Recently I’ve been re-organizing my image library and therefor all of the images I took since the beginning of this century. It has been a very interesting experience and I’m still far from being done with the whole task. However I noticed that I took a lot of shots in situations that have been exciting in that very moment and maybe some time thereafter. Examples are cloud formations, sunrises, buildings or things lying on the street that looked funny or interesting to me and I wanted to preserve. I’m not talking about ‘serious’ street photography because in my opinion this is a conscious kind of photography.
Looking at all these images today after many years the emotional connection to the moment faded away a long time ago. So I’m left with a pile of images showing some clouds, streets or buildings in bad image quality. How often did I think “Oh look! Another cloud! Oh how nice -not-. Oh! A muddy place in front of some old storage building!’ This is how other people looking at my snapshots must feel.
Since I went through this process I noticed that the amount of pictures I take while walking through the city on a regular day has been vastly reduced. Now when I see a nice looking cloud formation that I would have captured in the past using my phone I just look at it and try to enjoy the moment instead of adding it to the pile of pictures in my digital library.
I haven’t been out for a conscious photography tour since then but I hope that this experience will also affect the way I take “real” images on my next vacation. In the past I spent way too much time taking to many pictures in order to perfectly capture the current moment in a perfect picture. The result have always been another pile of pictures showing the same thing only slightly moved by some centimeters. Instead I will rather enjoy the moment with my wife, friends or whoever accompanies me.