I wish I could say it was enlightenment, that it was an artistic revelation that drove me to it. The clean slate. The fresh start. Beginning anew…
It’s 2013. I recall a time when the year 2000 seemed so far away, so futuristic. I remember thinking that I’d be approaching my 40s when that year hit and that seemed hard to fathom. 40s. Imagine that.
And now it’s a decade and plus hence. There are more than a few miles on this odometer… so the idea of a new beginning seems odd, out of the question, hard to imagine. But here I am.
There were 56,000 images in my Aperture library. 56,000 digital images taken over the past ten years, all beginning with the moment that I rediscovered photography with a Canon G series camera. The very first image is one of my kids eating breakfast at the morning table. It was, at the time, a throwaway shot… a test of my new toy. But it’s one of my most treasured images. It recounts a scene I took for granted at the time but which I now recall with a loving, reminiscent eye. The 56,000 images contain many other priceless memories and so it’s a library with countless value.
And yet, I start from scratch. Beginning yesterday, I commissioned a brand new library. I’ll look back at those earlier images and I’ll consider the best ones as part of my own ongoing portfolio, but from here, I’m beginning again. I’ll post only what I’m shooting now. It’s a reinvigoration of sorts. An artistic mulligan and one I’ll take.
But now here’s the rest of the story. Over the past week, I treated myself to a computer upgrade; I was due. The iMac served me well but I wanted the 15″ retina Macbook Pro. As I prepared to transfer data, I noticed upon close inspection that my photo library, itself a transfer veteran from one image editing program to the next and from a variety of Windows computers and then into the Mac realm, was severely damaged. I noticed referenced images without hosts, thumbnails and other low resolution survivors, and various other images that couldn’t be used for any reason. So, I parsed and cleansed and before I knew it, I was down to 40,000 photos and almost 100 gig less in storage requirements.
Through the process, I saw vivid reminders of my photographic journey and while I wouldn’t trade any of it for a moment, the idea dawned on me: why not start over? Why not archive the old library and begin and focus on a brand new one?
And so, here I am. Happy New Year!
Note: the above image was taken with a Fujifilm X-E1 using the in camera sepia film mode. ISO 200, +.33 EV, F14, 1/42 second exposure. A bit of contrast added post and not much else.