I have always loved looking at photographers contact sheets, it’s just like looking into their thought process. To be able to see how they work, execute, problem solve their way through what is presented before them. Getting the shot is only the beginning; recognizing it in the edit and choosing it is the next step. When I look at the contact sheet above I see a lot of images I like, they each could probably work, but the way I edit is by comparing them to each other. Try and find out the one that is the strongest among themselves, and when that is done you will be left with the best image. The next part in editing is knowing what you want to say or trying to say with the image, if you understand that you will be able to edit faster and never second guess yourself. When I was looking at the contact sheet of Dreaming Tree, I realized hope and loss was the thought presenting itself, and then knew instantly what image captured that the best. Once the image was selected, getting it to the final print as seen below is accomplished by being patient and open to what the image needs. There is no better way to explain it than simply; I knew what the image had to become, but forced nothing, I let it live and take me where the image wanted to go.
By slowing down, listening, thinking, and being present with your work, a path will present itself for you to follow.
Then you put on your creative boots and follow it wherever it leads… always and uninhibited!