The rush to share….. or is patience rewarded?

In this day and age when instant gratification is the order of the day there is a tendency to share our images on social media without a moments hesitation, particularly if you think you have a ‘keeper’ on the memory card. I can be as guilty of this trait as anyone but I am trying to be more patient before uploading to Instagram or indeed this blog.

I have a quiet admiration of photographers who return from a shoot, download their images but then wait several weeks or even months before processing the files. Their reasoning is that as each day passes they become more detached from the actual event of taking the photograph and their memory of what they saw changes with the passage of time. As a consequence when the moment comes to process the images their approach is different to how it might have been if they had processed the photograph almost immediately after the picture had been captured. The final result can be an image which is more likely to reflect what they think they saw and how they feel, not what they actually saw. This is an important difference in the art of picture making.

I believe there are benefits to be had by proceeding more slowly even if waiting weeks or months is outside the realms of possibility for me at the moment. I don’t possess that degree of will power.

Take the image which accompanies this post. A dramatic depiction of Racton Tower, a subject which I have photographed on previous occasions. As I start down this road of making colour images I am already becoming increasingly aware of how subtle and not so subtle changes in colour can influence the look and feel of an image, not to forget of course all the other tools we have at our disposal.

I therefore decided to spend more time than usual on this image. I processed a number of different versions over several days followed by a review a day or two later, I compared one with another believing I would benefit from this approach. What did I like and what did I think worth changing to improve the picture. It hasn’t take weeks but it has been a much slower and more considered process.

I am pleased with the final result. As it happens it’s not so very different to the first version I made but it does include some enhancements which only became evident by giving myself the time to stand back, observe and be more critical. I like to think my patience has been rewarded and not just because I have made an image which pleases me, but because the process itself has been a more enjoyable and enhanced learning experience.

4 Responses to “The rush to share….. or is patience rewarded?”

  1. 35Chronicle Photography

    Alan, I am so in agreement with you that it’s almost scary. I for one sit in both sides… sometime I process quickly while still in the moment. Mostly, I love to let the dust settle and remove myself from my frames for many weeks before I look at them to edit. Often, it’s a feeling if shooting the same frames a second time, with different emotions and intentions. Often too, I’ll see something new that I just didn’t acknowledge when the shutter was fired. I suppose there are pros and cons to both approaches but, as for gratification, I like to see that more as a way of sharing what is noticed, when looking through someone else’s eyes. Your frame is beautiful, by the way. Thank you for sharing your ideas! Best, Rob.


    • alan frost

      Thanks for your reply Rob. I making a conscious effort not to to process images immediately after downloading them. In addition those that are being processed are given time to mature and be fine tuned. Akin to a painting I guess, there are things you notice by revisiting the image a few days later with a fresh pair of eyes. I think this is beneficial now I am experimenting with colour. I had a defined workflow for mono which I hope will come in time for colour as well. Thanks again for your comment. Best regards. Alan

      Liked by 1 person


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