My answer is maybe. What makes a “good” image anyway?
The boring stuff first:
Since beginning this journey last December, one of the important things I have been and am still learning is how to manage my images. My camera is a Sony a7riii which has the capacity to shoot images up to 42 megapixels. I take advantage of that and shoot in RAW format with the highest amount of data I can get. So, my images are quite large and can get even larger (can be multiple GB) after post-processing. I knew we didn’t have enough digital storage space so I bought a couple of portable hard drives which I could use with different computers and would be easier to travel with. Figuring out technology is NOT where I want to spend my time but it seems inevitable when I am using a digital camera and multiple computers. It’s odd to spend so much time outdoors capturing nature and then so much time glued to a computer screen to bring those images to life and manage them.
Well, I set these drives up so I always backup my images to both of them. My husband has since informed me that they aren’t very stable and now I’m totally freaked out that I’m going to lose everything. For a photographer, this data represents hours, days and years of hard work so we don’t want to lose anything!!! I have read horror stories and don’t want to be in one of them.
The not so boring part:
I’m writing all this because we are going to transfer my “keeper” images to long term storage in our family data storage service but I’m supposed to cull through everything first. So, my questions today are: how do I decide what to keep and which images to toss? How do I know when I have a good image? Am I even experienced to know if I have good images? What if the images I think are good are actually terrible?? I keep thinking that I would love for a more experienced photographer to look through all my work and help me decide. But, what good would that do? That person wasn’t there when I pressed the shutter button. They wouldn’t have been there when I saw a scene and felt that longing in my soul to take the memory with me. They won’t be there with me when I do my best to edit an image with that feeling in mind. Ultimately, I’m the one that has to make the decision. For now, I’ll be ditching images that I definitely have multiples of as well as the REALLY terrible ones. I’ll be keeping most of them so I don’t make the mistake of getting rid of something before I feel more sure of my decisions. This photography adventure is giving me the opportunity to look at my thoughts more deeply and testing my ability to manage them along with my emotions. Do I think that photo is good? Meh. I can do better but it’s a reminder of a familiar place Taylor and I hike to. Maybe one day I’ll capture it with better conditions.
As I move through this journey, to help me formulate what I think is “good art”, I’ve also been studying images from lots of different artists and photographers to see what speaks to me. I’m so thankful and overwhelmed that there is so much out there! When I narrow down my favorites I’ll make sure to share them in a future post.
Please share your favorite artists and why you enjoy their art! Next up: podcasts!