The Archivist

Bob Blog Post smSince KSDK-TV in St. Louis went on the air February 8th, 1947 film cans have been stacking up.
The station’s archivist, Bob Garger has been maintaining the archive of film for the last few years…
this is a short peek into a part of Bob’s day.

I published this on Vimeo a few months back but this is simply an example of what I’d love to do more of…
travel light with a simple DSLR and a wireless microphone to capture the life around us.. not necessarily big stories..
but the parts of our lives that fit together and create the big story.





Moments: The Archivist from Doug Howell on Vimeo.

Hazel at 98

GrandmaHazel was my wife’s mother’s mom. A wonderfully generous lady who loved to cook and care for her kids and grandkids… Even at 98 she was probably sharper than many 20 something’s I know… I always enjoyed a visit with her. She seemed to always be genuinely happy to know what was happening in your life. Always seemed to love seeing her great grand kids grow.

While I hoped this image would have been up to PPA standards for competition (it wasnt) I know that’s not the standard that matters. Merit worthy or not – I think this captures Hazel at her best, near the end. Her eyes reflect her sharp wit that was still present and that slight smile masks a lot of love that she had for everyone she knew.

Race for the Cure

Last year I was asked to document the Komen Race for the Cure for a NewsChannel Five promotional piece. I expected to shoot primarily stills and create the spot with just a series of slow disolves on the photos… but as I began to document the day I couldn’t resist shooting a bit of video as well [the Nikon D800’s a beautiful camera]. I had been at the event previous years but never spent this amount of time really looking at the people around me. When you start really looking into their faces.. and see the emotion that they simply can’t hide… you can’t help but be moved.

This year’s Komen Race for the Cure is set for June 15th and I hope to have the opportunity to be there again. To document the day. To capture the joy and spirit that the folks participating. If you only have 30 seconds skip down to the second version… if you have a few minutes more watch this and consider coming to downtown St. Louis to join in!

Here’s the 30 second spot that got most the air time:


My first competition

5152333_1107-12009 – I had just recently joined up with the Professional Photographers of America and met a very dynamic group of photographers at the Illinois state convention. I was first impressed at how easy and open to share information everybody was. Then I had the good fortune to meet the guys: Three of the most talented and visually gifted photographers I’ve ever met. Iconic? That’s a big word but these guys have created some iconic work. From the grandure of the wild west… to angst ridden portraits that make you shudder if you stare too long… to beautiful works of art from simple garden weeds…

John • Paul • Michael

Michael Barton, Paul Rogers & John Metcalfe continue to be instrumental in helping me develop my photographic vision and finishing technique. If you ever need some tough love and a true critique of your work – get to know these guys and put on your thick skin. John likes to say “The more thou sweat-est in preparation, the less thou bleed-est in competition.” I’m pretty certain I’ve bled plenty under their mentoring.

This image entitled, “Bucket of Buddy” was my first entry into the seriously competitive world of print competition. I photographed my dog, Buddy. Spent an hour or so in Photoshop and presented it to the guys. Then I re-photographed Buddy. Spent a few more hours in Photoshop and presented it to the guys. Can you say rinse and repeat? Subtle things like retouching eyes, warming up the ears, eliminating all things unnecessary to the image. Finally, at my first print competition at the state convention in Illinois I was we were awarded a solid score of 83 (my first Merit) and a Judge’s Choice award for the image! I am continually humbled each and every time I have the opportunity to go to print competition and bask in the beautiful imagery that is presented and I hope to continue building my portfolio of merits – someday earning my photographic master’s degree from the PPA. Until then I’ll keep shooting and reshooting…. the more I sweat.. the less I bleed.