Sunday, August 11, 2019

Ugh Redux

As occasionally happens, a previous post has generated some confusion in the comments. Allow me to clarify.

My recent vacation photography adventure was not an experiment in spraying and praying. I didn't just go out and shoot 1400 frames of bullshit.

The experiment was one of thorough reportage of an intense two weeks. There were 14 days, 3 airplanes, 12 people, 3 dogs, 7 locations (at least, to get down to 7 some are fairly broadly construed), 2 bodies of water, 2 fairs, and 1 amusement park. Naturally, shooting kids on amusement park rides produces some dross, but that's easy to discard.

My daily counts are, roughly:


Can you tell which days we were doing amusement park rides? Ordinary lazy days are 50-70 exposures. More intense days are 100+, and amusement park rides push it around 200+.

As of this writing I am down to 100 frames, and to go further the next step is to select from the photogenic and memorable episodes those which can be dropped entirely. Well, I could probably drop another 5-10 by trimming down particularly charming episodes where I kept up to half a dozen photos. Getting down to 50 final pictures requires dropping episodes entirely.

The problem was not of how to find the few keepers among a giant pile of shit. There were lots of decent frames in there, and a few pretty good ones. There's just a hell of a lot of story.

I am used to making my projects in bits and pieces. I shoot a few things, I pick out one or two frames. I shoot more. The keepers accrete gradually, and then get re-edited down. At the end I've shot a lot of material (100s to 1000s of frames), and whittled it down to a handful. It's the having to do it all at once that was daunting.

1 comment:

  1. I find went I travel on vacation as you seem to have I shoot about 110-125 pictures a day over the period, unevenly distributed. I try and blog each day, so I’m forced to make some cut at the pictures that work best at telling the story. But, of course, that consumes time that you mi d prefer to spend vacationing.