The main job of a photographer is, well obviously, to photograph. However, there are few things that are almost as important as taking pictures. One of them is archiving your works. Longer you’ve been living as a photographer, bigger collections of images you’ve have. And with technical innovations in digital photography happening every year, the files you have to backup only get bigger.
I’ve been a photographer for well over 10 years now, not counting my college days, and I have a lot of external drives where I keep my old photos. But backing them up isn’t only thing I do with them. Sure enough, I’m a kind of guy who goes over what he has shot that day right away. I look back at what I did right away and pick up the ones that I like. I keep B cuts, then delete C cuts and below. After that, I back them up and don’t look at them again for a while.
Every few years, however, I take time to look back at my old works. In every two or three years, I look at these images again and go over them again. Chances are, I discover hidden gems that I wasn’t able to find in previous occasions. Your eyes for photography change. For the better I hope. And most importantly, photographs change with time. I personally believe a good photograph is not just an image that looks good now, but one that actually gets better as time goes by. A great image is like a good wine. For this reason, it is one of my ritual that I look back and rediscover my own work. Who else knows my work better than myself? And who else can benefit the most from analyzing my own work? Of course, it is I, me, myself.
So past few weeks I was going through some of those old works I’ve done, and came across these Tokyo photographs I’ve taken in January, 2009. Eight years ago, I took my Leica M6 with 35mm Summicron lens and headed to the capital of Japan for a new year. I wasn’t complete as a street photographer. I was yet learning my trades. I still managed to grab some memorable moments if I can say so myself. But some of them looked different after all these years. Eight years of time made some of the images show their true color, so to speak. It’s always a pleasant surprise when that happens. While they’re a bit different than my current style, they are still shot by me. Younger me, granted, but still me. I’d like to share some of those new favorites here with you.