My blogging “schedule” hasn’t been much of a schedule lately...nor blogging for that matter, but I figure that it’s probably better not to write anything until you feel you have something to share than to ramble on about stuff.
So I actually do have something to share today. This was brought on by a conversation I had yesterday during the one day event called “Linan” (The Line) in Malmö, Sweden. It’s a one day outdoor photo exhibition in a park that I’ve taken part in several times. This year I showed 13 12 x 16 inch images from last weekend’s Pride Parade here in town.
On to the conversation I hinted at...a spectator I’ve run into at several other one day events commented that I always share such good event photos; that I manage to capture the mood of an event well. That is of course high praise and I told him so, but it also got me thinking about editing, judging and selecting photos.
The 13 images I showed were from a culled collection of 59 images that was in the neighborhood of 350 images straight out of the camera. Some rough math means that for every image I showed in the park yesterday I had taken 27 shots. That probably doesn’t sound like a good ratio, but I figure it is worth mentioning anyway. When you’re starting out photographing it's all too easy to compare your often pretty mediocre stuff to the masters of the past. I am sure that Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Irving Penn and all those guys shot a lot of duds too, but they never made those public...so why should we? We should not make the mistake of comparing our worst to their best...that is definitely not helpful!
I think my ratio of shot pictures to shown pictures also illustrates the point that you will benefit from being very selective about showing too large a number of images. While you and perhaps a few of your friends/fans/family can sit through dozens and dozens of your pictures the general public won't have the patience nor the interest to do so. We shouldn't be Uncle Bob sharing ALL his vacation shots from Europe through hours upon hours of slideshows!
I am the first to admit that i am often bad at culling my photo collections down to a manageable bunch, but it is important to do so all the same. It's not necessarily "Kill your darlings", but it IS an exercise in fine-tuning your collection. It's also a very good way to zoom in on an overarching theme or subject you want to share works from. In my experience it doesn't come across all that well to do a very diverse "greatest hits" or even worse "Here are some pics I picked from the pile this morning" display. After all, if we aren't more involved with and focused on our works and how they're displayed...why should the audience be?