is good worthless?
With the official totals for my recent trips hovering around 38000 and 40000 images, I find myself despairing over how many “good” photographs I have. Around every corner in venice is a beautiful scene with a canal, a building that is slightly off kilter being held up by petrified wood piers, some beautiful flowers in the flower boxes (I think about 20% of Italy’s GDP is spent on flowers in windows ;) ) However, with such similarity it’s hard to pick out which if any, are “great”, which means to me, that they aren’t great. A great image leaps out at me and grabs me by the lapels (Perhaps my problem is that I’m wearing tshirts while editing my photos which don’t have lapels). In wildlife photography, there’s so often a decisive moment, the lion leaping the river, or the kingfisher caught midflight, that says THIS ONE. Although as a counter point, I have a lot of lion images from africa where they are just sleeping, that are “good”. So again I’m faced with what do I do with the images that are nice, that collectively help to tell the story of a place but aren’t going to be featured in the gallery. In a world that has so many great shots, my good shots are competing for the ever shortened attention span against images that probably have a whale breaching in one of Venice’s canals. Of course these “great” images might not represent that slurry of tastes and sounds that embody a trip to venice, because they are so apart from the normal.
I think the good vs. great tension is present in our lives as well. How do we savor and appreciate the good moments in our life, when the media is only talking about the great moments the celebrities are having? Does hearing about the royal wedding diminish the memories of weddings we’ve been to? I hope not, though I fear that the age of omnipresent information allows us to compare ever present good against a presented great. Even the great moments in our lives when patched together would make an impressive slideshow, but would present a wildly inaccurate story for posterity, as I think the good moments in my life are much more me.