“I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being–forgive me–rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]I hate waste. I don’t hate trash, mind you. There are things which, once expired, definitely require disposal. Waste, though, the deliberate misuse or ruination of something still usable, angers me. I hate wasting time, because there’s no guarantee that there is any more of it coming. I hate wasting of resources, especially those purchased with someone else’s funds under the expectation they would be managed efficiently. I loathe large, opulent displays of wealth wasted in the face of massive poverty.
As much as anything, I hate wasted food. I had to throw away a package of bagels today because moisture had gotten into the package and caused them to mold. Five perfectly good bagels gone because care wasn’t taken in preserving them properly. Those emotions crop up a lot and I’ll blame my mother in part for the constant reminder that there are always starving children somewhere. But then, my own brushes with poverty and hunger are an even more recent reminder of just how valuable a single bagel is to someone who hasn’t eaten all day.
The words “waste not, want not” are etched into my brain so strongly that almost any level of waste I observe stirs a negative emotion. Seeing massive amounts of food in a restaurant dumpster makes me momentarily swear off dining out. Observing whole rivers of polluted water makes me curse industrialization. Seeing the Coke lot the day after a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway makes me detest racing fans everywhere. Even this past weekend I was severely dismayed to look at the street after the Pride Parade and see it not merely cluttered but severely trashed with smashed candy and other litter.
We sadly live in a world where waste of every kind is far too common, far too excessive, and leaves far too large a footprint. Getting anyone to care is almost impossible.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Waste in photography fares no better and is one of the reasons for focusing on missed imagery this week. There are some shoots where the amount of genuinely strong imagery we capture exceeds the limits of reasonable display. I prefer to keep presentations between seven and ten images, since that is pretty much the sweet spot for the average person’s attention span. If we have a really strong set, I might go up to twenty. Beyond that, though, people stop looking. Their eyes glaze over as though you’ve just brought them a fourth serving of parmesan chicken, to which their bodies groaned in despair. No matter how strong the images are, beyond a certain point they’re just waste.
Perhaps the worst, though, is seeing wasted talent. Now, I have to be very careful here. I know there are some people whose talents are multiple and for reasons of sanity they are forced to choose; focusing on one or two while letting others lie dormant. I have sympathy for those people. What bothers me is someone who can clearly do well, either in front or behind a camera, and yet lets someone who fails to understand the artistry of either talk them into doing something far less creative, far more temporary, and far less fulfilling. I come into contact with those people sometimes multiple times a day and when I see them not doing what they could clearly do so well I want to cry.
Today’s picture is one from a set of gems that could easily fill a very large wall. I won’t attempt to over-analyze why this particular combination worked; the models didn’t have an especially intimate relationship, in fact they giggled through the first several minutes of shooting. Everything just clicked and the number of frames worth saving far exceeds what should be displayed in a single exhibition. So, today’s #POTD is an example in preventing waste.
Still, I must ask you to consider: what are you wasting?[/one_half_last]