In my last blog entry, I wrote about my experience as a photographic “heretic” when it came to gear. I was thinking about this after the first annual California Photo Festival. Working alongside the thirteen other pros at that event reminded me of the amazing range of career paths different photographers travel from aspiring photographer to established professional. If I took one lesson away from my chats with the other pros, it was that no single career path is best for all photographers. I was also reminded how much of a heretic I am when it comes to my own career path.
In this second part of a two-part blog entry, I will be talking about the technological strategies I use when I organize my image archive. In the first segment, I explored the thinking points I had in mind when I was first organizing my archive. One important point I tried to make was that image archiving is one area of photography where you should never let the perfect get in the way of the good.
I am still coming down from the buzz of energy and excitement that permeated the first annual California Photo Festival back in late September. In thinking about why it was so great, I looked beyond the fabulous location, the great weather, the amazing subject matter and the wonderful food.There was one more thing that made the festival a unique experience for me (and all the photographers who attended). Unlike a typical workshop where you encounter one teacher, it was the opportunity to see how thirteen different photographers approach their photography (and the question of what gear they use).
Every serious photographer has an archive of some form. Some of those archives become important libraries at the heart of our collective visual culture, holding significant imagery that historians utilize and the public enjoys. Others disappear into obscurity, and with them go potentially important images, never to be seen by the public. As photographers, we want our work to fall into the former category. Most photographers neglect image archiving to the point that most of their work will sadly end up in the latter category.
In the first of this two-part blog posting, I wrote about all the non-gear related things that make my life easier as a photographic road warrior. In this posting I will talk about the gear related technologies that do the same thing for me.
I have been making photographs seriously since 1972, when I fell in love with photography during an intro to photography class in high school. I have been taking pictures for money since 1980, when I graduated from college after studying the history of photography.
The very best way to improve as a photographer does not involve any particular piece of gear or course of study, nor does it involve apprenticing yourself to a master photographer. Impoverishing yourself by working on nothing but photography as something of a photographic "monk" will not do it, either. While all of these things may improve your photography, the best way is much simpler, yet for many photographers it seems much harder.
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