Notes from the IPA Editing Workshop, Singapore | May 2013
We recently conducted our first Editing Workshop in Singapore, co-tutored by Southeast Asian Curator Zhuang Wubin and myself. The participants were eager and motivated, with a diverse range of photo projects.
One of the key takeaways of the workshop was ‘Purpose’ – there are a million ways to edit and a million things to edit for; so define what you want to say or do. An edit of 50 pictures for a photo book will vastly differ from 12 photographs edited for an exhibition, for example. Likewise, an edit for an editorial spread will serve a different purpose to that of a personal slideshow on a portfolio website. Then there’s perspective – an Asian photo editor may edit with sensibilities that may differ to one from Europe.
There is also logic and emotion. Sometimes, we folks, incline towards being logical on first impressions and approach. One could argue that a logical approach is particularly common with people in Asia, perhaps because of the educational system. A logical edit naturally lends itself to linearity, which may or may not be flat, ideal. Responding to images and flow on an emotional and intuitive manner may benefit and illuminate a body of work.
Adopting which ever approach will be driven by purpose. One may go with logic or emotion, or a blend of both for that matter. Take a step back and trust your gut feel, for there is only one. But do feed that gut with sufficient insight, information and context.