We’ve all heard about the standard pros and cons of digital photography, but after having lived and breathed it now for nearly 4 years one challenge has been constant. In the age of digital photography it is exceptionally easy to shoot more photos than one is capable of processing and managing.
Invariably when I discuss this with friends the common comment is that digital photographers, particularly those that have never shot film, are not selective enough in their shooting. On some level this is true, but more so I think that digital photographic media, compact flash cards, translate to a bottomless pit. With film photography the expense of film and processing acted as a barrier restricting how many images a photographer could capture. With compact flash the sky is the limit, if you have enough cards or a device to offload the images to.
I consider myself to be selective in what I shoot, but even still I come back with a good number of images. Often an equivalent amount of photos to what I shot with film. The immediacy of digital enables photographers to offload images and move on to the next shoot with out delay. If you shoot regularly as I do this can generate a backlog of images quickly.
Unfortunately moderation is not in the vocabulary of most photographers including myself. The lure of my digital camera to a world full of photographic opportunities is too much to resist. “I’ll get to processing my last shoot during the week” is often a line I tell myself before heading out to my next photo outing. In most cases I’m disciplined enough to follow through. I also do my best to cap how much I shoot and how often I go out shooting.
Most recently I spent nearly a month, which seemed like an eternity, from going out and shooting new material until I processed a few older shoots. Still I never feel like I work my way through all of my material. In fact as of today I have more shoots than I can count that still need my attention to some degree and are what I would consider unfinished. I hate having to deal with loose ends. They add up and I feel tortured as a result. Post-processing all of my outstanding material would likely take months to complete. To go with out shooting for that amount of time would be unbearable. The struggle to find the right balance is a constant battle. In many ways this reflects an external manifestation of my inner battle of self-control. In the world of Freud my “ego” has a challenging time mediating my “id”, which pursues the pleasure of capturing more photographs, and “super-ego”, my conscience which knows what is right. Who would have thought that photography could be so complex and mentally challenging.
[tags]digital photography, photography, post-processing, time management, Freud, self-control[/tags]