Friday 1 November 2013

If you have more than 12 great pictures, your standards aren't high enough

Torii - Hakone Shrine (箱根神社, Hakone Jinja)
If you set out to select your best images for a trip, a subject, a year, or your whole career, how many do you end up with? If it's more than a dozen or so, your standards aren't high enough. Raise your standards, be more selective, and reduce the number. Your work justifies a higher standard. And the result is a stronger collection.
Obviously, this idea is based on the famous Ansel Adams quote:
Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
In fact, the idea came to me when discussing making a selection of twelve for a ten-day photo tour. What if you have more? Well, Ansel Adams thought he made twelve in a good year. So if you think you made more (let alone more in ten days) you should raise your standards.

Which is easier said than done, of course. I find it very hard to get down to a suitable small number. Especially when things are still fresh.

The image above is one of my dozen for 2012.

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