Memory v Masterpiece

I recently rediscovered a cache of forgotten photos on a CD from a trip to Mexico in 2003. What to do with them? Well, get them all uploaded to Flickr, obviously. But how much did I want to ‘play about’ with them? For the last six months or so I have been going crazy with filters (or more correctly, presets) in Lightroom. Filters are the lazy mans way to create cool photographs without having to worry about owning decent equipment, having any talent or even using ones imagination.

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I am sure my photographs are cooler for all those filters I’ve applied. But those rediscovered photos had me thinking. They contained so many memories. Did I want to play about with them? After all, the application of creative filters distorts the image. It recreates a scene, turning it into something that never was. It’s for artistic purposes only. You gain your masterpiece, but lose a memory.

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In the end, I applied some sensible post processing – cropping, added contrast and the such. And left it at that. I uploaded the results to Flickr. Then I went back and did my filter thang on a select bunch of them. The best of both worlds. I have unlimited space to upload onto Flickr, so what the heck – duplication is fine!

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This exercise has given me a bit of food for thought as to how I approach my photography though. The snaps I take today have little to no nostalgia attached to them. But a decade or more down the road, they will be priceless snapshots of life long ago. Do I want sets on Flickr full of masterpieces or sets full of memories? I must give this some thought and find a balance.

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