The Editor and the Creative Process

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One of the things that I share with my students about the practice of photography is the role of “the editor”. And by that I don’t mean the software that one uses to massage a digital photograph or even the person sitting at the computer working the mouse or the stylus. Rather, I am referring to the voice in the head that makes the decision of what’s good or bad, what works or doesn’t work. It’s the voice that’s meant to guide me as to whether I’m walking the right creative path or that I’ve lost my direction and have become tangled in the burrs and weeds.

The editor is an important part of my creative process whether I am raising my camera to my eye or attempting to put words on a virtual blank sheet of paper. It’s my innate power of discernment that helps me to evaluate the work that I’ve produced and which allows me to effectively separate the wheat from the chaff. It’s a skill that I’ve been able to develop especially well because of the many opportunities I’ve had to serve in the role of editor for other people’s work, be it photography, videos or fiction. It’s something that I know that I’m pretty good at.

However, that editor can also be my worst enemy, especially when it comes to moments of creativity.

 

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