Wow, I wish I had the words to illustrate the elation of finishing a long-standing project, but right now, I’m failing to come up with anything descriptive enough!
It’s not hard to believe it was only last year that I started re-visiting the work in my print collections. First with just an eye for improving the descriptions of each work (both for improving the chances of my work being found on search engines and to make it more interesting to viewers). It soon morphed into re-editing some work, and as I got closer to finishing that original goal, i started coming to terms that there was far more of my work online such as my flickr account that either hadn’t been updated to match my print collection or simply hadn’t been touched in years.
Initially, I struggled a little with touching images I had created 6 and 7 years ago. Even if they don’t reflect my work today, in some way they were evidence of my journey as a photographer and a person. However they ultimately represent me online and someone who stumbles across an image from 7 years ago may not go to the effort to see what I’m doing now. So, months later, I’ve revisited and reworked years of images. What hasn’t been made current has been hidden away. And if I’m ever in need to see or illustrate my progression, I still have access to those old edits. I’m a digital pack-rat if ever one existed.
Just in case anyone is concerned, no I didn’t totally re-edit quite every photo. I probably touched everything in some fashion, but after this many years, there’s some work that’s almost taken on a life of its own. It has flourished in its current form and even if it’s not quite how I would do it now, it would feel odd to totally alter those images. It was funny how hard it was for me to not touch those particular pictures….
The deep dark secret is I’m never 100% happy with any image. Maybe for a few minutes I am, but give me an hour and I would change something about it, either how it was executed when I snapped the shutter button or how I edited it after that. I don’t know if this is a universal condition for artists and photographers, but I do think it’s what keeps me moving forward in a weird way. It’s that internal desire to do it better next time even if viewers connected with it and love it the way it already is. By the same token, though If I bowed to that gut reaction to re-do or re-edit everything an hour later, I would, in true Sisyphus fashion never finish rolling my own boulders up the hill. It was a positive experience to re-visit all this work now, and I may well yield now and again to the desire to re-visit a given photo again, but for the most part I’ll try to keep that drive directed at new work for a good while to come.
I’ve plodded along on this revamp along-side other pursuits for the better part of a year, so getting to put a little tick mark next to done on that item is cause for joy! And maybe now that I can call that done I can post something here that doesn’t concern never-ending projects. I definitely have the odd topic and some general news to share that has languished. We’ll see about that shortly!
I’ve definitely got a small break from photo editing coming, so for those wondering when the photos from winter in Quebec and my January trip to New York City are coming, that’s still in the wings. I put them off when I got back because I wanted editing them to be a gift to myself for finishing that project. Who knew how delayed that gratification would be! Right now, I find that I need some time not being chained to one spot staring into the big monitor for hours at a stretch!
Special Note: Oh, and before I close, if you haven’t heard elsewhere, yes I am going to do at least one more print give-away to one lucky newsletter reader. If you’re already subscribed (received this update via email) and you didn’t get selected for the one last month, keep your fingers crossed, you may hear from me in early July! If you’re not already subscribed, you can fix that right here. And please share with your friends, your kind word-of-mouth is the best advertising there is – thanks!