A New Project

Bonsai Cedar – Delaware Watergap, PA © jj raia

Most often, photographic projects involve creating new images that have some common thread under a particular theme or umbrella. It could involve processing a series of photos using a singular or similar technique, or it could center around a specific subject; there are many avenues to approach the idea of a project. Knowing I would be inside for several weeks without much to do, I decided to finally tackle a new photography project. You might think it would be something to look forward to doing, digging in full bore, with excitement, enthusiasm, and a renewed sense of photographic purpose; but you would be sadly mistaken. It is something I’ve been putting off for at least 10-15 years, dreading the monotony of the gargantuan task that I would embark upon, and figured if I didn’t tackle it now, with the expected uncommitted block of time, it would never get done. Of course, the world would continue to move forward if I chose not to attempt this project, but it really, really needed to be done; at least in my mind of practicalities, so I forged ahead. Unlike most projects, there was no creativity involved in this non-artistic endeavor, but rather the simple, monotonous, manual labor necessary in keeping my photo libraries from the gilded, pre-digital age of photography, in some semblance of order, severely lacking for 30 years, now.

Found, Forgotten and Found

Eroded Cliffs near Dettifoss, Iceland © jj raia

As happens most times a photo is taken, something motivated you to do so prior to tripping the camera’s shutter. Some object, activity, person or scene inspired you enough to memorialize it with your camera in some way that satisfies that inspiration. After importing those photos onto the computer, the better images are processed and those considered subpar are ignored and left to languish on a hard drive. The cycle repeats, and over time those unprocessed files, and even some of those that were, are forgotten. But occasionally, we come across those same files years later only to be inspired again by what we originally saw and captured with the camera.