Being a Jesuit Priest and a Photographer
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well my name is father Don doll I'm a a Jesuit from Creighton University in omaha nebraska in in middle america it's squarely in the middle of the united states it's a wonderful little university and i've taught photography there for 45 years i set up the graphic design lab and decide to start a teaching page design and web design and but my first love is the still images of the still image in which you compress all of this in you layer a picture with information and how to see the whole frame is a very difficult thing takes a long time to learn to see what the camera sees and to see how it sees light and I love teaching that to my students one of my favorite thing to do is to make portraits of people with what I call Rembrandt lighting and I can show you some examples of that but let me back up a minute people often ask me there's being a priest have anything to do with your photography and I say oh my god it has everything to do with my photography one cannot help but photograph from who one is at the very depth of your soul and being a priest for 47 years has deeply affected my vision of the world I cannot help but look at people from that faith I've grown into over 47 years as a priest so let me give you an example when I do these calendars for the Native American children uh ice gather my team it's only a couple people and I will bring them on the place where I have set up a studio and I'll say have them say a prayer that I can look at these children with something of the vision the empathy that God has for them that they are a child of God that I can make pictures that reflect back to them how special they are in the eyes of God and I think that helps me treat them with respect and I think the children sense that that I have a profound respect for them I also do that when I go out to make pictures of refugees I pray in the morning that the people i meet I can treat as they are a son and daughter of god one of my favorite things that came out of Vatican 2 is that the document lumen gentium light of the world in which the church said and it took the father's Church Fathers but for years to come up with this statement that the Spirit of God is in all religions yes in its fullness is in Christianity but it's still in all religions and in all people I think we were taught as children that we are temples of the Holy Spirit and we get that fullness of that Holy Spirit in sacrament of confirmation but I firmly believe that God speaks in the heart of every man and woman on this earth and how do you respect that in another person if you remind yourself or if I remind myself of that that the Spirit of God speaks in this person at some level it gives you a profound respect for the other person and I think that enables me to look at them in a different way and photograph respectfully that this too is a child of God so I think it helps me when I go out to photograph among refugees in the last eight years ten years I've been working more and more for Jesuit Refugee service around the world I usually go to one place in the in the world where refugees are and I photograph that for the JR s national team so that they can tell their story how much they help people in 58 different countries where they work the primary work for which I am known in the United States is my work with Native Americans and I've done two books and two stories for National Geographic with natives in America so this is my second book called Vision Quest men women and sacred sites of the Sioux Nation I went I travel for two years looking for the men and women had really made a difference in their own culture preserving their culture for their people here's how it worked I would interview them for what two three four five hours and then I would have that interview transcribed and then I would edit it down with some fellow writers into what what of significance did that person say and then I would make a portrait the next day the person who was my mentor and this was a very famous photographer was a Brian Lanker the late Brian Lanker he did a book portraits what I dream a world portraits of 75 black women who changed America wonderful portraits I love doing portraits so he said when you do this interviewing is a different thought process than photographing do not make the picture on the same day he said when I did it I had to go back a couple times make a better portrait so but after a person has shared their life with you for two three four hours there's a bond set up and I could go back the next day and I could view them and see what their characteristic gestures were and I could see what was in their environment and I could use elements of their environments that said something about them and compose a portrait when I travel and give lectures on that I do not like to talk about their culture I always invited some of my old students who now had become medicine men very prominent in the culture teaching their own language so I invited them to go with me and they talked about the culture and I would just talk about photographing in another culture as a photographer so that worked out very very well lately I've put together a book and this one since all my books have vision than that title this is a little presumptuous this is the third in my vision series it's my own vision as it really details my vocation within a vocation as a priest so I call it a call to vision and the title is a little presumptive a Jesuits perspective on the world oh my god but anyway it's a nice book and it's beautifully reproduced I had one of the best presses in America if anybody knows the st. John Bible series by Donald Jackson I had that press to the effect similes of this book I rejected 50 pictures on press and they redid him and they got it perfectly so this details how I got started as a photographer how I tried to be a National Geographic photographer in the beginning by going to Belize and making the type of pictures I thought a geographic photographer would basically I learned photography on the job I got a job at creighton university teaching photography I had they had no business hiring me because I had no degrees in photography so after a couple years five years of teaching I realized I could not keep my job but I basically had learned photography by teaching there's nothing like teaching to learn a subject to have to explain it to another person so I said I'm going to go back to the Native Americans I'm going to do a book I hadn't ever seen anything that I really thought was beautifully done on Native Americans for the last hundred years so I went back and and did a book it to went to over 30 cities in the United States people in the US are very interested in Native Americans and they feel guilty about what we as a nation did to them so that won me a national award and that's how i got my jobs now photographing for National Geographic the editor asked me what are you doing next I said well I got a small grant I'm going to Alaska I'm gonna live with the escamoles and he said you want a contract from us he said write me a letter so I did they sent me a contract and the neat thing about I said do I have to work at colony said not be a black-and-white story and so it was the first black and white story in National Geographic for a couple decades so every photographer in America look oh my god who is this guy who got the first essay in black and white for a very very long time so that was with the you pick Eskimos in Alaska they knew I was a priest there had been a Belgian Jesuit who lived there for over 30 years so yes I had regular mass with the people every day and they knew I was a priest but they also knew I was there to make pictures of them and their culture so I did a second story in Alaska for the geographic the otha postions along the Yukon River there too i functioned as a priest and had sunday masses in town sometimes daily masses so being a priest has been a big part of my life as a photographer and seeing people as children of God there was a wonderful photographer in America named minor white who did a book called octave of Prayer we really outlined how a prayer is related to photography he said look at prayer is like contemplation and prayer as contemplation is an intensified awareness of God's presence and a photograph can be an intensified look at the world so there's a profound relationship between seeing and praying and I've always loved that I had always wanted to do a conference on this with him while he was still alive he has passed away some numbers of years years ago so that never happened but it really affects the way I see the world and prayer is part of my life as is photography you

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Tales of demons and gods 252 [ENGLISH SUBTITLE]
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Tales of demons and gods 252 [ENGLISH SUBTITLE]

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