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Mexico Photography: Pedro Meyer and Contemporary Photography

Pedro Meyer was born in Madrid, Spain, on October 6, 1935.  He immigrated to Mexico with his family, in 1937.  Five years later he became a Mexican citizen.  He started teaching himself photography with a camera he received for his 13th birthday.  In 1953, at the age of 18, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  He is the founder of the Mexican Council of Photography and was also the creator of the Latin American Colloquium of Photography.

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Meyer became known as a documentary photographer in the early 1960s.  He spent his time capturing images in many countries.  His photographs showed images from a wide range of topics.  They included images of despair, joy, oddities, and truth.

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Eventually, Meyer started experimenting with digital photography.  He became a leading voice in the movement to utilize the computer and internet in the world of photography.  In 1990, he created, and published, “I Photograph to Remember'', which was a memorial of the last year in the life of his parents.  Many people agree this was the first CD-ROM that used both photographs, and sound.  In addition to his innovative use of the CD-ROM, Meyer is credited as the person responsible for creating the process for printing photographs on artist’s paper using an Inkjet printer.

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In 1993, he created a website that is completely devoted to photography.  The website, ZoneZero, contained the work of more than one thousand photographers.  In addition to photographs being shared, monthly editorials are written that share thoughts on the current state of photography and the transition from analog to digital media.  It was one of the most visited photography websites on the internet.

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Meyer has spent a large portion of time lecturing on the topic of digital photography and has received numerous awards for his work.  Among others, his awards include the Guggenheim Foundation Scholarship and the first award given to a web based project by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Meyer has produced many different types of publications.  He has written several monographs, which are detailed written studies of a single specialized subject.  In 1995 he wrote, Truths and Fictions – A Journey from Documentary to Digital Photography.  His most recent book was written in 2011, titled, A Kind of Touching Beauty:  Photographs of America.

Pedro Meyer started out with photography in a very traditional sense.  He used a camera and a dark room to print the photographs.  He had a sense of where the future would take photography and instead of resisting change, he embraced it whole-heartedly.  He was a pioneer in contemporary photography.  He found ways to use computers to enhance photography and continues to teach and challenge others to do the same.  It is easy to fear change, but change can also have huge benefits.

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