Saturday, March 29, 2008

Techie Saturday: auditioning your photos

I was once very fortunate to have a young professional photographer called David Hodge as a neighbour. He taught me about how much of the technique to getting a good photograph was about putting yourself in the right place at the right time. Plus just how many photos it takes to get a halfway decent one (approx 1 in 10) and how many it takes to get a stunner (more like 1 in 100 if not more).

So the rationale goes that taking many more photos increases the chances that you'll capture something which provides a source of creative inspiration. Fortunately digital photography came along and I stopped worrying about the price of film and processing! However sorting through all those photos can be a bit of a problem.

Which is why I'm so enjoying the Windas Vista sidebar on my new laptop. I've got my clock, I've got my calendar, I've got my two lots of sticky notes (short and long term reminders) and I have my slide show!

I fortuitously set up the slideshow to show all my photographs at random. I now find that one of the really great things that happens as a result is something pops up and into the corner of my eye and I think 'Yes!!! I remember that one and it STILL has great impact!'

In effect, it means I'm conducting a continuous audition plus just having something visual within my peripheral vision keeps that bit of my brain constantly stimulated.

The size of photo in the sidebar is ideal - just a bit bigger than thumbnail but not that much bigger. Hence all the ones which have great value patterns just jump out and sock it to my eyeballs - which are, of course, looking somewhere else at the time. It's like having a small child in the corner yelling 'pick me, pick me!' They're not perfect - they'll need adjusting to work with - but they have that ' certain something' which appeals to me.

What I do is pull out all the head turners and pitch them into a file of possibles. If they were done at the same time as the sketch I also copy the sketch across to the same file. Then when it comes to choosing the next thing to do I have an image ready to work with. Or rather I have a choice.

It's also rather nice being able to look back at all the places I've been and all the things I've photographed. And it was also very nice knowing David - even if it was only for a short time.


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