A winter’s cleanup project

A mosaic created with the photos of one folder on my server

January and February tend to be slow months around our household. The holidays are over, we don’t travel and while work is still busy there are few off-hours activities. No, shoveling snow is a chore not an activity. So it’s a good time to revisit the photos I have taken and catalog and organize them.

I finished a backup on the server and found I have taken over 65,000 photos, or 1.3 Terabytes, over the last 10 years or so. Since I want to showcase some of my work I need to cull through them and highlight the ones I like for later processing and publishing. This has proved to be both a challenge and a great reward in itself. Challenging because the vast numbers of photos to look at, review, catalog and flag for further work but also rewarding that I get to relive those trips and photo sessions throughout the years.

Since I’ve finally got everything filed away in one place on my server this might be the first time I have attempted organizing and reviewing everything I have shot. I tend to pick the most obvious 2 or 3 pictures from a shoot and post them then move on to the next project. Even as I write this I’m thinking about doing a time lapse of tomorrow’s approaching snow storm.

No, this will require time and that makes it a good winter project before I get carried away with an over abundance of summer photography projects. And that will make it rewarding as well.

In a way this is my diary in visual format. What fun it was watching the bison in Yellowstone. The smell of the mud pits return when combing through the shots of the lower geyser basin. The desert heat and the Mars like landscape of hiking in Utah. The colors and sounds, and of course the altitude, of Quito Ecuador. I can remember the cold of photographing the Moon and planets in a -20F early morning.

I remember the August heat during the solar eclipse of 2017 and how the temperatures dropped about 20 degrees as the Moon covered the Sun and we moved into the Moon’s shadow. I remember how we watched it from the edge of a cemetery and kept one eye out for zombies as we watched the eclipse.

I remember all the lunar eclipses I shot and all those failed attempts at the Milky Way and what I learned from that work. I see the photos of a late night session and I remember leaving that 24mm camera lens on the roof of the car as I packed up, only to remember it a half second before it tumbled off at 30 miles per hour. The broken remains of which made for a new project in macro photography and added a new skill that I learned.

I’m also finding that some of the photos I glossed over years ago that ended up as just digital storage are really pretty good and deserving of more attention. I have learn more about photography and processing over the years and can apply those skills to older photos I thought were just “meh”. Diamonds in the rough and that sort of thing.

So as the cold cloudy nights reign for the next two months I can grab a hot cup of coffee, settle in and look back at the reasons I got into this hobby. The enjoyment of capturing light and shadow and trying to make sense of it all.

I should get started. I hope to shoot another 65,000 photos or more over the next 10 years. And snow will be here tomorrow.

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