5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, Archive Review, Black and White, Canon, Gitzo, Goal Setting, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, GT3541LS, Image Reprocessing, Indian Peaks, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Lake Helene, LEE Filters, Lightroom, Little Matterhorn, Photography, ReallyRightStuff, RRS BH-55-LR, Sand Dunes, Silver Efex Pro 2, Snow, Snowshoeing, USKestrel Photography
What drives us to operate as though we were a jet airplane, able to sustain Mach 5 continuously?
How do we dance the delicate dance between our craft (for me, a photographer) and all of the other activities that we must do for our business, such as promoting our work on social media, interacting with peers, clients and potential clients both on social media as well as through email or phone calls?
Then, add into the mix the need to spend time going back through your image archive on a periodic basis to see if there are images you may have overlooked after a shoot, that are actually worthy of post-processing and you find yourself in a bit of a conundrum with time.
Recently, @rwongphoto posted a blog post regarding the need to reprocess old photos. Richards blog post was spot on with regards to looking over old images and if you still have the raw files, leverage newer post-processing software and techniques to bring those overlooked images to life.
The delicate balance we must dance can, at times, feel a bit overwhelming. There are only 86,400 seconds in a day and once those seconds are gone, there is no gaining them back. At the end of the day, you should have made the absolute most of each of those seconds.
Time in the office, performing all of those tasks for running business may seem mundane, but I do believe that they are just as critical as the more preferred activity of being out in the field, scouting or shooting.
The more I consider the topic, the more I scratch my head. I’d like to think I’ve learned how to multi-task pretty well. However, the last couple of months, in doing some self-reflection and analysis of how well I things are going, I feel like I have been a bit lackluster in my overall performance.
Perhaps I bit off more than I could chew during the course of 2014 and being one to stay positive and keep charging hard, it is hard for me to slow down and possibly scale back my overall goals for 2015. That said, I continue to evaluate my goals and desires for the year. My photographic goals are all still in-tact and achievable, but as I look at those goals I am considering a bit of a shift in terms of what I want to accomplish on those shoots. My creative and compositional technique have become (to me) a bit predictable. I need to challenge myself to break out of the current norm and try different compositions.
Reviewing 2015 is going to be interesting, to say the least!
Returning to the subject of archive review and image re-processing, I was going through my archive the other night and came across a few images I had completely overlooked. One I had not flagged at all, yet as I went through the images from that outing, I saw this image and wondered what I may have missed, so I flagged it and started to post-process.
The more I looked, the more the story came back to me, about the day. It was a bitter cold day with much stronger winds than I would normally have done any shooting in. There were moments where the wind would stop for a minute or two, giving me just enough time to frame a shot and create an image or two (maybe). The indicating factor for the strong winds was the roll cloud above the Indian Peaks that had that soft, but clearly defined look!
A few weeks later, during a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, a trip that I will remember for the rest of my life due to the absolutely amazing, yet highly unexpected conditions! The image I re-processed from this trip was done because I really like how the snow was absent from the very tip of the dunes in certain spots forming nice lines, along with the light creating nice shadows. This day was amazing simply for the fact that after waiting through a snowstorm after a early trek that day that was cut short (snow was coming down very hard and the light was too flat to even think about trying to shoot anything), a buddy and I returned to a gorgeous blanket of snow covering the dunes. The snow depth varied from 6” to probably 15” in some areas. Mother Nature sure knows how to make a curve-ball day turn out much better than one may have anticipated!
The last image I have found, so far, is from a trek to Lake Helene in Rocky Mountain National Park. A rock formation called “Little Matterhorn” fascinates me and provides a dramatic backdrop for composition at Lake Helene. On this particular day, the weather was pretty good for snowshoeing…at least until I got to the spot near Marigold Pond about 1/4 mile away from Lake Helene.
As I approached this spot, I sensed the wind starting to pick up, which is usually an indication in Rocky that the weather may be changing. Looking at the barometric pressure on my Garmin Tactix GPS watch, I did see a drop in the pressure, so I got myself set up and started to frame out the image below. While I probably could have trekked to Lake Helene, the snowfall that Rocky Mountain National Park (and the whole St. Vrain valley) was pretty immense, and that led me to have concerns that a white-out would occur as I started my trek back to the Bear Lake Trailhead. Yes, I have multiple GPS devices and sufficient safety gear, but that is no substitute for thinking strategically.
Suffice to say, I overlooked this particular image most likely because I did not really see the potential at first. Going through the images from that trek, I saw this image was flagged, but had not had any post-processing done to the image. After running the image through post-processing in Lightroom 5 and Silver Efex Pro 2, I like the composition. Hints of something more allow the viewer to ponder what might be, beyond the small opening between the trees!
So far, I’m through March of 2014 in my archive review. How many more images will I find? Then there is the question of how much time do I allocate to this task, as I need to get out in the field. Quality over quantity though. Decisions decisions…