The Photography of Stephen Datnoff
By Brandi Barnett
Q97 SnapshotDecember 2014
By Billy Pilgrim
I met Stephen Datnoff on a bus on the Muni shuttle to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco. We struck up a conversation immediately, mostly about what to expect at the world’s biggest Americana music festival, but also on the intricacies of navigating the back roads of Shasta County via motorcycle. I was fascinated by his appearance and wanted to have my picture taken with him, but he got off the bus before I did and disappeared into the crowd of 300,000 people.
Many hours and several acts later, Stephen serendipitously emerged from the sea of humanity and said, “Hey, this was a really good show!”
And I got my picture with Stephen, and a window into his beautiful photography.
Stephen Datnoff is one the great unheralded and uncredentialed photographers on the West Coast, and has lived in Hood River, Ore., for the past 35 years. He is a storyteller and interpreter. He uses simple cameras: Rolleicords from the ‘50s and ‘60s and a Deardorff 5x7 camera. He also uses digital technology. He strives to have each of his photographs studied by the viewer, and for the viewer to not ask how it was done, but why? He strives to not do what other photographers have done: He waits for the picture to come to him.
I am so lucky to have met Stephen Datnoff, and I am proud to feature his work in Enjoy. You can find more of his brilliant work at www.datnoff.com.