Monthly Archives: March 2013

Not Quite Natural Selection. More Like Photographic Genocide…

I’ve just completed the six-month edit of the photographs from my trip to Antarctica and uploaded the selected images. It has been an interesting process; when I first started in photography I used to select my favourites and uploaded as soon as possible. These days I go through a more measured process. It works well for me, so I though that I would share it.

First I make the initial select pretty much on the spot as part of the end-of-day keywording. This selection usually forms the broad outline of the final selection and the obviously strong images get picked up here.

Another selection gets made when I return home – the Lightroom catalogue from my travel laptop gets merged with the catalogue on my desktop PC and I then take the opportunity to run through the images on a 30″, calibrated, monitor. Mostly the in-the-field select survives this second critique more-or-less unscathed – after all not too much time has passed between the two. Sometimes I drop a shot or two out, sometime add a couple.

After about two months comes the next select. It’s a good time to return to the work; enough time has passed that the memory is beginning to get hazy whilst still being able to remember enough of the context in which the shot was taken. I also take the chance to go through all the initially rejected shots as the distance of time allows me to be more impartial.

The final select is about six months in. At this point I go through everything and apply the acid test: would I pay to print this? If yes, it makes the cut, if not it’s deselected.


In the case of Antarctica, the above process works out as follows:

Total taken: approx 4400 shots.

Initial field select: approx. 140 shots.

Initial home select: approx. 180 shots.

Two month select: approx 210 shots.

Six month select: 99 shots.



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Be Careful What You Hang on Your Wall…

Years ago I bought a map of the World for my study. It was a big, feature piece for the ‘long’ wall, designed to add a bit of colour to the room, something timeless, whilst appearing a little ‘educated’ if you know what I mean. It was either that, or dogs playing billiards…

My computer is directly below it and so I find myself staring at it at various times. Sometimes I’m just taking a break from something I’m doing; sometimes, I’m working out a thought in my head; sometimes I’m simply looking at a map of the World…

That map has cost me ten’s of thousands. It has cost me sacrifice. It has cost me countless hours in reading, planning and reasearching. It has made me learn new skills, such as photography. It has made me learn (at least) a few words in several languages. It has helped me meet people. It has helped me understand that I am so immeasurably lucky that I have literally changed my entire view on what constitutes a ‘problem’ or a ‘bad day’ or an ‘issue’. It has changed my view on what living is about. It has taken me to places where I have experienced extremes of emotion, to where I have been far outside my comfort zone and to places that I wished I could stay forever.

I love my map. And as I was staring at it this morning, I felt its little tendrals once again wrapping around me. beckoning me to travel…




Posted in Travel