Lights! Camera! Action! Edit! Curate! Pt. 1

March 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

This is the first of two posts about my content editing process, which I think will be interesting to folks trying to assemble a body of work with a content narrative rather than one based on subject. But first, some bad news for those who regularly check the website for new work: I had been treating the main page of the website as a rolling update of new work, almost like a more pretentious tumblr or something. After my fit a few weeks ago where I boiled the projects back down to reasonable sizes, I reevaluated the purposes the website in conjunction with what my Facebook and Instagram presences were accomplishing, and from this point on the main page of the website will only feature completed projects. I'll still update it if and when I add or remove images from a set, but it will no longer feature all the new work as it gets completed – check my Instagram regularly instead. I'll be featuring current work that doesn't necessarily fit into a project, along with more behind the scenes stuff. Enjoy!

 

Having said that, I wanted to show a quick example of how I shoot, edit, and choose images for projects.

I certainly don't show everything I shoot and I occasionally shoot and edit an image with no intention of ever showing it, just for myself or to keep some skill fresh.

Let's first consider these eight images, taken at four locations on three different days.

I have so many projects in my head at this point that some formal considerations are bleeding into other projects, as we'll see here. All eight of these images made the first cut – they meet or exceed my requirements for technical craftsmanship in framing, exposure, and focus.

Of these two, I prefer the first, with less distracting tree overhead, and while the large negative space of the green leaf is prominent, the focus allows me to ignore it. The image with the white flower just didn't obscure enough of the house, and was more messy in general. Cut.

With these two, I'm thinking of four projects simultaneously; “Separation”, “Structure”, “Highway Parks”, and an unpublished project in progress tentatively called “Mold”. I'm borrowing subject modifiers (the out of focus vegetation obscuring the true subject) from “Highway Parks”. I prefer the vertical, with its providential bird, and the content could potentially fulfill the narrative of “Separation” more effectively than the landscape version does. Slice.

The chain-link contained rock wall clearly belongs in “Separation”, and may replace or augment the current lineup. It makes the cut. The tree in front of a ludicrously tall overpass also speaks to that narrative, but in a more clumsy way. I felt I had to make this image, but I also took others that convey my point in a more gentle and sophisticated way. Chop.

These two make both cuts and got edited. Only the cleaner version will make it into a project though, and only either “Structure” or “Mold”. They don't advance the narrative of any other project.

On to Photoshop and glory!

Stay tuned for part two, where I decide which of my images to disappoint by replacing it with something new.


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