For many years, I defined myself by my work – photojournalist, editor. Now I am neither, yet I still exist within those realms at some levels.
The entries here will touch upon that dilemma – that of a former photojournalist, a visual storyteller, who now trains others to do the same.
I am on the faculty of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia teaching photojournalism and multimedia journalism courses. I still take shooting assignments, though not as many as I would like.
In an effort to keep my my visual chops sharp, I launched a project in late 2010 – 1-4-365-4-40, a photo a day for a year. (Sound it out and it makes sense. Sort of.) For three years, all of these images were shot on one camera – an Olympus E-P2 – that my wife gave me as a gift for my 40th birthday. I started shooting with the standard 17 mm f/2.8 lens, but later switched to a Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 lens. I loved the field of view and size of the Olympus, but it just wasn’t quite sharp enough and I wanted the wider aperture.
Along the way I also picked up a 30-year-old 50 mm f/1.4 Olympus lens and the necessary adapter. Which wasn’t quite sharp enough, so I splurged and bought the Oly 45 mm f/1.8 lens.
With one exception*, every image in that series was shot on that little Oly, carried at my side every day. As the year drew to a close, I had to decide what to do next. Momentum, it turns out, truly is a powerful thing and I went off on another 366 day visual adventure. (Yes, 366 – it was a leap year.) When that one ended in late 2012, what was I to do but start again?
As 2012 eventually turned into and ran through 2013, so started a fourth year. In early 2014, with that faithful little Oly well past 100,000 activations and the buttons starting to stick, I transitioned over to a Panasonic GX-7, another micro four-thirds camera that takes the same lenses.
In early 2015, after the fourth series faded into the fifth, a colleagues purchased a Fujifilm X100T and loaned it to me for a few weeks. In March of 2015, the Panasonic and associated lenses were sold off and I moved to the little Fuji. (In between, a few images were made on a Canon S100, a grand little pocket camera.) There are some other camera and lens combos here and there, but the lead photo has always come off of one of those four, small cameras.
(* I cheated once, with the S100. Sorry.)