The Fine Arts and Recreation Department is hosting an exhibit called One View of the World, featuring photography by Danni Downing. The exhibit runs through December 9th at the Central Branch/State Library Resource Center.
Downing, who is originally from New Hampshire, lives in Maryland and works as a photographer in Washington, DC. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her work while she was visiting the library to install her exhibit.
What kind of subjects do you shoot and why is the library a good place to showcase your work?
I shoot landscapes, nature, and, on occasion, architecture. The library had the idea to not only provide access to information about the various forms of art, but to actually provide access to those forms of art. This is wonderful on so many levels: the library adds another dimension to what it has to offer the public. Also, patrons of the library can get up close to the art, and local artists get exposure. I’m so honored to have been asked to be one of those artists.
What sparked your curiosity and interest in photography?
I grew up in New Hampshire, surrounded by mountains, forests, lakes, and fields. And it’s an environment that changes every couple of months. Each season is so different and so beautiful in its own unique way, but so temporary and is never the same from year to year. When I was ten, I got my first camera and I was finally able to hold on to that beauty. I could make that one, unique moment last forever. Photography has the added benefit of allowing me to share the beauty of the world I see with others. I think that’s my favorite part of photography—others who might otherwise never see so much of this world can still experience it through photographs.
I see from your web site that you have some photos from the set of one of the Transformers movies. Was that a fun experience? How did you gain access to that movie world?
I’m a huge Transformers fan (starting with the cartoons when I was a kid to the movies now). And I’m lucky enough to work in DC, the setting of many movies. So when I saw that Transformers was being filmed in DC, and that the staging area was the parking lot right across the street from my office, I was ecstatic. I brought my camera to the office every day, and when I’d see them lining up to roll out, I’d run down to the street to photograph them. Optimus Prime would lead the way, followed by Bumblebee, and the others. And the staging area was open to the public, so we were able to get fairly close in. So cool!
You also take a lot of nature and animal shots. Which ones are your favorites and why?
There is such an endless variety of critters, and they’re all fascinating. And the vast landscapes and close-ups of nature are equally awe-inspiring. I can’t choose between the two.
In this video Downing talks about her exhibit, her inspiration, and the stories behind some of her photos.
Danni Downing is a full-time editor and photographer for a non-profit in Washington, DC, a position she has held since she earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1999. She hails from New Hampshire, where she developed her love of nature, and her desire to bring its beauty and wonder to others through photography. Danni has had exhibitions in New Hampshire and California, and was co-Artist-in-Residence for the Everglades National Park in April 2012. Her work can be seen at www.dannidowningphotography.com.