Looking for the 'essence'?

I've been saying for a while, that I really hate to charge in there and edit images as soon as I've made them. I've learned over the past decade that giving myself some time and distance between the shoot and the edit, has helped me be more objective about what it was that I captured. I also feel I'm able to get more out of my editing than I would have if I came home and worked on them right away. It's that proverb about not seeing the wood for the trees. With a little bit of distance, I can see more clearly what the actual image 'is', rather than be caught up with trying to force the image to fit what I thought it 'was'.

I've had a back log of images sitting in a little folder on my desk for about six months or maybe more now. When you run a workshop business, you spend a lot of your time with the clients and very little time on your own work. I perhaps maybe shoot as much stuff as I did, when I was not  full-time. Anyway, I did look at the contents of the folder several months ago, and felt I didn't have any enthusiasm to work on anything contained inside. I think at the time I felt there was really nothing there, but I was also aware that I was feeling a bit tired anyway. So on a hunch, I left the folder in my 'to do' box. I guess I knew I wasn't really ready to approach looking at any images and doing any editing.

So today I found myself just opening up the folder and finding all these beautiful images in there. I'm a bit dumbstruck as to how I could have left these in there for so long, and more importantly - why did I feel 'nothing' for these several months ago? It's a rhetorical question because I always knew the answer - 'I wasn't ready to work on them'.

I know, it probably sounds a bit 'zen' to you. But I really do feel there is a time and a place for all things to be given attention. I didn't feel it months ago, and I listened to how I was feeling and parked the images to one side. Today is clearly the day where I feel it's the right time to work on them, and I'm very taken with the first image of Harris you see at the top of this post.

Regardless of whether you can't wait after a shoot or not to work on your images, it's also worth noting that it's good policy to go back and review the negatives months later, because you may see things in there you passed over the first time. That photo fo Gullfoss you see - never made it to my Iceland book. It never even made it to any scanning stage at the time either because I was perhaps too wrapped up in the more obvious things that fitted what I was looking for. I'm sure there are always golden nuggets of images sitting in our previous shoots, ones we passed over, because we were looking for something else.

Months later, I'm free of any preconceived ideas I had. I'm able to just look at the images, very detached from what I was hoping to do during the actual shoot, and I'm able to take them for what they are.