This morning, we decided that we needed to thin the bumper crop of apples growing on our apple tree. For anyone that knows anything about growing apples you can plainly see that this was a decision that should have been made some time ago. Of course we know that by decreasing the amount of apples we will make them larger, healthier, and tastier, and the overall tree health will improve. But sometimes, despite facts, pruning/editing is a difficult thing to do. This is evident in our own lives; sometimes we need to remove some of our own load to improve the health of others and ourselves. And increasingly our role as editor of our own lives is becoming overwhelming, as more and more information is coming at us and more decisions are required.
When I reflect back, as a young photographer I remember the job of editing a roll of film as relatively simple. Of a 12 exposure roll of film, I usually spent 8–10 frames getting warmed up, leaving a couple at the end to choose from (not accounting for the happy accident that was sometimes found in the first frame). As my finances increased so did the length of the roll of film I could purchase, and by high school I had a bulk film loader to further reduce the cost while increasing the number of images I could take. And now with the transition to digital, the cost of digital storage space keeps going down and the capacity keeps going up, and there is virtually no limit to the images that can be taken.
So my job as a photographer and all of our jobs as human beings has become that of editor. What information do we allow to have our time? What things? What objects? What thoughts?
So as I was bagging up apples this morning for our neighbors and friends to make jams, butters, and pies, I was feeling the pull to the soothing images in my studio. Where the landscape and the distances do the editing for you. Where the clutter of our world is swept away, and the entirety of the decision making is around which window to look out of.
What could use editing in your life? What strategies do you use to do it?