, 1983. Currently out of print.
Stone Beings, William James & Company, Portland, Oregon, 2009. Currently available through a number of booksellers as well as the

His work currently is on display in a group show entitled Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography, in the Herzstein Gallery of the New Mexico History Museum, Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, NM, through March 29, 2015.

Below is a partial list of museum collections which include photographs by Mr. Frank. His work also is included in numerous private collections. 

Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, Santa Fe, New Mexico
St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, Missouri

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

Pinhole Photography Technique

Most of the photographs in Great is God's Faithfulness were made with a pinhole camera. The technique of Pinhole Photography is the simplest form of the photographic medium. The “camera” consists of any light tight box with a tiny pinhole on the front end and light sensitive material such as film, which is attached to the inside of the back end. There is no focusing mechanism nor is there a shutter. Since the pinhole projects an extremely dim image onto the film, exposures must be long and are measured in seconds, minutes, hours or even longer.

The camera constructed for this series of landscapes has an extremely wide field of view, thus distorting the relationships between the visual elements, while also concentrating the light toward the center of the film. It was frequently necessary for me to wait many hours for a given exposure to reach completion, thus compressing these hours into what only appears to be a picture of a single moment.

The following is a quote by the two curators of the largest archive of pinhole photographs, Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer. Pinhole images “express reality very differently from imagery made using cameras with lenses. Although describing the mystery of pinhole images is difficult, the concepts of soul, depth, yearning, timelessness, and archetypal feeling all contribute to the kind of visual reality produced, one perhaps only seen in a dreamlike state.”

While each image in this series is completely un-retouched or modified, the final image bears only a passing resemblance to what was actually being seen from behind the camera.

Douglas Frank

Portland, Oregon, 2014