Garrett Ewald, Photojournalist


After ten years working in television production for commerical and PBS television stations/networks I shifted to photojournalism while studying at Indiana University. The Indiana Daily Student (IDS) was still one of the only two paid circulation student newspapers and provided great experiences while I was a photographer, then photo editor. I also had the chance to start shooting for the Associated Press on a regular basis in college since the IDS was the Bloomington bureau for the AP. Sports was their primary interest so this included lots of Big Ten Football and Basketball. Bob Knight was often good for news (sadly I was working for the television network for the Purdue game when he threw a chair across the floor, but there were plenty of other photo opportunities). He was good for a byline on the front page of USA Today, images in the first week The National was printed, and his induction into the basketball hall of fame (marked with full page ads by adidas featuring my photo in national and regional newspapers). Working for the IDS was a blast. We travelled to nearly every road game, shot in old gyms and their replacements and worked from the darkrooms of major newspapers and for the AP in a mop closet in Assembly Hall under crazy deadlines. 

Today I'm based in New York City and the Hudson Valley (including the Berkshires) and returning to my photography roots after completing an MBA and working in technology.

My approach to photography continues to be influenced by a wide range of experiences. 

I took a brief detour to work in Southeast Asia, working in Signapore and Vietnam for a media company When I returned I started Caravelle Communication to create and publish The Crimson Review, a photographic review of IU Athletics. Starting with the 1994-95 season I followed the Indiana Hoosiers around the country to create a series of annual photographic reviews. Sadly, only the first edition was published, though the next two were photographed and designed. I continued covering the Hoosiers, primarily for the Associated Press, until they imposed unrealistic demands on freelancers, and ultimately for Inside Indiana until I moved to New York City. 

Shooting for the Associated Press during the period also included first hand experience with changes in technology. From shooting black and white film developed in janitor closets to make black and white prints we progressed to color negative film and making color prints using Kodak's short lived instant color print system. Those prints took 27 minutes to transmit using scanners only slightly changed in decades. Color negative scanners replaced the print scanners and soon images were sent in under five minutes. As my run of working with the AP came to a close the early generation of digital cameras were just arriving on the scene. 

Shooting with film was great training. Being able to shoot only 36 images before changing film taught me to shoot carefully. Turning in only two rolls of film on deadline, and editing lots of film under the gun makes it easier to sort through the hundreds, if not thousands of images it is possible to shoot now with digital cameras. Slide film was the gold standard for color photography, and notoriously unforgiving of bad exposures and bad color balance. This limitation was the inspiration for looking for dramatic compositions, attention to lighting, and bold colors. I had the good fortune to shoot a fair amount of slides for commercial projects contributing to my interest in stunning lighting and bold colors.

Digital cameras have come a long way in the last 10 years. The ability to review your work as you go is invaluable. With film, changing lighting conditions required changing film, and low light situations could be a challenge. Current digital cameras are amazing in low light, and changing "film" speeds is a simple matter so covering a long event doesn't involve managing rolls of film and expensive special processing. Turning around an assignment used to mean tracking down a lab open late at night, but now a laptop is my lab. On one recent assignment I was on a bus from DC to NYC that should of had Internet service, but I ended up transferring the images to my cell phone and uploading them to a newspaper hundreds of miles away. 

Sharing and reviewing work online with clients and editors is a valuable tool, and ordering prints, albums and hard cover books has never been easier. Working with a photographer who has experience shooting, editing and publishing will go a long way to getting memorable images, on time, and ready to be reproduced. 

© 2023 Photos by GE.

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