noir.net was founded in 1996 by me, Hans Rupert, a photographer with a dream that the Internet was going to be a powerful tool for artists to become publishers of their own creative works. The idea was to create a new network to serve as a platform for photographers' portfolios to be shown around the world. You see, back then we all printed our portfolios as nice, expensive C-prints bound into leather portfolios to be toted around or shipped to potential clients in order to be seen. But I was sure that the Internet was going to change everything, and so I jumped headlong into the breach. What I discovered along the way is this meant building a web server, getting T-1 lines, and scanning film into digital files. Then we needed to figure out how to build websites where we could share all these photos. It was complicated. It was hard. It was a failure. I never managed to get it all together at once.
So, I just adopted noir as a my new business name and started to blend in website building, hosting and photo digitization into my business model. I kind of gradually lost my identity as Hans Rupert the photographer, and become known more widely as that "Internet guy". I helped my friends Dan & Michelle Minick setup a cyber cafe with big, sexy, black NeXT computers and 2Mbs Internet connections at their new place, Octane. This was in 1996 mind you. Nobody really had workstation class computers with 21" monitors, and even fewer people had access to the Internet, and if they did it was via slow 56.6Kbs dial-up modems. But more about the whole Internet rabbit hole later.
A few years ago when I was pretty sure I was going to die, I promised myself that if I didn't I would finally finish my dream of using noir.net as a true network for other photographers that I admired and whose work I really enjoyed. I would become "Hans Rupert, Photographer" again. But at least this time –20 years after I started the dream– I would do it right. This time, I would offer free website space to selected photographers, and really live up to the "noir" part of the mission. This site would be solely B&W work – just great, stunning, good old B&W. So here's the deal about showing work on noir.net:
- The network will be free.
- All photos must be B&W. No exceptions.
- All photographers own the copyrights to their works. Forever. No exceptions.
- All work must be personal, non-commercial work.
- Info & links to external commercial sites will be encouraged and allowed.
- There will never be ads, selling of data, or other nefarious stuff.
- I will curate, collect, organize and publish all your work on noir.net You don't have to do anything else.
- Links from your work shown on noir.net will be allowed, encouraged, and applauded.
- If I ever need help curating, publishing or maintaining noir.net, I may ask you, but I don't expect it.