While I’ve not been shooting much lately, I have been working a lot with my photographs. I’ve started to review various sessions I’ve done this year with fresh eyes. Ibarionex from the Candid Frame mentioned this exact thing in a couple of tweets. Sometimes, like when I was doing class work last summer, I was out shooting image for a specific assignment and while I’d take other stuff, too, my post-processing just focused on the immediate task. The rest of the images were kind of lost in the flurry of moving on to the next assignment, or the one cool image from the next session or whatever. Yet there are still interesting images buried in those sessions.
I have shot over 6000 frames in 2018. Like I mentioned before, I’ve done over 60 sessions and 100 frames per session seems about typical. Of those 6000, I’ve only processed about 150 into “keepers” or for posting to IG. Which, actually, is pretty good. I think of a successful session as one where I get anything at all, so to kind of average 2 per session isn’t bad. Now, that’s just images that are worth processing and maybe putting on Instagram. I’m not putting everything in the year end book or would not find them worthy of printing and hanging on a wall.
And yet even with that quantity of images, there is probably still some things that I’ve missed in my raw material. I think about different crops, color vs. black and white, different ways of putting a set of images together. For example, this past week I had one of basically a blank wall that I liked. That got me thinking about urban minimalism. So I looked through my sessions, and found a few others that fit the same theme that I’d kind of overlooked originally because I was perhaps thinking about something else. In two of those cases the crop I chose made a lot of difference to the feel of the image.
This process of going through images has allowed me the time to start thinking about what images I’m going to pick for a Blurb book, and updating my online portfolio. For the book, I want to choose about 30 from the year that not only I feel are some of the best images but also kind of capture my feelings about 2018. As I begin to cull (or perhaps “curate”) the images down to a reasonable amount, I’m letting the images themselves kind of show me a unifying thread. The portfolio can be a little more varied and stylish. Both are worth spending some time on and giving thoughtful consideration.
I’m also continuing to look for other small opportunities to share my photos. Our company holds a silent auction every year to support one of the local food shelves. People can donate things, crafts, food, etc, to the auction. I have a photo I took of our building about a year ago, so I made a print, put it in an Ikea frame and will add that to the auction. Someone will probably pick it up for their office and add some money to the food shelf donation. I don’t expect this to be anything dramatic to my artistic career, but I also value any opportunity to fully finish an image. This is a complex image, so It took some effort, trial and error, to get the print to land correctly. To me this is as fun a part of the photographic process as capturing images.
The bottom line is that I think it’s ok, especially this time of year when it is both busy and the weather kind of sucks, to take some time and just look at images that I’ve collected with fresh eyes and new ideas, spend some time getting my work organized, and doing some small things. It’s not always about using the camera.