My career in visual journalism began in 1983.
My interest in tech, creative art and figuring things out for myself began when I was 5.
Life is about constantly evolving and associating with forces that keep you thinking, questioning and moving forward. Moving forward can often be executed by physically staying in the same place.
In 1967 when I was five, my grandfather introduced me to a social media machine.
In his garage was a re-purposed radio set filled with glowing tubes, a twitter fire hose of voices from around the world.
From the single copper wire that ran the length of the roof and a directional coil below, public broadcasts and private voices chattered in many languages.
My Grandfather was a survivor of WW I trench warfare, a German soldier. He earned the iron cross.
Alfred left his homeland and eventually took his honed skills to Grumman’s experimental division on Long Island, New York. Leading up to and during WWII, he helped create the flying machines that blew up Hitler’s army.
This creative man, who had every tool known to humans at the ready in the trunk of a ’66 Dodge Dart, made the customized gas tanks (1927) for Charlie Levine and his flying machine . Most people haven’t heard of Levine because Charles Lindbergh left first.
Alfred Kuehnel is listed in a plaque at the Cradle of Aviation Museum as one of the first 100 workers at Grumman.
My other grandfather was an electrical inspector in New York City and also synchronized traffic lights before computers existed, and taught me about circuits and electricity… and not to be an idiot and to keep my hands out of my pockets.
Most importantly, both men taught me not to be afraid to attack any technical problem; that I would always learn something new by breaking something. And sometimes things need to be broken to move forward.
I have never taken a journalism class or a photography class, but I have taught both.
I joined the Gettysburg Times as a full-time staff photographer three weeks into a one month internship that I created with Gettysburg College’s J-Term in January 1983. The resident photographer quit in a huff, I just kept on working full-time for a 6 week daily and going to school full-time.
I graduated Gettysburg College with a BA in Sociology/Psychology.
I began working for the York Daily Record a day after I left the Gettysburg Times in September 1984.
I went though B&W tray slopping, direct print screens (creating screen ready prints with the dots on a print thus saving a process), running a Fuji C-41 color film processor, and digital scanning color negatives starting in 1992.
- 1997 using a digital still camera for 100% of production web and print.
- 2001 First published video in a news web page for ydr.com
- 2006 Began greenmesh.com mobile tech blog
- 2009 First live stream video on a ydr.com news platform using an Android smartphone.
Last year I published 242 videos, mostly short-form day to day story embeds along with many more still photos.
I also love construction of all kinds and complexity and love building up hot water heating systems. It’s in the genes kuehnelsheetmetal.com