The dilemma that is 9,000 pictures

Business Card Candidate - I thought this woman made a fascinating, beautiful subject. I can't stand the way I shot it and feel like the potential has been lost. On the other hand, walking at a brisk pace to keep up with the people you're with doesn't exactly allow one to setup the perfect shot. I suppose I could give myself that!

I have a school photo contest I must enter in 5 days and I decided that it might be time to print some business cards upon my return to Hong Kong. Therefore, it’s time to look at the mountain – approximately 9,000 – pictures I brought back from Hong Kong. Even with daily processing in Hong Kong and eliminating the truly bad, there is still so much I haven’t looked at.

Processing is probably my least favorite part of the photo taking process, perhaps because I feel so bad at it. I never know how to bring out the best in my pictures and my tinkering and experimenting seems to result in so little. Not having the proper tools and not truly knowing how to use the ones I do. Wrestling with an aging computer that is not really fast enough to do an efficient job doesn’t help.

Given that I’m my own worst critic, so little really makes the cut for something to show in a public way that goes beyond this web site. The few pictures that really hit me showcase people in a way that feels way too uncomfortable to put on a business card – full frontal shots of faces? A little creepy if you don’t know them, and still creepy if you do (Unless you really want to ask for permission….). Kids? Anyone is going to like a picture of a kid – doesn’t show your skill. The homeless and the down and out? Predatory and capitalizing on the suffering others to make it look like you know WTF you’re doing. More complex but potentially interesting scenes? Needs a caption. Religious and rather strong messages? Don’t want to seem like I’m endorsing them. Interesting cultural scenes, and yet again religion? Good job at appropriating… (Please note that these are not thoughts that cross my head when others promote themselves through their photography…)

I think all these things boil down to one thought – if you are going to try to evoke a response from people, you better be the genuine article.

…my computer’s charger just burned out. Not going to interpret that message today. Perhaps it is “stop being so brutally honest.”

Maybe I’ll settle for tepid landscape shots.