GETTYSBURG – Fairfield photographer and poet Phil McDonald joins his two loves together in “Lifescapes,” an exhibit at the HACC-Gettysburg Campus, running July 9 through Oct. 5.
An artist’s reception is slated for 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 19, providing an opportunity to meet McDonald and enjoy his beautiful images of waterfalls, mountainsides and other scenes of nature captured in his extensive travels around the world.
“Photographscan take us to places we never dreamed of, to places we always dreamed of going to, or to places we have been. They can capture a minute slice of time to show the raw reality of some event, the beauty of nature, or some special moment of our lives,” said McDonald, 65, a retired training specialist in emergency management from FEMA. “A good photograph can affect us in many ways. It may cause us to reflect on a time before we were born, or it may stimulate our minds to take us on some flight of fantasy.”
A native of New York, McDonaldhas lived in Germany, Colorado and Pennsylvania. The opportunity to travel extensively helped stimulate his interest in photography, particularly nature and landscapes. In addition, he began to write poetry and has put together several copyrighted collections of poetry. In 2003, inspired by the Irish Brigade monument at the Gettysburg Battlefield, he composed the poem “The Irish Brigade” and merged his two hobbies.
Although much of his photographic interest centers on Ireland, McDonald will also offer pictures from local venues as well as the rest of America and India at his exhibit. He credits his Irish heritage with making him a better American: “I appreciate the freedoms and diversity of America much more,” he said.
McDonald said that what he enjoys most about photography is the endless opportunities it presents to “capture a beautiful scene, to document a special moment, to create a mood with images be it whimsical, dramatic, or inspiring, and to share these experiences with others.”
McDonald titled his exhibit “Lifescapes” in reference to what he hopes to achieve with each of his photographs. “I believe when looking at a good photograph you can not only see the image, you feel it. When a photograph is able to make some connection or elicit some feeling from the viewer, that is really special. I hope in my work you will find something of beauty, something to reflect upon, or that it causes you to feel something. If you do, then I have done my job.”
Phil shows his photographs at several area businesses, art exhibits, area festivals and online at www.gallowglassprints.com. All exhibited work at HACC will be for sale and some pieces will include poem and photograph.