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Donald J. Rommes

Don Rommes, a neonatal specialist by profession, has been photographing seriously for more than two decades. His work has been shown at the Smithsonian Institution, at multiple venues in the American West, and is part of the permanent collection of the Bureau of Land Management.

While still actively practicing neonatology, Don is involved in a project to photograph Rock Art in the Southwest. He also teaches an annual photographic workshop with Bruce Barnbaum in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.


Orkney (or Isles of Orkney) refers collectively to about seventy treeless, windblown, peat-rich islands located about ten miles north of the Scottish mainland. Officially annexed by Scotland from Norway in 1471, these islands were inhabited almost as soon as glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age. Neolithic sites abound, as do Standing Stones – massive slabs of rock, solitary or grouped in rings, erected for mysterious reasons three thousand years before Christ. Between sites, study farmhouses, built of gray stone, punctuate the undulating grassy landscape. Thick smoke comes from some of the chimneys – evidence that a peat fire is providing warmth.

"During our three-week visit to Orkney, we photographed Neolithic tombs and settlements, standing stones and grassy pastures, castles and cathedrals. While everything was visually interesting, we found ourselves most captivated by the modest interiors of ancient stone farmhouses. Warm and smokey, decorated with the simplest of furnishings, they were illuminated only the weak light from leaden skies penetrating the single pane windows." – Don and Nancy Rommes


All photographs were made with tripod-mounted medium and large format cameras on Kodak and Fuji transparency film. The transparencies were scanned with an Imacon 848 scanner to generate digital files that were processed on an Epson 7600 digital printer using their Premium Luster paper and Ultrachrome pigmented inks. The finished "giclée" prints are estimated by Epson to be stable for more than seventy years.

Although the prints were generated from digital technologies, nothing was added nor taken from the scene. Photoshop was used merely as a convenience in preparing the images. All of the enhancements to the image done on the computer could have been done in the darkroom by an experienced color printer using conventional (i.e. non-digital) techniques.