As we walk through life, inevitably we make an impression on the world and the people we come in contact with.
Personally, in many areas I try to be “light on my feet”, leaving an impact of minimum detriment.
For example on an environmental front, recycling more than I send to landfill, being cautious with energy and water usage, riding a bicycle for my daily commute instead of taking the car, trying not to buy anything I don’t really need, and so on.
On a relationships level, I try to be as supportive as I can, to be kind and encourage people, and to minimise any negative impact I have.
Obviously it’s impossible to be a saint, but if your karmic balance is far more in the black than the red, I think you’re doing ok.
Then we come to photography.
Each photograph we make adds a little more to our overall collective footprint as a photographer.
Put another way, it increases and further shapes the legacy of images we’re creating.
Here, I feel I could do better.
I know that I still probably make and share too many “good” rather than “great” photographs, and save too many that aren’t worth keeping at all.
If someone was looking over my entire photographic footprint (I would guess I have perhaps 30,000 photographs saved in some form, including family photos), it would be difficult for them to find the treasures amongst the dirt, so to speak.
These days with affordable and near seamless automated online storage, it’s easier than ever to just save everything, without any regard to editing and any kind of objective discernment.
But what is this doing to us? How does it affect how we consider the value of a single photograph, not to mention the importance of selecting and sharing only the very best we can make?
When images are so easy to make and to save, surely it vastly cheapens their worth compared with 30 years ago when it took much longer and considerably more effort to make a photograph?
So it’s ever more difficult to find that discipline to be ruthless in our editing and even more discerning with our sharing.
What do we do?
How about you? What kind of photographic footprint are you leaving? Are you happy with it?
Please let us know below, we’d love to hear.
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