From the starting point of my photography on a serious basis some 6 years ago I have accumulated thousands of images, all digital files that lay silently on digital storage devices, some 20,000 plus. Some are duplicates, a raw file, .psd, .tiff or .jpg so the actual number of unique images is somewhere less.

I wonder on a regular basis if anything will ever be done with the old image files that I have chosen to be less than acceptable for inclusion on the website or even here on the blog, they simply are stored and  then backed up on top of that. Will anything ever become of these images? Am I waiting for some epiphany or magic version of Photoshop so as to turn these less than ideal images into something great?

I suspect it is one of the great photographic myths the idea that since we have encapsulated the image and preserved a slice of time we mustn’t dispose of it. It does feel slightly uncomfortable whenever I delete an image for whatever reason.

That got me thinking along with the reading of an older article by Brooks Jensen editor of Lenswork. When is art created? Is it the moment the image is taken or when it is ran through the processing techniques such as the darkroom (chemical or digital)? Is it when it is put on paper as a print or put online for others to view? When does it go from an image to art? I cannot answer this question; I simply don’t know or will obviously need to give it more thought. Is it worth more thought? But then what is the answer to, what do I do with all the images I am accumulating? Do they serve a purpose?

© Brad Mangas