Over the past two and a half months I have been engaged in a bit of digital housekeeping – specifically focusing on the bloated photo collection on my phone. Thanks to a clever little hack I read about it has become a manageable task because it will be spread out over the course of the entire year. Every day I scroll through all the photos taken on that day (i.e. today I searched for “March 16”). And the results have been remarkable. Since the first of January I’ve already deleted thousands of photos, many days discarding over half of the displayed photos. Many were duplicates (or triplicates), or simply uninteresting. And in the process I have come away with an interesting observation. Even though I am throwing away LOTS of the photos which I spent LOTS of time capturing in the first place, I don’t regret a single one. It’s been a lovely and interesting experience to revisit some of these old images from years ago and remember the place and/or the occasion. And often what I notice are examples of attempts at creativity. Sometimes the results are stunning. Often they are less than noteworthy. But always (ALWAYS) they were worth the effort. I am a better photographer today because I took all those shots – even the ones I am now deleting. Perhaps even especially because of the ones I am now deleting. Because of the thousands upon thousands of photographs I have taken over the years I now see the world differently than I did before. A quote I read recently put it this way, “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” (Dorthea Lange) I continue to learn to find beauty in unusual and unexpected places. And I am filled with a deep and profound sense of awe and wonder on a regular basis. So I will continue to take photographs, I will continue to seek new perspectives, and I will continue to delete many of those photos as I go along. I will delete them, but I will not regret them. All of them, the “successes” and the “failures”, have contributed to who I am and how I am in the world. And somewhere along the way in this reflection I expanded the conversation beyond just photography.
I enjoy your photos and how they look carefully.