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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Surfaces and Strategies – Editing the Work In Progress Portfolio

The long process of editing the portfolio has begun. The images to choose from are shown in the contact sheets below.

Editing images for my portfolio is always the hardest task.  However, this time I am in a different situation to normal. I am not too close to these images as I have 3 (or potentially 4) possible portfolios for this module. I also have over 400 images that could potentially be included.

Firstly I need to determine who my audience will be and what I want them to take from my work and how I want them to engage with the body of work.  I then need to decide on how I want to present the work. The style of the portfolio will need a degree of consistency and style. If I do choose to show pictures with more than one style, I will need to make sure that they complement rather than clash with each other.

I have tried to ensure that there is a consistent post-processing technique. Although, on reviewing the images, I have noticed that there are a few images that have been edited in the style I would normally use for some of my art nude shoots.  These will need t be re-edited if I decide that they should be included in my portfolio.

The subject of this portfolio is ambitious for me.  It demonstrates a distinct departure from my previous portfolios. Choosing what I deem to be my strongest pictures will depend on what I intend the aim of the portfolio to be.  I expect that there will be several revisions to the portfolio as I start to work on it.  I have been keeping track of my favourite shots as I have created new work.

I must ensure that I select “supporting” pictures as well as “lead” pictures. While websites and blogs can be simply a series of single images, most portfolios beg for pairings or small groupings of photos.

I must make sure that I don’t let personal attachment to images keep me from editing out ones that are not strong enough or don’t fit well in the portfolio.  I need to be ruthless and objective in this part of the process.

I am realistic that managing the edit of 400+ images is going to be tough.  Due to the sheer number of edits, I will carry out the initial selection on the computer screen.  This way I can quickly move images around to see what works together (it also stops the cats from running off with the small prints of images as they did in the last module!).  I find it easy to visualize and quicker to compare images on a monitor. I can experiment with different combinations of photos, looking for patterns and narratives to appear.  These combinations will guide my selection of images in the final edit.

However, I am going to follow my instinct and see how it looks when it all comes together. I will then make further adjustments if necessary. After each iteration of the portfolio, I will step back, take a break and then come back to the edit with a fresh set of eyes.  I will also seek a second opinion from a fellow student. I do not expect the final portfolio to be completed after the first edit.  Only by running the images through a few times, will I determine if the image choice and sequencing are the best possible.

The portfolio needs to be edited down to just 18 images.  Blog posts of edits will follow.

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