I have a confession to make. I hoard images. There, I have said it. I feel better now. It’s like a weight lifted from my shoulders and I can move on with my life.
Seriously though, I never throw away images. Yes, during a shoot I pretty much know when I have totally screwed up an image and those I do throw away, but everything else I keep. When uploaded to my computer hard drive the images are all key worded and archived and are then automatically backed up on my home network NAS drive. I know, it sounds very anal – but if you have never lost a bunch of images to a hard drive failure then it just hasnt happened to you, yet. Anyway, I digress. Every image that I have ever uploaded to my computer during the past 4 or 5 years is still there. Why? Well I like to think that as I learn more about photography I will learn how to use tools (hardware and software) that will help me express my vision in the images that I create. I will have also read more about photography and looked at many images, several of which will make me stop and wonder how and why it was made. A couple of times a year I will go back through my image archives and almost every time I will see an image that will remind me of something that I have learned about in the intervening time. I will then set to work creating something that I simply couldn’t have created at the time when I took the photograph.
I was reminded of this recently when I read a blog post by a photographer whose work and philosophy regarding creativity I greatly admire. John Barclay maintains a blog and a podcast and one of his recent podcasts was about various software tools that John uses and he was demonstrating how the tools can be used to give life to an ordinary, flat photograph. I was astonished at the difference between the before and after. Check out the podcast and you will see what I mean. This inspired me greatly and since I have lots of “flat” images, John’s post forced me to go through my archive again to see if there was something that I could work on. I didn’t have the same tools that John used in his Podcast but it was the idea that was important. I used my tools to try and lift a subject out of an otherwise flat scene. The blog image is what I came up with. It has been sat on my hard drive for three or so years.