If You Think Breaking Up is Hard to Do...

 If you think breaking up is hard, try murdering your children (Note to kids: I'm speaking metaphorically here!) Easy to say, but hard to do. And yet, the simple truth is that most photographers' shots never see the light of day. Why? Because, for whatever reason, they don't make the cut. Even if you have six excellent versions of the same subject, five will probably have to go. Call it curating, editing, culling, or whatever – it feels like cutting away your own flesh and blood. We've been trained to ingest the gist but never the entire story in all its ramifications and nuances, so we should get on with it!

Some shots are throw-aways: out of focus, blown highlights or blocked shadows, angles that didn't work out the way we expected, preliminary or practice photos, whatever. It's akin to the cinematic metaphor of the cutting-room floor. It's where the also-rans, almosts, and close-but-no-cigar images go to die. But, for better or worse, it's a skill that every photographer must eventually master if  they don't want their portfolios to be compared to the old vacation photos we used to have to sit through as the next upside-down and backward slide slid into the viewing slot of the carousel projector. Thank god for alcohol!

Nowadays, it's Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook, and if it can't be viewed, consumed, and critiqued in 10 seconds or less, then it's ignored, so you'd better make it count. We're all terrified that we might miss something as we blithely shovel information into our brains. 

So what's the point here? I was talking with another photographer a while back, and our relationship is at the stage where we can speak freely in support of each other's work, knowing that the suggestions will be taken in the spirit that they were offered. He told me, "You have too many images on your website." This is absolutely true, and one of these days, I will go through and weed out a bunch, but not today. Because you never know. I put up a drone image I had taken of the 51 freeway that cuts through the center of Phoenix. It was at dusk, and not exactly the most artistic image, but guess what? Bloomberg News bought it and continues to pay royalties for it each year, and that image has been a huge moneymaker. So the point is that you never know. Just like life. 

Here is the image that Bloomburg icensed:

Arizona State Route 51 and Environs

 And this is the "artistic view that I thought would be much more popular:

Sunset at Granada Park

But you never know. So that's one reason why there are so many images on my website.

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