From Film to Digital: The Evolution of a Photographer

Couple kissing in front of fireworks.

In the dynamic world of photography, the shift from traditional film to digital technology has revolutionized the way photographers approach their craft. As a highly acclaimed photojournalist, educator, businessperson and advocate for digital photography, I have fully embraced this transformation. Based in Seattle, Washington, my impressive four decade career of capturing news stories and captivating features across the globe exemplifies the profound impact that technology I had on the field of photography.

I never intended to make the switch to digital. It was only after the considerable prodding by fellow photographers. Michael Jones especially, his relentless finger pointing and recommendations were the driving force to the switch. I finally picked up a Canon 5DmkIV.

Embracing the Digital Age

I have been involved in the field of photography for many years, experiencing firsthand the evolution and influence of digital photography on the industry. Serving as the President of the White House News Photographers Association five times, I had the privilege of capturing significant events and notable figures, including four Presidents who were currently in office. With over 40 awards to my name, my skill as a photojournalist is highly regarded and widely recognized, not to brag of course.

Shooting Reality and Fiction

In addition to my work in news photography, I ventured into the realm of reality television. Collaborating with renowned producer Mark Burnett, I lent my expertise to over 20 television productions, including the first four seasons of “The Apprentice” and “Rock Star INXS.” This foray into reality TV complemented my work as the first contract still photographer for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and TLC, capturing stunning visuals from around the world.

A Global Perspective

My passion for photography has taken me to 73 countries across all seven continents. My extensive travel and diverse experiences have shaped my unique perspective as a photographer. Whether capturing the energy of a political event or the beauty of a remote landscape, my ability to tell compelling visual stories knows no boundaries.

The Power of Education and Inspiration

Beyond my own photography endeavors, I am dedicated to sharing this knowledge with others. As a speaker and instructor at renowned platforms such as TED, Google, and Sony, I try to impart this wisdom and inspire aspiring photographers worldwide. In addition, I founded Blue Pixel, a digital creative group, and consulted with major players in the retail, computer, software, and camera manufacturing industries.

Reinventing Photography Education

Recognizing the need for accessible photography education, I spearheaded a national initiative called PhotoCoaches™. This program aims to teach individuals how to take better pictures, tell captivating stories through photography, and find joy in the art form. By empowering individuals to hone their photography skills, I hope to cultivate a community of passionate visual storytellers.

The Shift from Analog to Digital

As with many photographers who made the transition from film to digital, I initially faced uncertainty. However, the allure of digital photography’s unique qualities and capabilities eventually won me over. While I had been shooting film for 30+ years, I found that digital photography spoke to my vision and allowed me to explore new creative possibilities.

Discovering the Digital Visual Language

When I finally embraced digital photography, I discovered that it offered a distinct visual language. Digital images possess qualities such as compression, foreshortening, and unpredictability. Rather than resisting these characteristics, I embraced them, finding beauty and intrigue in their effects.

Embracing Change and Growth

My journey from film to digital photography represents a willingness to adapt and reinvent oneself. At the age of 60, I embraced digital technology and discovered a new way of seeing the world through my lens. This willingness to evolve is a testament to my passion for photography and my dedication to continually pushing the boundaries of this craft.

Film To Digital

My shift from using traditional film to digital photography is a prime example of how technology has revolutionized the field of photography. With my extensive background as a photojournalist, reality TV photographer, educator and entrepreneur, I have fully embraced the digital era. I have skillfully adapted to new techniques and tools that allow me to capture and convey compelling visual narratives. My remarkable journey serves as a source of inspiration for photographers around the globe, reminding us all of the importance of growth and adaptation in an ever changing industry.

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