Danny McDonald

Photography and more

Archive for the tag “daniel mcdonald”

My Quick Portfolio

For my Senior Seminar course that I am taking this semester. Our professor had us create a portfolio with works that we want to expose about ourselves that we have done throughout the last four years. I decided to focus mainly on my photography since it is one of my main passions. For the last two years that I have owned my Nikon D60 I have taken a total of 15,832 photos and had to pick about 70 pictures to feature myself.

This portfolio feature two main portions about myself. It shows a series of pictures that I took during my internship in Peru. My trip to Peru started out in the City of Lima, then to the Andes Mountain and Ruins of Machu Picchu and finished up in the plains of the North. It was truly a memorable experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My other tab featuring mainly my photography shows pictures that I have taken from several different travels, family, friends, landscapes and much more. I have learned so much about using my camera and will continue to do so. Hopefully though I plan on getting a new camera soon so I can expand the possibilities for my future portfolio. The camera that I am currently looking at is the Nikon D5100 and hopefully with the 18 – 105 mm VR lens.

Any type of feedback I can get on my portfolio and quality of my images would be greatly appreciated! I personally don’t like wix that much and plan on changing it soon. For now, lets view this as a concept site of what is to come. Anything helps!



Brown Bag Lunches of Pinellas

Brown Bag Lunches of Pinellas is a non-profit organization that began in St. Petersburg by Maria Johanneson. The mission that Maria set out is to uplift the needy in poverty without judgment by giving them hope and confidence to succeed.

The values of Brown Bag Lunches of Pinellas revolves around that meals should be provided to everyone and done so through love, offering hope, mercy and compassion. They believe that everyone has the potential to go through a spiritual transformation that comes from strong faith in the love of a powerful community.

Homelessness is a temporary condition that can be overcome when desired through personal healing and support. So the organization is set to take care of their own community and help create lunches for all the homeless in Pinellas County.

The brown bag lunches include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with applesauce, granola bars, baby food and bottled water. Brown Bag Lunches of Pinellas have seven local shelters that they deliver to and feed.

The organization has about 35 registered active volunteers and on March 24, 2012 Brown Bag Lunches of Pinellas partnered up with Student Government of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg to make 1,500 lunches to be distributed to different shelters and parks throughout the county.

The pictures that I took were not to challenging since there was good lighting going on and the colors were not too bright. I simple put the ISO pretty low and an f-stop at about 1/100 and the pictures came out pretty nice!

The event was a great success and we had a lot of volunteers come out and have a good time. The amount of people we had show up and help out made it a lot easier to make the sandwiches really quick and pack them up to have them ready to deliver. The relationship between USFSP and Brown Bag Lunches of Pinellas is just going to continue to grow and help feeding the needy, one brown bag at a time.

My Dog Desmond

Two years ago my mother and I purchased two English Springer Spaniel mix with Basset Hound puppies. We ended up calling them Desmond and Chispa. I picked the name Desmond in honor of my favorite character on the TV show Lost and my mother picked the name Chispa, which means Spark in Spanish, in honor of her old dog Sparky. The two puppies re-energized our life with happiness and love. These dogs were the happiest brothers and probably the cutest puppies ever. The two have helped us during difficult times and provided that sense of protection and comfort for us. Desmond became a fat dog that would only eat while sitting down, but he will definitely be the more loving dog to anyone from the two. Desmond will follow you around the house, sit down next to you and in your company at all times. The puppies ended up staying at my parents house along with my aunt and became close with everyone. Both puppies would sleep in my aunts room and they grew to be very close to her. Every single guest that we have ever had stay with us in my parents house grew close to the dogs and thought they were one of the prettiest breeds they have seen.

On March 5th, 2012 Desmond got hit by a car near his leg region. The start of the week started off rough for me after my birthday weekend. We took Desmond to the Emergency Room and we had his x-ray come in. The first news that came were shocking. Desmond only broke his tail and his hip, legs and spine was fine. At first the doctor said that the broken tail was holding back his nerves and that is why he wasn’t able to move his legs. A surgery of the removal of his tail could possibly lead to the nerves acting up and working again.

We took him to the Vet today and he said that the broken tail has nothing to do with Desmond’s ability to walk. He wouldn’t perform surgery on his tail and wants us to wait two days to see if he starts building a reaction in his leg and can hopefully urinate on his own. If Desmond can start having actions in his leg, then that is a really good sign for the nerves to start functioning again. The main concern as of now is if there is something wrong with one of his organs that could be stopping him from urinating on his own, there it is not something that we can fix.

When I first heard this, there were two feelings going through me. First of all I felt helpless. I want to do anything in this world to help out Desmond to make it better, but all I can truly do is wait and have faith. The second feeling I had was deceived. I felt like we were ready to fix Desmond. Lets go through the surgery and I rather play that waiting game. Anger starting flowing through me and I felt something in my body that I just couldn’t help. I did today something I haven’t done in six years since the death of my Godfather. I cried. I cried so much.

Desmond helped me realize that forcing myself not to cry all of these years has been an unnatural act by me and I wasn’t being true to nature. I cried at the vet, I cried at home and I cried in my bed. It helped me, it let me release my doubts and bring in my hope with faith.

