Cleaning up my Act

Cleaning up my act, getting stuff done, losing weight, re-evaluating my goals, – we all know the phrases we use for the beginning of a new year. But this year, I can say I’m achieving at least one goal! It was quiet the month of December 2017 around my office, and I tackled my library of over 188,000 images and cleaned up the clutter. I have only three years to go now, but I have successfully eliminated over 12,000 images from the catalog. I feel lighter already. 🙂 

Why bother, you might ask, when disc space is so inexpensive, and time could be ‘better spent’ on other things? Because after a while, the catalog becomes sluggish – just like we do after the holidays, lol – and I was seeing a drop in performance – the catalog’s, that is, the past several months. I also wanted to find certain images that would work for some ebooks in progress.

This may sound like the most tedious and boring thing to do. Tedious it is, but boring? Actually, not, because in the process of cleaning up the detritus hanging around in my catalog – those unrated, un-keyworded, and yes, technically weak images – I was also discovering photographs I had forgotten I’d made! Although I had made a quick ‘sweep’ through the catalog for my recent book, Expressive Nature Photography, I hadn’t the time to go too deep, and many images lay sleeping in the dark recesses of the array. 

The blog post image is one of those ‘sleepers’ that I have awakened! The big-tooth maple leaves in the washes in the Checkerboard Mesa area of Zion National Park drop off the trees that line the sandstone canyons, and cover the ledges and rocks around them. This was like they were spilling down into a bowl at the base, and I liked the expressive aspect of it. I was also drawn to the light – the bounce light in these washes can be incredible when sunlight hits the top walls and kicks warm light into the wash. Here, it really brought out the texture of the leaves so nicely.

Well, back to it, to see what else I can discover in the work I have left to review!

All life is a metaphor, and so this cleaning ‘house’ in my image library allowed me to reconnect to the experiences I had while photographing, and to get those written down, and to evaluate my visual growth. Sometimes, chores like this do more for us than we might realize…






This entry was posted in America, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Insights, nature photography and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. Mark January 3, 2018 at 5:01 pm #

    I can fully relate Brenda. So many images that I meant to process, and then time just slips away and it fades into the archive. Going back through is a very therapeutic exercise.

    • Brenda Tharp January 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm #

      Therapeutic, indeed! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Dennis January 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm #

    It’s a great image, Brenda, well worth rescuing from the pile.

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