I have been doing a bit of Spring cleaning. Not of my house mind you, but of my hard drive! My house can wait, because even though my pals back east are all basking in 60 degree weather, it is still snowing here in the Northwest in mid-March. Really. So in lieu of washing windows and dusting I did an image cull.
Going through old files and folders is never fun, but you just have to do it or you’ll soon be buried under thousands of images you don’t really need taking up space on your hard drive and in your life. Trust me on this, I am a prime offender, and I bet you are too! I keep too many that, “I might need later”, or “I really can’t tell which one I like better”. Listen, if you have to sit and ponder for more than 30 seconds over which image is better, just toss one, no one will ever be able to tell and in a year you won’t either.
I know which images are the very best of the bunch, and when I stumble across them months or years later I still like them. Therefore, I realize I don’t need to spend a lot of time sorting and contemplating the middle of the pack images. I am trying to learn to be more ruthless like some of my pro friends. Some of you know David Middleton or Bob Krist? They are quick and ruthless. No gnashing of teeth, if it has a fatal flaw they toss it. Done. Perhaps that is a sign of a true pro, the ability to be merciless in the interest of getting the job done.
I threw out about 700 images today and I will never ever miss them. My reward for spending a little time at this boring chore was to run across these faces and memories. Images I liked when I first took them and still like on a dreary day 9 months later. Before I go back to whining about the weather, I’d like to share a few of my very favorites. These are portraits of some of the people I met this summer while traveling in the Usambara mountains of Tanzania with www.anewcourse.org.
The familiar faces reminded me of their indomitable spirit and brought warmth to a cold and blustery day. Not only do I still like these images, they also reminded me of how much I have to be thankful for in the world. You see? There can be more than one benefit to tackling a chore you’d rather put off. Get rid of some drek and it’s easier to find the gems.
Enjoy, and good luck with your own Spring Cleaning!