A pandemic, a day job & revisiting
My mood had been dark lately with the global pandemic, the bullshit of Portland Police and some professional realizations I’ve made. It wasn’t a healthy sort of darkness that is a process of introspection, no, it wasn’t healthy.
This is a basic way to describe my ideal aesthetic: Swiss ideas of design — precision, grid, conveying detailed information — mixed with Lomography — no rules, speed, passing visually interesting moment — play on each other.
I’ve always had a deft hand and design-focused eye, but I let that go by the wayside in my late twenties when I thought I wanted to pursue photojournalism. A long time ago in high school I took art classes instead of any shop or other trades. I studied graphic design in college before discovering photojournalism and before having to walk away from university (I returned 17 years later and finished).
I found some work in the photojournalism world, I’ve done some interesting things; however, I never really left the creative world behind. Wherever possible my work carried that distant echo of design.
Somewhere in those early days I discovered both the Swiss graphic design tradition and Lomography. My news pictures have elements of both complementing ideologies.
Recently I began to rethink all of this, my place, what I want to do, where I fit in, how things are changing. I’s likely that I’m too old, too male, too white to ever go back to the photojournalism world where I am very well represented. I mean that in the best possible way: the photojournalism, news and storytelling worlds need much less of “me” and far more of everyone else. People can tell their own stories much better than someone from the outside, especially if that outsider is as much interested in winning awards and corporate sponsorship as they are in telling the story in the fleeting manner of an assignment.
I never stopped using film cameras. I did, however start using digital more, especially after Nikon gave me one. In NYC I was broke all the time, so if I could actually buy film, I didn’t have money to get it developed. Luckily, I had that Nikon d80 so I could take pictures of visually interesting things and events that make the foundation of the memories that create existence. I posted pictures daily to Flickr, which I continue to do today as I can.