I photograph to convey my feelings about the reality before me. For the last 12 years the reality before me has been Chicago scenes. I like to find parts of Chicago that are off of the tourist track and reflect a deeper sense of the spirit of Chicago.
My photographs are a counterpoint to conventional views of Chicago. For instance, my Chicago Parks Project features parks in some of the most depressed neighborhoods of the city such as Garfield Park and Humboldt Park. However, my photographs reflect the peace and beauty of these parks that famous landscape architects such as Jens Jensen and Frederick Olmsted designed into them.
Other projects include my Chicago River project and Chicago Lakeshore project. The Chicago River project reflects the many variations of the Chicago River as opposed to the popular conception that the river is an open sewer. The Chicago Lakeshore project is all black and white. I exlore not only the downtown section but the north and south sides. I photograph in all seasons.
I love to work with traditional photographic materials–film, chemicals, and photo-sensitive paper. Although I have access to the latest digital cameras, printers, and computers, I still prefer traditional materials. Film has a different look. Space, tonality, and color are rendered differently. I enjoy working by feel, experience, and instinct. As a result each work is somewhat unique.
Frank Dina has been doing photography for many years beginning as a UIC student using the campus darkroom. This was followed by working in photo labs, sound recording for documentaries, industrial films, and commercials. Later he did photojournalism, video documentaries and was a corporate photographer for Shure, Incorporated.
In the past 25 years he has initiated many photo projects. He generally works on an idea and developing it into a project. Past projects have been Chicago Parks, the Chicago River, the Chicago Lakefront, Chicago El, and Commuters. Presently, he is working on a project on bicycle culture in Chicago.
His photos have been in many exhibits, trade journals, and featured in his book “Chicago Parks Rediscovered” distributed by Northwestern University Press. His work has been placed in many offices, hospitals, and appears in private collections.
Besides photographic activities, Frank has been studying the Italian language and cinema and is an avid cyclist.