Friday, January 30, 2009

Jumping through hoops of memory

"In front of a large group of passerby, a contortionists shows the size of his ring before attempting a routine in Yamashita Park in Yokohama, Japan on Jan. 3, 2009."

Since I've been back from Japan, I've literally (OK, misuse of an adverb, sue me) been making myself jump through hoops to edit through my entire take of images. Its been a long, grueling battle between Photo Mechanic, Photoshop and me, but I am just about done.

My problem is that I've been trying to make my book on the trip perfect. Not too many images, not too many pages, and a nice rhythm to the photos. But then, whenever I see a new frame in my edited bin, I start rearranging photos on the pages trying to make a nice juxtaposition.

Nonetheless, traveling overseas means taking a lot of photos with fear of never returning. Money is obviously tight nowadays and travel isn't so much a common practice before people starting losing their jobs and finding themselves in finical binds.

During my stay, I shot more than 20gb worth of photos, about 4gb a day give or take. Granted, many are just snapshots or scene setters so I could remember where I was (or how to get back to the train station), that is still a lot to edit through with other things going on in my life.

But it got me thinking, whenever I travel somewhere unordinary, and when I say unordinary, I mean somewhere out of my daily realm of life, err, out of state or country, I shoot a lot heavier than normal.

Yet why shouldn't I think that way on a normal basis? Who knows if I'll ever make it back to dangerous West Baltimore again or even out of bed the next day. Why do we hold back from shooting way too much?

Well, I know the logical answer is running out of hard drive space and getting overwhelmed with way too many meaningless frames. But if you think about it, we have virtually unlimited ones and zeros to fill with all of these new large memory cards, inexpensive hard drives and infinite Internet space.

Justin Kase Conder had a funny status the other day about how he was looking at an old NPPA magazine where a 256mb compact flash card cost $125. In contrast, a 4gb compact flash card cost roughly $40 now. My math is horrendous, but my calculation tells me that's about 16 times more space for 70 percent less. In short, memory is cheap. Now only if I could order some for my brain...

One day I'm sure the ways of a photographer will be much different and memory will be limitless. But for now, what real reason do we have to hold back from shooting everything that moves (or doesn't)?

Nonetheless, this photo has about zero context, and was taken on a fresh memory card mind you. I am sitting here finishing up my Japan edits this very second and attempting to put the final touches on my book when I stumbled across this frame I snapped during my trip. It won't make my book, but it's a nice clean graphic.

At the end of the day though, it's just another frame on the hard drive. Just another frame on the hard drive.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I went to Japan I thought the trip was magical. I am going to go back next year and can't wait to get a different feel of it from the last time. I went by myself, but as you can see through my pictures it looks like I knew the people (met while on my trip).

Friday, January 30, 2009 12:16:00 AM  

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