Keeper or Deleter?

Do you take a lot of shots? I do! Do you get to shoot a lot daily? Or perhaps you have days here and there where you shoot a mammoth amount of images. Or even a combination of both? For me it varies.. However much you shoot, it always ends up looking at the images on a screen and deciding which to use or discard.

I think it can be tricky decide which to keep, which to submit, sure self curation is an important discipline, but (like most disciplines) it can be hard.

Each of us MIGHT struggle with what yardstick we’re using to judge our work.

For me, I think it tends to be how close the shot came to what I wanted… But perhaps this is a mistake…

After all, it’s not whether a shot came out as you intended that’s the deliverable, it’s (in terms of aesthetics) did the shot turn out well?

So here’s a little tale of just how the difference between what you wanted and what you got isn’t necessarily the end of the file.

I had the day to myself, another day of 37 Deg C and challenging light. It was time to explore somewhere new.

(But that can be a story for another time!)

Having done with my new location, I wasn’t done with being out taking pictures, and the beach was on my route home, so I decided to go there. I had in my mind’s eye the desire to shoot beautiful blue skies, over shimmering seas with beach goers for context.

I have my camera set up to make a Mono Jpeg, that way – when I’m on the computer I get too see a BW and colour (the RAW) version of each shot side-by-side, which I like as it can guide my decision as too whether or not proceed in colour or mono (although I usually make my mind up at time of capture)

Well this shot had a lovely blue sky, melting into an expansive blue ocean. It was a colour.

Only it wasn’t, because it was just a bit too bleached out.

So I so, so, SO nearly deleted it.

Then I took another look at the SOOC jpg and it had some charm

A little contrast and a black level tweak, and off it went to my Flickr stream…

Well 3 days later and it’s become my most popular shot on Flickr (and I’ve been on flickr nearly 8 years!!)

In 3 days it’s picked up several thousand views, a great many favs and was (at it’s peak) ranked as the 104th best shot of the day (out of an average of nearly 2 million shots that get uploaded to Flickr everyday!!)

I know this is pretty meaningless in the great scheme of things… But still pleasing, no?

And too think… I came *that* close to deleting it.

Perhaps it’s worth keeping virtually everything, because you never know when what didn’t want becomes something that others do want…

Just a thought..

The shot:

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2 thoughts on “Keeper or Deleter?”

  1. First of all congratulations for the shot.
    I believe that the secret of the success of this shot (along with a black and white, which is not black and white but light gray and dark gray) are these two people, a little disconsolate, coming out sadly from the frame.


    1. Thanks very much Enrico, yes it works in Monochrome… I had my colour head on that day, which is why I nearly discounted the shot… Also I was sceptical about the framing, after all there’s real guesswork about where they’ve arrived from or where they’re going. But there was a bit of dystopian survivor vibe to it and I ended up liking it


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