Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Time to Photo Prune and Propagate

It's too cold to work in the garden but there is much pruning and propagating to be done indoors.  And so here I am, at my computer, slowly working my way through six years worth of photos that have been downloaded but not organised into folders. It is overwhelming. 
It is something I keep planning to do. But don't.

And so in the quiet days of post-Christmas I am making a start. I like going through old photos but there is a bitter edge because it would be more enjoyable if there wasn't so many. I know when I took the same 20 photos of my baby grand daughter that I planned to keep the best one or two and delete the rest. But I didn't, and many more photos followed. She is now 6.

I am never without my camera. Just ask my friends and family! Photos make memories, capture magical moments like the sunrise, and they give the mundane meaning. But I began to feel like I was drowning, and after several years of taking Project 365 photos I stopped. Because, well, what was the point? They just added to my photo piles and gave stress rather than enjoyment. It's quick and easy to take a photo, especially now that I use one on my mobile phone as well. But having abundance does not always give us what we want. No. 

Photography was once a passion, a part of who I am. But this overwhelm has taken something away. Something that I want back. And so here I am taking steps. My husband bought me a new camera for Christmas, and I also received a new book called 'Adventures in Seeing'. It is about contemplative photography, which connects with me. It is a reminder to slow down, and think before I take a photo. I am planning to pick up Project 365 again and to put time aside to organise my photos as I go along. I am beginning to feel excited about taking photos again.

But for now, it's time to get back to my pruning and propagating!  


  1. I received three photography books from a friend for Christmas this year on contemplative photography. I've started the first one and it really resonates with me. I, too, am starting another Project 365 after taking a year off, with a new focus. Although I, too, have more photos than I need to save, most of mine are fairly well organized in Lightroom. I wish I had taken the time to tag more of them, but Lightroom was a game changer for me. Good luck; it's a huge undertaking!

    1. It's good to hear you are picking up Project 365 again after a years break too. I look forward to hearing more about this Karen, and I am interested in the books you received. Contemplative photography really fits with me and I plan to take a less is more approach from hereon.

    2. It turns out that the author of the book you received lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We are frequent visitors there, and so I explored her website. A friend and I are thinking we'll try to sign up for her June workshop. If you go to her website, you'll see a link to a Facebook group she's starting on January 1 if you want to work through the exercises in the book. I've ordered the book, should get it tomorrow!

    3. Lucky you, living near Niagra falls, it sounds a beautiful area. It would be amazing to go to one of Kim's workshops, I do hope you can arrange that.
      One of the reasons I chose this book is because of the Facebook group. I signed up a couple of weeks ago and am looking forward to working through the book with others. Doing it this way makes me feel more connected and committed. I’m excited that you are buying the book and joining in too – I look forward to sharing this with you. What a great year this promises to be!

  2. Oh this is such a huge project but I am sure one that will reap loads of rewards & such a sense of "well done". Organizing photos is one that I tried different styles/methods of but I came back to a very simple one; by month. It's not fancy but it works for me & I can keep on top of it. I bet you are going to find lots of surprises in sorting those photos! Cheers to making more cherished memories in 2017.

  3. Well done. It's hard, I know, but I'm very lucky to be married to a very organised software engineer, who taught me early on the best way to save and store my photos, and I now have over 10 years worth all safely ordered and stored to CD/DVD. Good luck with the pruning, and looking forward to joining you in Adventures in Seeing. I had hoped to have moved by now and was intending to start a 365 showcasing my new home and surroundings, but will start instead on the boxes all stacked and waiting! Happy New Year

  4. I have always saved my photos into folders but I am guilty of taking 12 where one would do and not pruning the 10 that aren't so good. At the end of the year I take all my photos for the year off my computer and on to an external hard drive.

  5. Such a tough slog ... Hoping you are seeing the benefit and feeling a sense of satisfaction by now. Like Bernice, I've always kept mine in folders but this year I really need to focus on deleting the crappy ones and the duplicates.


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