If you read ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ you might recall that I digitized all of my photos and threw the pictures and albums out. Aside from creating a lot of room. Having all those pictures to play around with and put memory has been a lot of fun. Though there were certainly a few that saw new life with minor adjustments in Photoshop and Lightroom. It was the countless show photos I took at clubs, bars and halls that presented a very different challenge. That of remembering the bands names and methods of operation.
Funny, but I remember being at this show, taking this shot and standing on the side of that storied CBGB’s stage. I remember my friend Brendan working the door. while I can’t remember the band name or that of the guitarist. I remember they were the third band out of the five that played that day, I recall when the guitar string broke and how it led to the uncontrollable bleeding that followed. Undaunted, he finished the song and even the set before wrapping a rag around the cut and wiping down his guitar until all the blood was gone. It was the 90’s and CBGB’s was still the things of legend. Independent rock & roll was hanging on to its last threads of danger. Men were men. Sheep were scared and bands finished their sets, no matter what.
As I continue to dig through my photo archive. I find myself coming up for air with some real keepers. Some of bands who remain current. Others who came and went in the blink of an eye. What started as a much needed purge of old, unused or less than stellar images, quickly became an opportunity to more easily pinpoint the ones worth keeping, or perhaps tweaking. Looking back, the amount of pictures I’ve taken at shows is insane. Moving forward, I doubt that will change.
A few weeks ago I had to take my Mac Book to the local Apple store for what seemed to be a major issue. As I turned on the computer that Friday morning I got a flashing warning sign. Being that I get these warnings from time to time, it wouldn’t be any cause for alarm if that flashing warning wasn’t one that I could not, for the life of me, stop from blinking so furiously. It was enough to cause a seizure in any sizable life form. So I made my appointment and headed to the always dreaded mall.
When I arrived I was put in the able care of a gentleman who’s name escapes me. For the sake of story we’ll call him’Genius’. Genius listened intently to my dilemma before describing what kind of work would be needed. I left feeling confident that the problem would be fixed and I wouldn’t be losing years of music and digital images.
Within the week I received a message that the problem was addressed and corrected and that my Mac was ready to be picked up. When I arrived Genius emerged from the back room with Mac in hand. He explained the issues before taking a deep breath and raising his brow to say “James, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much media in all my time working here.” Being that I was well aware of how much music I had on iTunes and the overwhelming amount of digital images I had in Lightroom 4. I expected something would eventually happen. I just never thought that time would come so soon. I couldn’t help but think of digital version of the show ‘Hoarders”. It felt like an intervention of sorts.
In the weeks that followed I began going through old photo sessions and music events I’d shot in recent years. Each folder containing anywhere between two hundred to (gasp) seven hundred images. Over the years I’d painstakingly rated each and every images wit the provided *Star* system, which in hindsight, made it a lot easier to choose what to delete and what to keep. As I began the very arduous task of decided what to trash and what to keep I found myself making excuses while purging a scant amount of images from each folder. But as I began to regularly revisit these old folders I began feeling a weight lifted off my shoulders. This act of purging was becoming part of my daily mantra. Suddenly I found myself deleting thousands of images without hesitation. My years of studio and event photography have shown a lot of growth and there seemed to be no reason to hold onto the past while being constantly reminded of it’s mediocrity. Anything under **** stars was almost deleted. My Mac’s trash folder was beginning to look like a Staten Island landfill. One of the unexpected benefits of this task has been revisiting some of my older images I had stored on Apertureand giving them new life with the advanced features of Lightroom.Thus saving them from the trash heap while giving them new life. In the end I would advise anyone and everyone to put aside a little time here and there to junk those images that no longer suit you. It will help you better enjoy the ones you love. Your hard drive will thank you. Posted are some of the images I may have overlooked before my recent purge. Enjoy. JD
I had a chance to work on a few of the photographs I took on the second day of our Fashion Portraiture workshop. As I had noted, we used gels that day and I was really unhappy with the results. Though I’m still not crazy about the overall results of the session; The improvements I made will keep me from trashing the images all together.