Don't Forget Your Old Photos: Postcards From Puducherry
Do you look at old photos in your archive? You should. I’m back in Belgium after almost a year of traveling and finally I have the time to explore my archive of photos. We’re already planning our next trip in a few months so I have to use my time wisely.
When I’m traveling and photographing, there are always photos that I know I’ll use as soon as I shoot them. They’re not necessarily turn out to be the best shots but at that moment, they are for me.
I probably average around 30 or 40 shots each day. A few days later, I edit them and publish a story here. Let’s say around 8 of those are good, I just know. Most of the time, in the following weeks, I use them in a story or post a few on Instagram but that leaves a bunch of photos neglected.
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Fresh mind, fresh photography
When I have some time on the road, I try to look at those neglected photos but depending on how busy our schedule is, some of them get lost ‘forever’. Now that I’m back, I can go over all of my photos again and I’m surprised by how many photos I’ve forgotten about. Some are good, some not but it’s always nice to look back.
That’s why you also shouldn’t throw away too many photos the day you’ve taken them. A year later, some of the shots you thought weren’t that good, will look totally different. Your thoughts are clean and the excitement of taking the photos is gone. It’s the perfect time to go over your photos again. You’d be surprised how many good photos you discover when looking back a year.
The excitement of travel photography
One of the problems is that when traveling, I’m constantly on some sort of an inspiration high. Does that make sense? What I mean is, that I’m visiting new and exciting places all the time and that might distort the way I look at my own images. If you can, you should always wait a few week before you cull and edit photos. Especially when you’re doing a long term documentary or travel photography. If you have the time, use it.
An even better idea is to also show your photos to other people. They’ll give you feedback that you might not use but even then, it’s useful to get an other point of view. Picking the best shots is one of the most difficult tasks for a photographer; you should leave your emotions out of it. It’s always easier for an outsider to look at your pictures unbiased and pick the best shots out of a bunch.
Related read • Little Things That Inspire my Photography: Motel Rooms
Puducherry (or Pondicherry), India
Anyway, I actually just wanted to show some of my ‘old’ photos. A year ago, we started our trip in India and we spent two months there so I have a lot of neglected photos taken there.
A few weeks into our trip we visited Puducherry, a sleepy town on the west coast of India. The French influence is still visible: Tree lined boulevards, quaint colonial heritage buildings and the endless stretches of unspoilt beaches and backwaters. It’s the perfect place to go if you want relax and do nothing for a few days.
I already used some of the photos but now, after a year, I discovered a few that I didn’t even know existed.
So, today’s short lesson that turned out a bit longer than expected: Don’t forget your old photos!