Sorting, sorting, sorting…

SONY DSCThree thousand, three hundred and eighty five. Some are really bad and some very good. Those two types are easy to spot. It’s the others that require real effort. Sorting would be easy if it wasn’t for those that aren’t obviously great or bad. That’s the problem Raeski and I have after shooting so many photos during our trip. I have no idea how many photos we deleted immediately after taking them or not liking the results when reviewing them in the evening. My guess is we took over 4,000 photos in all.

SONY DSCIt was different back in the day of film. You probably were more selective about the photos you took because you knew there were development costs when you got home. However with digital cost isn’t a consideration and you take as many shots as you like. If you don’t like something delete it. No harm, no foul.

But this leads to a question I’ve had since the advent of digital photography. Did film photographers get those magnificent photos because they were always thinking of composition? Were those photos a result of more planning? Or does digital allow a person to advance their craft faster because they can see the results instantly and make adjustments? Does the digital photographer eventually arrive at the same destination as the film photographer when it comes to planning the composition of a shot?

Or, perhaps with digital we take more shots because we have the freedom to experiment without the concerns of development costs. Instead of taking one great shot we experiment with different angles and exposures. Then we pick out the better shots and toss the rest. But I’ve read that’s precisely what film photographers did.

I come to the conclusion that anyone who has a serious case of the photography bug takes a lot of photos and they sort and sort and sort. Some shots we love and others force us to think about the composition. Eventually we all move beyond the, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally” stage and arrive at the place where great photos are the result of experience and planning regardless of the media we choose. – W

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