March 16, 2013

Where Good Photos go to Die

Today’s existential question: If the good photos are buried on my hard drive, do they even really exist?


Sometimes in my haste to show up my daughter I post the first photos I take. The ring on toes and newborn photos are prime examples. The problem is the first photos are often not the best photos. Not even close.

Left: the newborn photos I first took and posted
Right: my favorite newborn photo
BTW, she’s two weeks old in the left photo, four in the second!

My facebook cover photo? Rings on toes with noticeable motion blur and too shallow a depth of field. (Well noticeable to me, which is precisely too noticeable as it’s driving me batty every time I see my wall). It’s so silly of me that I did that. I said I wasn’t going to post the cover photo for a while, and I knew I was going to take more photos, and they would very likely be better photos. But I just couldn’t wait. I, apparently, have the patience of a four year old at Christmas.

Above: A much improved rings on toes picture
Below: A super close up of the ring

The number of photos I take is so ridiculous, that despite all my efforts to stay organize my photos folder will always be a bit unwieldy. If I have 300 photos in a folder it takes me quite a bit of time to find the best ones. For wedding photos, or travel photos I’m far more likely to go to my facebook albums than to my photos folder on my hard drive for this reason. I’ve already identified the “best” ones. I’ll go back and re-read old blog entries at least once a week, and of course I linger on the photography pages.

I do go back and look my Nicole photos from time to time. Sometimes rediscover gems I’ve forgotten about. Rarely to I give them all proper attention. But I’m sure there are many more hidden away in the dusty corners of my hard drive. If I’m more likely to turn to my blog or social media to find old photos, will I ever rediscover those all those lost gems?

That would seem like a good argument to delete the “bad” photos, but I’m still hesitant to do that for two reasons. One, sometimes when I go back my feelings for a photo change. The second reason is because technology is always improving. I’ve recently been looking into tools that reduce motion blur in post processing. Nothing is perfect, but who knows where we will be in 5 or 10 years.

Nope, I still can’t delete a photo ever.

But it would be nice if I made it easier to find my best photos. It would also be nice if people stumbling onto my blog would see my best work as well. I’ve seen some evidence that visitors to my blog don’t really like the newborn photograhy. I can’t really blame them if I’m not showing my best work, now can I? If I want my photography to be taken seriously I need to show I can critique my own work. That means only showing the great photos rather than rushing to show the first ones!

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