I have a backlog of so many images from my travels over the past few years and I've become aware that there really has to be the right time to work on them.
Rather than fret and put pressure on myself to work through that backlog, I should just work on what I feel inspired by and leave those other images for another time. But the backlog 'does' need to be cleared, otherwise a 'creative blockage' - builds up in one's mind, which isn't a good thing.
One of the difficulties for me, is that I need space and time away from what I do, so I can approach the work with a sense of enthusiasm and objectivity. If you travel a lot like I do, and there isn't a lot of space in your schedule, then it can be hard to find your mojo.
Balance is key to everything we do in life. Too much of one thing and it starts to suffer. These days my photography is no longer my hobby. I have had to choose other activities so I have time away from what I do. So this summer I've spent a bit of time cycle touring and long-distance racing around the north of Scotland.
I mention all of this, because I simply cannot come home and delve right into editing work straight away. Apart from requiring some distance to maintain a sense of objectivity from the shoot, by the time I've spent over a month somewhere, I'm a bit saturated. The enthusiasm is starting to wane simply because I need some balance in my life.
Regarding the editing of this new Atacama work, I had a few false starts trying to begin work on them. When I've not given myself enough time to recharge - I can view things rather negatively. If i'm not in the right frame of mind, it's easy for me assume the images I've shot are no good.
It's hard to gain inspiration in something if you're needing some time away from it.
So this is one of the reasons why I have a backlog of images from the past few years. I just haven't found the right time and place to edit them. To ease the burden of feeling there is so much of a backlog, I've given myself complete permission to have that backlog. I've also made it clear to myself that it's ok not to work on stuff when I don't want to.
This self-acknowledgement has helped tremendously in dealing with the work. I've found as a result, that the work doesn't get left behind. The fear of neglect has gone, and a new way of working has surfaced. It is not unusual for me to delay working on images for up to a year or more now. I like to think the gestation period gives me time to consider and approach the work the right way.
This collection of Altiplano images had a few false starts. I was letting self pressure get in the way. So I backed off from it all and chose to do other things.
Then one morning, with no intention to begin work on them, I found that things just started to click. There was positive flow. As a result I never made it out of the house for the next 24 hours. I immersed myself in the flow of creativity I found myself in and above all enjoyed the process.