Thank you, Richard Anderson

As of July 2011, Richard Anderson completed his term as director of the dpBestflow project, and as the chair of ASMP’s Digital Standards and Practices Committee.  This closes a six year chapter of working selflessly and tirelessly on behalf of his fellow photographer.

Richard took over the helm of ASMP’s Digital Standards and Practices Committee in 2005, and became principle author and chair of UPDIG. During his tenure there, he oversaw the production of 5 versions of the best practice document. The UPDIG document represented the best consensus on the technical facets of digital photography for publication, and was instrumental in helping to spread good technical understanding worldwide.

The UPDIG Guidelines were endorsed by photographers’ groups from aroun the world, and have been translated into several languages.

As chairman and principle author of UPDIG Guidelines, Richard displayed an ability to patiently search for the real truth about nearly every technical facet of digital photography. This required a dedication to chasing down all loose ends and never taking any conventional wisdom for granted.

This job also required a great deal of patience and dedication. As an entirely unfunded effort, there were more people willing to say what should be done than willing to do the actual work. In the end, Richard researched and wrote the vast majority of the guidelines himself.

In the fall of 2006, Richard and Gene Mopsik attended a meeting on digital standards with Caroline Arms from the Library of Congress. Caroline had heard of Richard’s work, and was very interested in getting his participation in the National Digital Infrastructure and Preservation Program. The NDIIPP effort provided matching cash awards to projects in academia, institutions and industry to help preserve the nation’s heritage of born-digital creative materials.

Under Richard’s committee chairmanship, ASMP received a $428,000 cash award to research, write and promote best practices in digital imaging for professional photographers. The product of this award was the website and the accompanying national tour. (Much of the matching funding was provided by in-kind-services donations of the writing and production team, and significant funds were also provided by ASMP from Author’s Coalition funds).

From 2006 through the present day, Richard has served as the Director of the dpBestflow project. This has included quite a bit of project administration, as well as co-directing the editorial team, and doing plenty of research and writing.

I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with Richard over this time, first in my role as the founder of ASMP’s Digital Standards and Practices Committee, and later as an UPDIG contributor, and finally as the dpBestflow project manager and a principle author of dpBestflow. (In fact it was Richard’s economic analysis of digital photography that first convinced me to go all digital in 2002).  In that time, I have found him to have the inquisitiveness of a great scientist, the appreciation of interrelated factors of an economist, and the patience and selflessness of, well, someone a lot more patient than I am.

Moving Forward
In the spring 2011 board meeting, ASMP voted to provide funds to update the dpBestflow website with content about motion imaging, as well as to update the general content for newly released software. Rich Harrington will be in charge of the motion imaging content, and our new editor will be Dominique le Roux, who has been working on the project.

While Richard had hoped to spearhead the next version of dpBestflow, family care obligations and a busy studio workload have forced him to step back from the project, and resign the directorship. While I’m eager to extend my participation and take the helm of the project, it will be with real sadness that I won’t be working with Richard.

In a thirty year career of project-by-project employment, my work with Richard Anderson has been one of the most satisfying and productive collaborations I’ve ever had. He has gone from being a colleague to becoming a true friend – one of the most loyal and dependable people I know. I’m really thankful for the time we had working, traveling and just hanging out together.

And everyone in the digital photography ecosystem, whether you know it or not, has Richard to thank for helping to bring clarity to the practice of the craft.   Hats off to you Richard: and thanks for all your hard work.