My Lightroom gallery for 2013 reads 9,882. That's the most images I have for any one year. Even when I was shooting Kayla's field hockey games I only averaged around 6,000 a year. Those 2013 images awarded a 5-star rating numbered 373! Wow, I must be incredibly talented! Every 27 clicks of the camera produces a winner, that must mean something, right? Right now I think it means squat. I guess everyone goes through an "I suck" phase and mine started when I began looking for my favorite images of 2013. At one moment I had a hard time finding anything that struck me as a favorite and in the next I found too many images worthy of inclusion. Analysis-Paralysis set in, then a pondering, pensive funk. It eventually became clear that it really didn't matter; pick what you like and move on 'cause it's not like Life Magazine is going to start up the presses, give me a call and demand my "Best of" for their new issue. There was nothing in that gallery to agonize over. And that was the problem, there was nothing in that gallery to excite, agonize over, or scream about. I lacked something: some artistic statement, some fundamental element, some driving focus. Maybe just some good photographs.
What was confounding was that during the year I felt that 373 of my images were worthwhile. During that same year I put 30 or more in the slideshow of this site's homepage where they were showcased for the world to see. They must have said something relevant to me at some point in the year--why not now? Why didn't 10-15 images just leap off the screen and shout "Hey! Remember me! I'm one of the BEST!" Instead, they remained mute, indifferent to the fact that December 31 was fast approaching. Not a single one was any longer "The Best." There were no favorites; there were 373 second-place finishers.
I needed different criteria to show value for a year of hauling a camera from place to place and for the hours upon hours spent in front of my monitor polishing pixels.
I came to look at experiences. I have 45 separate sub-galleries in 2013 depicting a location, event, or subject. Fifteen sub-sub-galleries in my Anza-Borrego directory alone, representing a wide-range of desert locations. My Utah gallery has 3 National Parks and my Mt Laguna gallery is composed of a dozen or so trips to that beautiful place. So, if you break it down by "shoots," I averaged over 4 per month , covered 5 states, plus deserts, mountains, a really big ocean and, in the end, snow.
I can live with that.