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February 2012

Getting It on Paper


Here's a quick trailer for my new book.

Technically, it's a sports book. I photographed the last ten games of this football team's final season in a conference they'd been in for over 100 years. Lot's of history there, which is now gone forever.

Realistically, it's more of a documentary book.

When it was annouced that Nebraska would leave the Big 12, I went looking for historical images. Photographs that would show me what the stadium looked like, how the people dressed, something which would give me an idea of what it was like to witness or play the game back then.

Sadly, there wasn't much out there to find. Virtually nothing from before the 1960's, and not much from even twenty years ago.

So you could classify the book as a timecapsule too. That was my goal anyway. To capture this unique point in history that would become priceless to viewers in the future.

As a photographer, it wasn't an easy task. Still, I know how to make pictures (more or less), and I enjoyed every moment on the sidelines. That was the easy part.

Logistically, driving about 20,000 miles, flying, lodging, credentials, also plenty doable. As an agency photographer I learned early how to do this kind of stuff on my own, but more importantly do it cheaply.

Editing the 20,000 or so images (hmm... a picture for every mile), I enjoyed too. I think I did an OK job. I could have, and probably should have dropped this task on one of the great photoeditors I've worked with over the years, but that would have been a little much to ask.

The other seven or eight jobs, normally stuff a publisher would handle, were a tad tougher. I learned a lot, and got through it, though I'm nowhere near having mastered any of them.

Overall it's been a great learning experience and I think publishing the follow-up book on the Husker's first season in the Big Ten will teach me even more. Yeah, I shot the second book at the same time I was publishing the first one. Something I don't recommend to anyone!

It had to be a book, this body of work. The digital age hadn't helped my in my quest to find the images from twenty, fifty or a hundred years ago. I suppose the newspapers in Nebraska might get around to archiving their historical images on film, but that's a big and unlikely "might". So 5000 copies, printed on paper, in the hands of that many people, still seems like the best solution when it comes to documentary photography.

The book is available on Amazon here.

You can also get a copy directly from me.