I have been posting Desmond’s status on facebook and I could not believe the overwhelming amount of support and feedback we received. About 100 people replied to us letting us know that they are keeping us in their thoughts, prayers, hopes and minds. I showed my family and they immediately fell to tears. Before an era of facebook they could only rely on hopes and prayers from their closest ones and letting people know one by one. I stopped by campus today to hand in homework and my dear good friends Jami Compton, Shannon Kalahar and Hunter Payne stopped by to make sure I was alright. They made red velvet cupcakes for me and family. My mother dropped to tears and called them immediately to thank them. It is amazing in this era of easy access of mass communication, emotions can be affected in such a positive form, all thanks to innovation.

As of now we can just hope the best for Desmond and pray for him. If I could just fix one thing in him right now, it will be to make sure his organs are functioning correctly. If Desmond can never use his back two legs again, we have read about how amazing innovation has also played into the world of pets. A dog wheel chair has allowed pet owners to keep their animals with them when the more logical choice in the past was to put them to sleep.

All of your prayers are amazing. My family has appreciated it so much and we can only take it one day at a time. Keep having faith for the best, because I definitely am.

Desmond and Chispa first day together in the house.

Desmond and Chispa sleeping.

Always smiling.

Desmond won Puppy Photo of the Month with this image taken by Andrew Silverstein.

Desmond at the dog park.

Brothers. Best Friends.




A Plant

I was going through my old pictures and found this little guy. Caught my attention, hopefully it will catch yours as well.

Kettle Corn

I love the Saturday Morning Market in Downtown St. Petersburg. Fresh and home made just about anything you can think of. Whenever I go though, I always run into the Kettle Corn people. At first I think “sounds good, but I am fine,” but this guy has a bag and a scoop and offers free samples! I have to say, I always fall for the sample and walk away with a bag. The are too good!

Lets Draw Underwater (Review)

St. Petersburg, Florida is an awesome community that has art as a part of it. The new Dali Museum has been packed every weekend, the museum of fine arts is very large and the Chihuly exhibit makes St. Petersburg so unique.

One of my favorite local artists in St. Petersburg is one named Hunter Payne. His art style has changed a good amount during the last four years, but one thing has not, and that is his passion and drive for art.

Hunter cares so much about art that he has made major sacrifices to dedicate every thing he possibly can to art. Last year, Hunter decided to pursue one of his many dreams with art. The project is titled “Lets Draw Underwater” which is Hunter going to the Florida Keys and snorkel in the ocean while drawing whatever he sees down there.

The first challenge was to get funding for his project. He tried out a website called Kickstarter, which is a site that allows people to post projects and dreams which then allows for the public to fund the ones they like. Hunter set a goal of $1,000 and ended up getting $1,292 which was more than enough for the materials and boat to take Hunter out.

Hunter went out to the keys to the open water two times and drew over 200 drawings while snorkeling. He went along with his close friend, Reuben Pressman, who assisted him by filming Hunter for his documentary by using a GoPro.

The launch of the “Lets Draw Underwater” expo was on January 27, 2012 at Studio 620 in Downtown St. Petersburg. Hundreds of art appreciators gathered to see the inspiring documentary, ponder about the art, drink chocolate milk and most of all be happy.

The overwhelming emotion of happiness spread to every single human being that night at Studio 620 because we all witnessed someone write down a goal and worked to his full ability that he could. A dream was accomplished, and we had the honor of seeing it documented and shared.

Hunter received several hugs, congratulations, visits from old friends and teachers because of his talents, love, dedication, uniqueness and most of all, because of him. People left the night with a smile, inspiration or a piece of art. There was something special about that night, something supernatural than any other expo. This was the birth of Hunter Payne in St. Petersburg, and we can’t wait to see what other dreams he will accomplish.

Hunter made Studio 620 into a feel that we were walking around underwater. The paintings were hung from the walls on fishing hooks. The walls were painted blue and had waves on top and there was actual sand pushed along the sides of the wall to give it a realistic effect and vibe.

I really enjoyed taking pictures at the event. The lighting was really neat and I don’t like using flash that much. I sacrifice the flash so I can get more colors to work with. These shots have a pretty low f-stop and about a 1/10 shutter speed for most of them. There is still a lot more that I need to learn in shooting photography at night or low lighting, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The walls painted blue, sand pushed on the sides and paintings hunt by fishing hooks.

Free stickers and prints for sale.

Hunter explaining a little bit about the trip before the screening of his documentary.

People coming in and out throughout the night to see the art.

To see the documentary and the drawings, please read and see all about it here at HunterMadeIt.

Cusco Bread

Last summer I got to go to Peru for a photography internship. It was one of the best times of my life. I have uploaded a good amount of pictures in my blog I kept while I was there, here. I am going to upload more pictures here and some that I haven’t posted on that blog as well. So be ready for some neat shots of Peru! This is the bread that they make in Cusco and the small towns around them. It is amazing and delicious! It goes so good with soup and I tried to eat this bread every day. Image

So many guitars to pick from…


Mighty Mongo Bass

Alex Card, bassist and lead singer of St. Petersburg band, Mighty Mongo. Kickin back and relaxing at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg on a sunny beautiful day. We love watching and having Mighty Mongo perform anywhere in the Tampa Bay area. Be sure to like their facebook page here!


Nancy and an English Springer Spaniel


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