Blog #94 The Stone That The Builder Refused
You love photography just like me. You wear a camera. You shoot professionally or for personal projects, or just for the hell of it because it’s fun and exciting, and creative, and magical. After the proverbial day at the races you send your roll off to the lab or you dump those 286 jpegs into your laptop. You might wait four minutes [for the coffee press to be ready] or maybe four weeks until you return from Mars, but eventually you will need to edit your photos. Thus, it begins…
There are three types of photographers when it comes to editing. You might be a runner-up for the show Hoarders and never delete a single image. The risk with this approach is that your hard drive will be sure to implode into a singularity and wipe out everything within 2 kilometres of your apartment. Plus, who the heck wants to edit all of the images when there are three keepers in the whole lot anyway [if you’re lucky]?
You might be the zen photographer who walks around the streets for eight hours at night, making only eight images and you’ll only keep the ONE! One and done? We’ve all heard about the mathematic or musical savant but photographic savants are like dragons…they simply don’t exist.
Most of us fall somewhere on the middle path. We delete the mistakes such as the really blurry or accidental shots…the “oops” I didn’t mean to snap that bird or car bumper image, then we keep and edit the rest. After a few run-throughs there are a few images that work and that you are proud of and feeling that they are share-worthy. Maybe you share them immediately, or maybe next week, or maybe next month. Regardless, there are the forgotten ones that sit for all of eternity on your dusty hard drives and in plastic air-tight bins under your bed stuffed with sleeves and sleeves of film negatives.
Now what? Is there value in looking back and unearthing these heirloom greats from their dusty places of rest? Did you miss something? How could you? You made your list, checked it twice, and found which images were naughty or nice. The ones that didn’t make the cut are dead to you now, gone forever. Right?
One of my current projects is shooting in square format and after doing some research for this project, I recently went back into my image folder archives and started cropping a bunch of images in square format. The exercise was educational at minimum. I was able to find some images that I had forgotten about and was reacquainted with those. It become clear that I had made some really significant improvements over the years.
I was able to identify some themes to my previous work, some images that were better than I had thought they were at the time, and the cropping into square format functioned to revitalise some of the images into half way decent or better.
In Matthew 21:42 it is written “Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is from the Lord, and it is marvellous in our eyes' ?
Corner Stone (By Bob Marley) is a lovely melody based on this writing that reminds us to be cautious when casting things aside. We ought to apply this principal to our image making and editing. You might just find something marvellous.
The light is always right.