There are so many incredible stories out there. Stories of hope, perseverance, luck, hard work, craft, humor, sadness, despair, and every other human emotion and condition. We’re currently living in a time when we’re more digitally connected than ever before, and yet the chasms of understanding and empathy are growing further and further apart. We’re losing the ability to talk to one another, to share human moments and connections without a digital interlocutor or judgment. This handicap is driving us apart and we only have ourselves to blame.
I see my camera as a passport to greater understanding. With it I hope to capture the human experience, celebrate our differences and connect on our similarities. Deep down, across the world, we’re all very, very similar. We share hopes for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We have common concerns about the relationships between the powerful and the powerless, our own health, wellbeing, and prosperity, and the desire to see a better future for all.
Naturally, there are differences and extreme differences in how to go about shaping this future. It is my belief that the only way to begin scaling these walls of empathy is to start with understanding. To truly listen to each other, not for arguments sake, but for understanding. We’re in a time when whoever gets the most attention “wins”, and this has resulted in an ongoing shouting match.
“Beyond The Negative” was born a decade ago to see past the fear, uncertainty, and doubt prominent in the news industry at the time, as well as a way to step outside the never-ending debates and conversations on camera gear. Renewing this concept, my intent is to end the naval gazing in photography and look out amongst my country and the world.
To get back into my photo making “groove”, I’ve chosen to begin work on a couple of photo projects:
- A visual love letter to Port Townsend: I moved to Port Townsend three years ago, and in that time I’ve finally begun to break out of my introverted shell and really interact with and build community. This is an amazing town full of surprising stories such as the first American to summit Mt. Everest, the world famous violin bow maker, master crafts-persons in the sailing and boat industries, or the National Geographic Photographer. Even if this town wasn’t filled with world-famous people, the every day stories are often just as interesting if not more so.
- The Western Flyer: The boat that John Steinbeck sailed on in “The Sea of Cortez” is undergoing a major refurbishment that will take a few years and involves replacing the hull, deck, and engine. I hope to capture the progress of its renewal and the people who work on it to contribute to the boats archive and history. This boat has generated a tremendous amount of interest with it’s connection to Steinbeck. Once finished, the boat will be used as a platform for teaching Marine Science to youth in San Diego.
There are a couple more stories that I’m putting together, one involving a retired Merchant Marine who is a character in his own right, and another that is about a year out and will require traveling to Peru with medical providers who will provide dental and medical care in remote villages of the Andes.
Along the way I will write about the technical aspects of photography as well as the stories, vision, and craft of storytelling as I work to learn and master it.