Last week, while looking for some family photos, I stumbled upon a folder of unedited from a 2012 trip to Florida. I remember what a great morning it was taking bird and nature photos. Sadly, the next day I learned of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the folder was put aside and forgotten. I wrote these thoughts a couple years ago but, I think it is worth updating and re-posting.
My cameras never fail to be a source of comfort for me. I feel safe, secure, and inspired with them. They are constant companions and familiar “friends” as I explore the world around me. The images I create are a substantial part of my being so, they too, are like old friends. But, what happens to the images I DON’T process? I save most of them for another day.
The creative process, for me, is something intensely personal, deeply spiritual, and very meaningful. Every photo is taken with great purpose but, not every click of the shutter proves successful. Too often my expectations exceed the final results or I simply failed to execute my vision. My workflow dictates that I immediately make a folder of my subject, download my images into the folder, and mark the images that I believe are notable. Once done with those I make another pass through and look for more keepers. I always find more but, inevitably there are many that never get much of a look in the excitement of the “best” ones. Like my cameras, ALL of these images are my friends not just the immediate keepers. Like real life friends, we need to visit with them and nurture them and learn from them; even our mistakes. They should not be forgotten.
It is VERY important to revisit folders of your older images. Almost every time I do this, I find an overlooked gem that now resonates with me such as this preening egret in Florida. Reviewing images from earlier this year, and the years before, should become an integral part of your creative process. The advancements in software, as well as our skill sets, greatly broaden our ability for post production on ALL images, not just new ones.
Take the time to say hi to an old friend today; one way or another. If nothing else, you will reconnect with images, places, and people who have meaning to you and THAT is the best final image.
Photograph What You Feel
Nikon 200-400 f4 lens