Editing

 

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.

 

a fraction of the apples

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?