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Profile of Pedro Meyer pioneer of digital photography and founder of zonezero.com

Pedro Meyer is one of the most technologically innovative photographers in the world. He started experimenting with digital photography in the early 1990s and in 1993 launched Zonezero.com, one of the first photography websites on the internet. This article gives outline information on Pedro Meyer and his zonezero.com site. I also provide some impressions of the man, whom I met at the Democratic Image symposium in Manchester, April 2007.

Pedro Meyer is one of the most innovative personalities in contemporary photography. He was born on 6 October 1935 in Madrid, Spain and moved to Mexico with his family when they emigrated there.

From his base in Mexico City he has developed the zonezero.com website. Launched in 1993 it was one of the first photography websites in the world.

It has since grown into one of the most visited sites on the internet, with a reported 55 million visitors in one year. It showcases the photographs of over a thousand photographers from many different countries, as well as the work of Pedro Meyer himself.

The main Leitmotiv of the site is the progression from film to digital. In the curated gallery space there are portfolios and slide shows of featured photographers . It's also possible for anyone meeting certain requirements to submit up to five images to the portfolio.

Other resources on the site include moblogs, e-books for download, a forum, a magazine, and a monthly editorial written by the founder himself. The site is blingual Spanish and English.

Pedro Meyer has been active at many educational institutions in Mexico, the USA and other countries, and is the founder of the Mexican Association of Photography. He is a published author and of course an accomplished photographer in his own right.

I had the opportunity to meet Pedro Meyer at the Democratic Image symposium in Manchester, held 21 and 22 April 2007.

He had a commanding presence with the ability to hold an audience. He gave many Incisive opinions and demonstrated a deep knowledge and understanding of photography-related issues. In response to some questions he would often reply with a humorous comment or anecdote.

He is keen to highlight the benefits of exhibiting photography via the internet, a field in which he is a pioneer. He regards it as an overwhelming advantage that thanks to the internet it is now possible for photographers to have their work seen all over the world.

I was interested to see that he had a Leica M8 camera which he kept with him during the symposium. His girlfriend Nadia had another identical one too.

Pedro Meyer is at the forefront of today's digital camera revolution, just as he was fifteen years ago as one of the first owners of a Lacie external hard drive with a capacity of just a few megabytes.

He was one of the first photographers to present photographs and music on CD ROM. This was his project 'I Photograph To Remember' made in 1991. Though the presentation method worked well, distribution was a problem, he said and was only solved when web technology and bandwidth improvements allowed images and sound to be distributed via the internet.

It was certainly a privilege to meet and chat with Pedro Meyer, a true pioneer in the field of digital photography, and someone who has done a great deal to help to promote the work of his fellow photographers around the world.

And it's refreshing that a figure and website so influential on the world stage is based not in California or Chicago USA, or even Manchester UK but south of the border in Mexico City.

Visit the zonezero.com website

Listen to the Pedro Meyer Democratic Image Podcast on the prodig.org site

See the Wikipedia entry on Pedro Meyer in Wikipedia

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2007-04-22

Aidan O'RourkeAidan O'Rourke has been active in photography and online media since 1995. He has documented the development of the local area in his Eyewitness website (1997-2005) and as a contributor to books, publications and the Manchester Evening News. He runs his Eyewitness photography walks in Manchester, Liverpool and other locations. He offers one-to-one tuition in Photography and Languages. He is a high-level speaker of German and can offer photography walks and tours through the medium of German. Visit www.aidan.co.uk

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