November 26th, 2013 ….. Lessons From the Archive

GF GAMB'E GAME-EditIt’s cold and rainy out. I’m stuck in the house. My iPhone crashed while I was talking to Olivier. I reinstalled the backup 4 times and it finally worked. So I decided to Re-Photograph my images. Don’t ask and I won’t explain what that means…..what, oh…sure…but….nah…let’s just do it. I go thru my catalog not to find missing images, well how could they be missing if I know where they are? Yeah, this applies to you…and you over there…yeah, you. Just cause you use Aperture, that ain’t no escape.

I know this sounds crazy and, well it just may be but truth is….we need to do this sometimes. No, not sit here and write like an idiot, re-shoot our photos. So, in LR5 or whatever…open your catalog and just look for photos that turn you on. It’s best not to start with an agenda but it’s almost unavoidable. I usually go back 2-3 years and just check out stuff that turns me on. It doesn’t have to be your best work but it will lead to that in the future.

In LR5 I put the chosen ones into a collection and label it “Picks.”  This does not do anything to the original location, it just copies the photos to the new collection. At this point your not doing anything brilliant…or are you? What your doing is grouping photos that you respond to after capture and putting them together in a collection for study.

After you are satisfied, the work begins. It is easy to see what lens is working and how you use it. Do you get in close or medium or far distances?



What camera was really working during this period? Was color or black & white the majority of images? What was the subject matter? Hmmmm, I got an idea….let’s group things by these different common denominators. What about time of day and position of the Sun? Light conditions are all important. How about recurring themes. How about collections like series?

This seems like a very anal process and boring. I mean, who wants to sit and really organize? What if the desired results are not met?

What this does is creates a collection of memories and facts that put together by a shooter with an open mind, makes a roadmap for the present and future. How would you like to go out and work and feel like you might be getting somewhere?  No, this doesn’t appeal to you….ok…B&H is having a sale….go buy a camera ya don’t need….

06-11-0240-EditI’m working the Homeless Advocacy Group tomorrow, rain or shine….. Seeya’s soon…..

9 thoughts on “November 26th, 2013 ….. Lessons From the Archive”

  1. A little embarrassing but I don’t actually know what LR5 is, what I do know is that these images INSPIRE me. Thank you. Hope work was meaningful and powerful with Homeless Advocacy Group, preferably sans rain! (I work with homeless in Brazil)

  2. Wasn’t it Garry Winogrand who once said that he leaves his new negatives un-viewed for a couple of months before he’ll take a first look at them? His rationale was that he needed to clear his mind of memories and preconceptions about the circumstances of his shoots before he’d be able to start editing in an unbiased way.

    I find that not only do I discover new ways of looking at things for my photography by doing that, but I frequently also find shots that “fell through my grid ” of selection criteria when first viewing my pictures.

    This may have to do with the way I tend to see picture opportunities when shooting: I often work on a rather intuitive basis, being reminded of other pictures I’d seen before, and taking pictures very rapidly even on the first hunch of such a memory. Naturally, these associations need to come up again when editing – not in a sense of attachment to the circumstances of a shot or in a sense of achievement for having seen the opportunity, but by bringing up the pure image association that made me take the shot in the first place.

    This works a lot better if some time has passed between my shooting session and the corresponding editing session.

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