Points in Focus Photography

How Many is too Many?

Many years ago, when I was first getting started with photography, Sports Shooter posted a set of portfolio review videos. One of these reviews stuck out in my mind. A student’s portfolio had 2 images of a baseball pitch in flight with the ball in focus and the pitcher, catcher, batter and so forth out of focus.

Several of the reviewer’s commented on the inclusion of two of these images in this person’s portfolio. He showed he could make that kind of image, repeating it didn’t add any value to the portfolio, and generally wasted precious space.

Portfolios are showcases for an artist. They should show off the individuals best work and their range as an artist. Repeating similar images doesn’t work towards that goal, it just pads out space.

You could almost go as far as arguing that it wastes the time of the reviewer, since they’re just looking at an additional version of the same image.

However, a portfolio isn’t what I want to talk about here.

I sat down and looked at my gallery, again, and realized that there’s a whole lot of imagery I’ve shot but haven’t posted. And maybe, now is as good of a time as any to sit down and bring things up to date.

In going through the images I was considering uploading, again, many of which I like enough to make and display as prints, I noticed that there’s a handful of images that are very similar style and content — such as the images accompanying this post.

This got me thinking about the comment in the portfolio review that I started with.

But an online gallery isn’t a portfolio is it? If it’s not what is it then?

If I were putting together an exhibition in a physical gallery space, it would be entirely reasonable to limit redundancies. Then again, this isn’t really an exhibition or a physical art gallery.

For starters, there’s no physical limit on just how much I can upload. Well technically there is, when I run out of space on my host I’ve probably uploaded too much. But it’s not like I have room for 20 images and then there are no more walls left.

On the other hand, there is the attention span of the people browsing my gallery/photography. Too many images, especially those that are very similar aren’t always the nicest thing to wade through. At a minimum I’m not sure it’s putting the best foot forward. At least, I’m not sure if I was buying or at least looking for art, that I’d want to wade through tons of very similar photos in a photographer’s gallery.

Heck even as a photographer, one of the hardest things for me to do is dig into a couple hundred images raw out of the camera of the same subject and try to narrow that down to a handful of the best images.

Which brings me back to my question, though no closer to having an answer to it.

If you ask me, it’s worth thinking about what and how you present your work. This is post is meant to be just that.


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