Behind the Edit: Animals We Love
Firstly this assignment was about community and sharing your best photos. In no way was it a contest or a competition. Everyone who submitted should be proud to have been a part of this and in the end it was one editor, one person’s opinion when it came down to the final photos. There are so many factors in play when editing down thousands of images to one layout, such as not choosing similar photos, the technical aspects, and photos that simply looked different to me a week later. Then there is another level of editing dictated by the producers and limitations in the publishing layout. Those of you who have ever tried to put together a book or collection of photos, know that some of your favorite images don’t make the cut.
There were over 18,000 photos! I left comments on nearly 2000 of them. I favorited them and commented on many that made me smile or tugged at my heart and mind. If I wrote to you and yellow-hearted you – I really meant it. I loved your work; it was a pleasure to see all your photographs.
Here are pairings of photos that got to me (there are so many others I could not get in):
Elephant framed by mother elephant: This was my second favorite and would have been the lead in the story, but it was too similar to the heart wrenching elephant orphan photo and story.
Elegant sitting langur: A Giacometti sculpture inspiration, if I ever saw one. We are primates.
Boxer: Her name was never given, but here she is looking at the stove waiting for her ritual taste. She has lymphoma, so it’s near the end. This situation was a repeat of my own ailing dog and sister to my daughter. The story, poetically written, made me cry. Captions and the backstory do make a difference.
Happy Dog Snapshot: Yes, I know the photo is magenta and Ben has glowing eyes, but I just enjoy photos taken of loved animals at home. It is a gift seeing into your lives and the love you have for your characters at home.
Pig in Water: Oh the local pig that smelled pizza from the beach and swam out to the boat! I tried to get one of the three versions into the final published piece but the photo was not strong enough. The structure protruding out of the left corner was too distracting and the image was cut, but the story made me happy.
Elephant in Water: I had a folder where I collected submitted photographs of mahouts, men and their elephants. They were being cared for and often helped by women and others, spending time with their elephant partners and life long companions. I chose this landscape image because there is such trust and peace in the mahout and his elephant going out into the lake, framed afar by the foliage, away from society or any concrete structures. This was one photograph, I very much wanted in the final piece.
Funny Face Cats : There were so many wonderful cat photos but these faces! What would it be like to look at them everyday?
Primate Family: There were so many fantastic, insightful, wonderful primate photos – it killed me to edit them down and then, in the end, it was said I was monkey heavy. This one of the family-community of macaques huddled together was just beautiful.
Window Fox: There were a number of photographs of wildlife looking inside homes, really staring in. These photos were so funny and I could only imagine how the people on the inside felt under their surveillance. This one of the foxes edged out the stray cat staring in at the bottom of the door with a stain glass window because there were two foxes.
Horse Couple: This story of a horse couple’s devotion got to me and stayed on my mind. Animal loyalty and devotion, no matter what. I could not get this one into the published story because of the background.
Boat Cat: I know this is a snapshot, with the date on the edge. But it is so tranquil and lovely. I mean it’s a cat in a life jacket in a canoe. I want to meet this cat’s people! I truly admire you.
Dressed Baboon: This young Hamadryas baboon, I believe, has striking amber eyes and such an intense little boy look. I have spent a good deal of time around primates and their gaze could totally unnerve me.
If nothing else, know how much I enjoyed seeing all your work; those images are burned into my memory.