Edit My Life

Thu, Jan 18, 2007

Articles, Creativity

Look at Dad take pictures of little Ethan go down the playground slide. Wait – hasn’t he already taken about 300 shots of that 2 foot bundle of cute?  Oh yeah, our lives are digital now. Content is overwhelming: words, images, sounds. Proud Papa uploaded this week’s most precious 150 images to the Ethan’s Cute website, so all his dedicated fans can view the little darling.

Those phone photographers are in play too.  The phone is now a ubiquitous capture device making no one immune from the serendipitous photographer documenting our most inelegant moments.  Everyone is a photographer and everything is a camera. Unedited, they’re thrown up on Flickr and Facebook for your viewing pleasure; for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

Pleasure?  Not so fast.  Just like the jokes we forwarded through email back in the day as web-neophytes, they abruptly become annoying.  We learned only to forward those that were extra-specially, extraordinarily hilarious. The best ones go viral, but as with a healthy immune system, minor viruses are cured with a delete or in the case of a bad cough – blocked. Despite that, how do we cure the information pandemic? Who’s going to help me edit my life?

As a professional photographer, I eagerly validate the intimate relationship between quality and quantity in a healthy creative psyche.  The more bad photos I take, the more apt I am to discover greatness. From birth, mistakes are how we learn; creativity is fearless. A cautious photographer is destined for mediocrity, no matter how pleasant and salable it is. Albeit true, just because we can, does it mean we should build our digital bulk?

Editing is where the skill lies. Revered is the talent of knowing great when seen, and nurturing its growth to new heights.  With digital creativity, old shackles are released only to be instantly replaced by others. That flawless haystack needle is buried in a mountain of bad byte bails. I used to push against the budgetary boundary of exposing greatness onto 20 rolls of film, but presently find myself pushing against the time limit of editing five thousand digital frames down to the lean and mean 20.

Editing for greatness; isn’t that one of life’s goals? Editing choices of careers, reading, films, friends, business acquaintances, life partners, food, and on, and on; choose the quality and toss the swill. Digital dating can amplify the old commitment dysfunction now that choice is categorized by body preference, lifestyle, and zodiac sign. An employer who uses on-line job services finds a 6 foot high pile of resumes after a few short days.  It’s the spam of life: where do we find the filters?

More than ever, the closer one gets to “on the spot” editing, the more their skills are in demand.  I’ve demonstrated in transparent fashion that I’m not always good at editing my personal life, but I have had some luck at the point of image capture as a photographer. Even so, I’ve often been confronted professionally with editing thousands of images further reminding me to hone my skills with “on the spot” editing. Seemingly no matter how sharp my skills become, quantity pays dividends. More, more, more – is the mantra of the digitally enlightened.

I guess in theory, I’ll get so skilled that the quality > quantity intimacy will send my career into hyper-drive. I’ll find that digital equilibrium that budget seemed to control in the past. My chosen career makes me a work in progress, but what about Ethan’s Dad?  He seems to be an endless source of content no longer worthy of my short attention with no filter in sight.   If I only had an easy edit button for the massive digital swill.

Digital, Editing, Photography

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