Friday, 2 May 2008

Editing: think positive

My friends are sometimes down because of editing their images, essays, sequences, projects, collections, sets, whatever you might want to call them. I think there's a misconception that editing your work is the end of the road, that last thing you do before you call it a day. Probably I saw editing like that a while ago... when you go through your images and say, "man, this isn't good enough", "oh, I have three good images of X, but nothing else to interleave", "I have eight shots of Y, but only one goes in, which one?", "stupid, in this kind of pictures all the characters are girls", etc. Suddenly nothing keeps the pace, the thing falls apart, it turns tedious, or too strong or too soft or too fast or just doesn't work... and then you want to find a nice tree and kick the bucket.

I mean, it's hard to come up with an idea clear enough of something to shoot, and go and tick all the 'compositions', 'locations' and 'topics' boxes. Plus your idea might have been immensely unsatisfactory for yourself and you didn't realize it. Nowadays I find the first edit of anything that I'm shooting a very creative process... it's the first time that I see what I am shooting and how I want to follow it. Yeah, follow it, because it's not the end, it's more, I'd say that something is not a project in my head till I have edited at least once. Once I am done, instead of seeing all the things that the edit is lacking and go to find a very tall tree, I think about how I am going to shoot them. Suddenly, from the images new branches and paths emerge. You can easily plan ahead what images to drop completely ('lets get rid of all the portraits', e.g.) and what to follow. Where there are gaps on the edit that need a certain pace, whether you have tried a certain shot too many times without noticing it, whether you have biased yourself to give a certain message to the whole when actually, under the surface, something more quiet but stronger resides. So if you are thinking about your first (painful) edit... cheer up! It's still only the beginning!

Anyhow, if I come up as too optimistic, well, give a go at Always Look at the Bright Side of Life.

5 comments:

BryanF said...

edits are fluid too...especially on the web. i think too many people are still stuck in the 'editing for a book' mentality.

a book edit is completely different than a web edit. i'm not sure too many people have mastered web editing.

maybe though...i think short and quick is the way to go on the web. leave the long, contemplative edits for the book....

aNaY said...

Funny that bryanf distinguish between editing for a book or a web. I'm now edinting for an exhinition (something completely different) and after seeing my first edition my cooment was "this is good for book, but not for an exhibition" So now my question is "what is good for an exhibition??" I really don't know so I started the edition one more time....

J. Karanka said...

@ana: sure he distinguishes, his ass must be soar of sitting down editing for la pura vida ;o) (check next post)

@bryan: yes, edits between 10 and 20 images should do. 20 being actually very much on the long side of things. It would be interesting to have some sort of acces to more images than those, lets say 15 of the main edit... as that's one of the advantages of the net, and all that hyperlinking, etc.

bryanf said...

@anay: yes, for an exhibition would be completely different. i don't have much experience in that arena though..

@joni: the LPV structure allows for multiple interpretations. you can go to the Flickr pool and look at what we're working with. in more advanced times, you could set up a way for members to make their own edits. then we'd all be sharing edits, the way DJ's share mixes...

J. Karanka said...

@bryanf: you could even have some sort of 'make your own story' in which on every image of the show the viewer chooses in which direction go to... and yes, I saw something about mixes somewhere... could do, could do... like muxtapes but on images... aren't our tumblr's already a bit like that? lots of menus and only a few pics