In 2010, I watched my prospects of becoming a full time photojournalist evaporate with the decimation of the newspaper industry. Forums and discussions with photojournalist were filled with fear, anxiety, and despair. Some of the vitriol was aimed at new generations of digital photographers, and the rise of new social media and online platforms like Facebook, Flickr, and iStockPhoto. The old business models were quickly supplanted with free or dirt cheap. Newspapers were struggling to figure out the online market and losing money fast.
Surrounded and nearly consumed by this, I optimistically tried to find the opportunities. At the same time, I was rediscovering film photography as a way to improve my artistic vision and spend more time thinking about what goes in the frame than what new gear to buy.
Thus, “Beyond The Negative” was born. A play on words which referred to stepping out of the fear, uncertainty and doubt engulfing the profession at the time, and viewing photography as more than a piece of gear or film emulsion. I was determined to get beyond the negative both emotionally and technically.
Steve McCurry has said, “my camera is my passport”, and I have experienced the same. Photography is a way for me to observe, interact, and share small parts of the world. We photographers are archivists of light and time, and I seek to archive our human experience in this world and with each other.
In this journey I will share tips and techniques of the craft, opinions on the happenings in the photography world, and of course photos. Some photos will be great, some will be good, and others marginal. This is part of the process. Instagram is already full of “perfect” looking photos, reproduced ad nauseam. For now at least, I’ll be less selective and will discuss with each photo what I think works, what doesn’t work, and what I would like to do better in the future.
Finally, I’ll probably talk about Leicas. Leica has a bit of a cult following, and I’m definitely a member of that cult. The company itself has a long and storied history with its cameras reaching almost mythical status among some photographers.