Järfalla, a cold winter day

in Photography Lovers2 months ago

©2023 - Ruben Cress

Oi Hivers,

Nearby Jakobsberg, Järfalla, there was a small castle that I wanted to visit. I saw it while browsing Google maps. I lost the photographs that I took of this castle, or it should be still on one of my old HDDs that I don't use. Or... I could've deleted them while scanning through photographs and deleting them. I had about 400.000 photographs spread on all of my hard drives, before cleaning them. You could say that this is my life's work, and I had to clean out duplicate files, old client photographs, rejected files, and/or files that didn't make it through my technical standards. I remember deleting about 175.000 photographs in 2-3 days. It stung, but I kept saying to myself; these are just photographs. Simple photographs that didn't make it through the selection.

You see, when I'm photographing for a client, I know 20-30% of the photographs are getting selected. However, I rarely delete the other 70-80%. Just in case. Of course, I delete the ones that are blurry, or faulty. But, all the other photographs are deemed to be usable. It takes me years to come back to an old folder of photographs, to select a few, to edit a few, and before I know it... another day has passed. While I'm getting stuck in a memory that took place years ago. I usually always start like this: Alright, time to delete photographs, and time to re-organize. I think over the past 3-4 years, I have successfully deleted 300K photographs, and have stumbled upon some true gems.

Why do I do this? Why don't I just delete it right after a shoot? The answer is quite simple and is spread in more than one.

1. Technology advances over time

Deleting something hasn't been my favorite thing to do. Memories should be cherished. And I've learned; technology advances, and it advances quite rapidly. This also includes photo editing software. Including the software that I've been using. I remember well, how limited the options were to edit my RAW photographs, and how wide they are right now.

While the data in my RAW images remain the same, we develop technology that improves the reading of that same data. If you'd ask me, it's a waste to throw away photographs.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

2. Fragments of my memory

Even though the negatives (camera film) are ready to be developed, throwing something away to me, simply symbolizes "It ain't good enough", while in reality "everything is good enough", perhaps not perfect, but surely it is good enough. Even technical-broken photographs that didn't make it through the selection could be something way more useful than a sharp crisp photograph. I also don't want to dilute the moment, as every frame I captured reminds me of how it was. Even years later. Deleting such fragments is deleting something that I usually tend to rely on when looking at it again.

I have a photographic memory, and whenever I look at a photograph, it takes me back, straight away to a memory that represents it. You could say that I'm "trapped" in that memory, for whatever time my mind allows me to. I wander around, I look around, I think to feel the cold breeze, and how difficult it was to move forward in the big heaps of snow that lay ahead of me.

For example, even though these photographs are taken -because- I wanted to take photographs of that tiny castle, I do remember seeing the scenes below that caught my attention as the Sun was setting. The mother of my ex-girlfriend at the time took me there, and she was waiting patiently for me to take my photographs. I smiled and enjoyed the Sunset. I can feel the cold wind. I can see that 'castle', but it was more or less just a white house with a tiny tower on top. It wasn't really photogenic, the surroundings, however, were.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

3. If you save something, you'll have something

There's this Dutch saying "Wie wat bewaard, heeft wat". It's a bit lost in translation, but it more or less means something like "Whoever keeps their things, won't ever have nothing at all". It's very typical Dutch if you'd ask me. Not that we're "cheap-ass" people, but I think we kind of have the repair mentality here. Even though that's kinda changing more into a replace-mentality.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

4. Min-maxing efficiency

Lol. Yeah, this is me. Trying to be efficient as possible. But: I have to do as much myself as possible. I never relied on stock images (excluding that one example about using stock images though). I thought it was cheating, and a lot of the reasoning for taking the actual photograph got lost in translation anyway. So yeah, my goal was to store enough photographs, and if I store enough, I probably have something to use for something in the future. But I have to admit, it's getting more difficult to navigate through 100-200K photographs to find the one I needed, especially after switching several HDDs. In my own way, my chaos is my efficiency. In my own way, taking my own photographs is more efficient than using other people's photographs. This may sound extremely stupid to some, but I have a way of working, that follows a path to provide all of my clients with top-notch work. I can't re-balance the work of others and embed them into my own. It's more work in the end.

Love this frozen lake

Looking at this lake, I was thinking about how the cold could affect our daily lives, and how it affects nature overall. The reflections of the Sunset on the ice surely provide a great color palette. The red of the Sun, with very few clouds touching the sky, really shows how colorful the Sun was. Sunsets in Scandinavia hit differently, especially during the winter.


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That’s some hoarding you’re doing there🤣 do you shoot jpeg+RAW or just purely RAW? Can’t imagine how much HDD storage you have

Haha yeah, about 25K photographs per year on average. No, I just shoot RAW. But the numbers are including some timelapses that I did. 10 seconds is 25 shots or 60 shots if I want to do 60FPS timelapses (but haven't tried that out yet). I have a few terrabytes worth of pictures :P I have about 100K photographs left on my HDD now (~ 4 TB), and the quest to delete hasn't stopped yet. But it's worth it, I get to see all my old photographs (and try out some new editing techniques).

Man, I can almost feel the cold through these shots.


Interesting enough, the winters in Sweden weren't harsher than I expected them to be. I thought they would be superrrr cold, but with the Sun out (if it ever got out), it was actually pretty do-able.

I would love to be able to travel there one day. It's on my bucket list.

Sweden is a tall country, reaching from 55°N to 69°N, and Järfälla is around 59°N. If you go only 250-300km north from there, the winters start to get really cold, and at the northernmost point... brrr!

While the rest of the world celebrate x-mas, we spend the darkest days of the year sacrificing tobegging the sea gods to keep the Gulf Stream going, since that's what keeps our climate reasonable.

Ah, I missed these reflections. Thank you. You put me in a big dilemma, but I know I must delete.

Let it take years, you'll find gems in the future, as we tend to look at things much differently over the years.

You have shared very great and amazing photography. I love to watch natural beauty. Natural sights are very good to the human heart and one feels very relaxed by going there. Overall your photography is awesome but last picture is my favorite in your photography. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you :)

Muy buenas fotos!!

Thank you!

Photos are memories frozen in time and is really hard to let go.

!discovery 30

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