Photography Question: What matters most?

Time to ask an important photography question: what matters most to you?

Tiny winter treasures & Photography Question: What matters most? by iHanna

I take a lot of photos all the time, it is all apart of my project to document life. A Document Life Project that has been going on since I first got my wee hands on a camera when I was a child. Right now I am taking even more photos because of the online photography class A slice of life by Darrah Parker that I am in. I enjoy being inspired by different approaches to photography, thinking about it and getting new ideas, especially during this the first month of the year. It got me of on a good start with my camera, snapping more photos than I usually do in January, when most of the day time is still quite dark.


The most important thing I’ve learned in the class is to ask one important question when sorting through my photos: What matters to me? It is a good question to ask when looking through similar photos of the same subject. I tend to take at least two photos of everything, sometimes up to five and then I have a hard time deleting anything! Yes the GB of photos on the hard drive builds up fast.

Late bloomer is beautiful, photo by iHanna

This question is a really simple way of thinking about what photos to keep and which one to delete. You can use that question when you take the photo too, while composing your photo through the lens and deciding with what you want to include and what to exclude. It is changing the way I am thinking of my photography and what I am looking for. Try it out and define what “matters to you” in your photos next time you look at them.

Kaffe latte

Indirectly through Darrah’s class I’ve also learned to use a new program. It was a user comment that named Adobe’s Bridge as her “sorting and browsing” software, and I knew I had it installed but never used it before. That comment and Noell Hyman’s blog article about metadata that finally inspired me to do something about adding tags to my photos on the computer. I’ve used windows for this before but doing it that way is such a task! In Bridge you can make a Keyword Set, kind of a folder with the keywords in so that it is really easy to find them through themes like People, Places, Common motives etc. Check out Noell’s article on metadata, coz’ it is The most important word for you to learn this year according to her! :-)

Bowl of fruit salad
I’ve made fruit salad twice already this year, but only took a photo of it the first time.

Here are a few more photos from January:

Tiny treasures

Let there be light
I look for light and where it is coming from. I enjoy the coziness of being inside in winter.

Awake still


What matters to you?

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9 Responses to Photography Question: What matters most?

  1. Uhm, what matters to me?
    My first answer is… colors and details!
    I experimented a lot (when I was at university) with black&white photos (I was able to print them by myself at home in a darkroom), but I noticed that I wasn’t really satisfied, even when photos were good. I’m always looking for colors.
    And I love capturing details.

  2. Cathy says:

    Hi Hanna

    You are still as creative as ever I see. Good for you doing a photography course. I am in love with my little camera too and I agree about it being difficult to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I suppose digital photography has made it possible for us all to take several shots of the same thing just in case. We would never have been able to afford to do that in the “old days” of film. Your photos are excellent btw. I love the candles and the cat. I suppose I delete about half of all the photos I take. Like yours, my hard drive cannot cope with keeping everything. Have a great week.

  3. iHanna says:

    Thanks for commenting! It is indeed easy to fall in love with photography and a good camera, it’s like a companion that helps you document the details of life. Love that.

  4. I’ve never asked myself that when taking or editing pictures. I’ll have to try it and see how it alters my perspective.

    I really like the one you took of your cat. You can almost feel him laying in the light of a fireplace.

  5. Hanna, I have loved having you in the Slice of Life Project and seeing what matters most to you! Great blog post!

  6. Tammy says:

    Hanna, After a year of playing in PS, I finally read a book on PS to “fill in the gaps” and learned about the power of Bridge ~ it definitely works for me, and I have too many GB of photo, to be sure. After I cut out the obvious yukky shots, I find it difficult to weed through the photos I take of each subject… I like the idea of considering what is important to me when evaluating. Good idea. It also makes me realize that I should be taking MORE photos of certain things and maybe some other things I overdo. Great post.

  7. What a good question… I will apply to my photos the next few days and see what differences show up. Great post and great photos!

  8. pam says:

    I enjoyed this set of images very, very much! Especially the tulips – so welcome in the dead of winter!
    That central question”what matters – what is important – what is it you want this picture to say – what is the center of interest – why am I taking this image…… I find that when i take a moment to ask that question my images immediately improve. Great advice to pass on to your readers,

  9. Pingback: iHanna’s Blog » Blog Archive » Brown Paper Sketchbook - art journal check in week 6

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