Editing a Photo Project – Part 1

UkraineGrid© Eugen Sakhnenko 2009

Just over a year ago, I returned to my country of birth after 14 years away. Having left Ukraine shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, seeing a country so clearly torn between the past and the present was wildly facinating. I immediately began documenting my journey with a clear idea that I would create a small photo book of the trip. Unlike my usual personal work, rigid and formal, the Ukraine photos were very loose and fluid, instinctive. Returning home I was faced with over 3500 images with which to form some sort of coheisive body.

An initial edit to illustrate my trip to family and friends resulted in a few hundred images, however the idea of a tight book edit lingered. As school started up again, I was consumed with other project such as In Praise of Shadows and for the most part the Ukraine photos lay dormant. Fast forward to April of this year, I decided that this summer I would complete the Ukraine project and produce a book by the end of this year.

There were two main reasons for this commitment. First of all, after my initial edit I knew there were some really great photographs (some out of 3500 translates to quite a few), with several specific themes emerging. The second reason was that in June I’m leaving for six weeks to travel around Western Europe (more on that in another post) and I wanted to shoot in a similar loose style. Completing the edit would allow me to see what worked and what didn’t so that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes the second time around.

In the next Editing a Photo Project post I’m going to write about how I managed to go from 3500 images to 30 and some of the issues that come up when editing a personal project.


Please be sure to leave any questions or comments below!


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