Music for Editing Your Photos
I am a photographer because the process of exploring the world and making creative decisions about how to capture that world is extremely therapeutic. To be frank, it provides joy. But if you are serious about taking your photography as far as it can go one must invest a lot of time and energy into editing your work. Editing your work can be both tedious yet extraordinarily rewarding. It can also make the difference between average work and outstanding work. And by editing I mean assessing your own work and where it fits in relative to your other work, but also recognizing how compelling or meaningful individual photos are and then choosing those to share as part of exhibits, stories, commercial, social media, websites, etc. So with that our latest playlist is "Music for Editing your work". I chose music that I find soothing that seems to both relax me and enhance my focus.
Things I've learned about Editing:
Shooting film allows you time away from your work to look at with fresh eyes:
Most of the time my 35mm film does not get sent off to the lab until a few weeks but sometimes months after I shoot it. Over time the original emotional attachment to the image you made fades and you are able to view the work with a little more objectiveness.
When looking at the work for the first time I simply listen to my emotional response:
When I first scroll though my scans I simply go through each roll and in essence react to the work on a very gut-based emotional level. When something inside me says, "oh wow" or draws me in and causes me to look closer I usually have at minimum a decent image. And again it's much easier to feel these reactions when you've had some time away from the work and your seeing it for the first time.
It helps to imagine both the individual merits of an image and how an image may fit into a larger body of work:
Most of the time I am not compelled by the work I see individually but when re-imagining how each image may tell a larger story it becomes quite fun and challenging to see that every photo in a sense could be the birth of something new, or fit in like a character into a larger story. For example, I've always shot plastic in trees for some reason but really did not see much value in it. But over time I have developed the idea a bit further after looking back at my work and seeing there was potential for a larger vision.
Every so often go back through your archives with fresh eyes and organize a folder by theme/motif:
Sometimes I think we are so new at exploring something that we fail to see it's beauty or potential. Going back through old work can excite the perception that over time has grown wiser in a sense , and you may find something that is really compelling or at least spawns a new idea.
There are many, many more lessons and things to learn from editing one's own work and I've only touched the surface here. How do you edit your work? Is there anything you would like to share that you find very helpful? I hope you enjoyed this playlist!