Valley View and Difficult Decisions

Decision making is something I do all day.  In fact, I get paid for it.  I’m not claiming the decisions I make are important or life changing or even interesting.  I’m only claiming that I make decisions.  And I do it all day long.

The thing is, I’m pretty quick at deciding.  In fact, I’ve spent a couple of decades learning how to slow down and not jump to conclusions.  I don’t need to know every possible piece of information; only a reasonable amount to feel confident that I can make a choice between options.

So, I ask, why is it that once I put my work away, I can’t seem to make even the simplest decision?

Is decision making a non-renewable resource?  Do you only have so many decisions you’re allowed to make during the day and then all decision-making brain cells are drained until they are recharged over night?

I don’t know why, but deciding things like “what do I feel like eating?” often feels like I’m trying to decide whether to wage war on a neighboring country.

Similarly, tonight as I looked through the remaining shots from Signal Point trying to decide which ones to include in today’s post, I look at the first shot and think it’s not bad.  Buth then I look at the second shot and prefer the framing.  In the first example, the bank of clouds is entirely visible.  There is no view of Venus in either shot, but the temptation to keep both images overwhelms.  Instead of choosing the one I like the best, I now have doubled the storage required.

Oh, and wait, what about the vertical version?  Or the wider angle view of the valley at 18mm?  Or what about the slightly less wide angle view at 28mm?

I know that there should ultimately be only one best image but whose best am I shooting for?

Then, there’s the HDR processed images.  After all, given that i went through near heart failure to get multiple exposures of several images, shouldn’t I keep the processed versions of these negatives, combining the many exposures and trying to output a combined photo that exposes all parts at the same time.  I’m pretty sure the entire collection of exposures should be kept just in case I want to recombine them all differently in the future.

I would also share the in-camera HDR settings, but I haven’t actually figured out how to do that yet.  Figuring out how to do brackets of 7 exposures was challenging enough and then that failed.  It makes it a little difficult to get motivated to figure out how to use the more advanced features like in-camera multi-exposure processing.

Maybe next post . . .


4 responses to “Valley View and Difficult Decisions

  1. This was me several years ago–making decisions. I spent all day and sometimes nights making crucial decisions that I was paid to do but when it came to my personal life, I had a difficult time–even later, I had difficulty. Mine had to do with all the time I had invested in my job didn’t leave me time to really enjoy life–I was too busy. Later, I felt trapped and could not make decisions. When other people depend on me, it is easier. Love the views!!! So peaceful.

    • I think, for me, the decisions I make at work are usually pretty logical. There is an argument that supports one thing being better than another. I have no trouble making a decision when I can consider new information in the context of what I already know. But when it comes to purely aesthetic decisions like “What do you want for dinner?” That’s a real stumper! But maybe it does come down to most of my energy going into work–I don’t have any left at the end of the day to think about the seemingly trivial stuff (at least not if I want to have some left for shooting and blogging).

  2. Learning how to edit your photographic work is one of the hardest parts of photography. With a digital camera, you can take hundreds of shots, then spend hours weeding through them to find the very best shot. Back in ancient times when we used this thing called film, we had a limited amount of shots to take. You edited before you pressed the shutter. For 35mm film, the max we had was 36 shots. With 120 film, you have about 12. Keep at it, it gets easier over time.

    • Hmm. I think I’ve heard of that film stuff. 😉 I am trying to learn to take fewer shots, but to be more careful about what I shoot. It makes it so much easier when I get to post processing. However, sunsets do not lend themselves well to that–you don’t want to miss the peak color and you don’t know when it was until it’s over. Sometimes I think I should just stop shooting sunsets all together. Unless there’s something really exceptional going on. I have way too many shots of sunsets.

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