Dealing with the Aftermath

It's been two weeks now since my wife and I returned from our two-week trip to Europe. We've regained the rhythm of our daily lives, but the memories linger.

So do the unprocessed photos.

Before we left, I made sure I had enough memory chips to hold about 8,000 high-resolution digital photos; I wanted to be sure I wouldn't miss a thing! I was very surprised upon my return to find I'd only taken about 1,000 photographs.

But what is more surprising is how long it's taking me to wade through that many photos.

If you're a casual photographer, this may not resonate with you. But if you're a serious amateur or budding professional, there's a good chance you'll relate.

Wit that many pictures, I knew it would be overwhelming to simply upload them to a file on my computer named, say, "Europe 2009", so I thought I'd create a separate file for each major city we visited. That proved to be a good start, but not quite enough.

Within each city, there were categories. For example, I have a series of front doors that I started in Chicago some years ago and have added to as I see doors that catch my eye. So, a folder titled, "Doors". I noticed how many people in Europe hang their laundry outside rather than use a clothes dryer. "Laundry" needed a folder. The graffiti was everywhere, and much of it was pretty artistic (as opposed to simple "tagging"). Another folder. And so on.

By the time I finished separating the photos, the folders each contained anywhere from a couple of dozen to 150 photos of Venice, it being the most photogenic city we visited. Much more manageable.

Still, a lot of reviewing needed to be done, followed by PhotoShop work on those deemed worthy. And that takes time. As of this writing, I'm less than half-way through, but will get there. As my wife reminds me, my only deadlines are self-imposed.

But I'm not one to procrastinate for extended periods, so there will be more to come in the near future. Stay tuned!

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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