While the fun of taking photographs is the thrill of the hunt—the search for promising material—the fun of editing is translating the promise into images that have impact.
For my book, Roads, published in 2010, I shot about 10,000 photographs, of which 160 appeared in print. For my forthcoming book, provisionally entitled Sweet Seas, A Portrait of the Great Lakes to be published in October, I again shot about 10,000 photographs of which about 200 will probably appear in print. In order to go from 10,000 to 200, I had to decide which of the 10,000 had potential to be compelling images, and realize that potential through editing.
Gathering material for the books required thousands of miles of travel around Canada and the US. On some days I might have taken 300 photographs. Each night in my hotel room I reviewed the day’s photographs, discarding about two-thirds of them. I was confident doing this cull directly from my camera because even on the small screen I could spot two things I was looking for in each shot: “good bones” and a “story”.