When it comes time to edit images as a photographer or curator, it can be a battle. It starts with staring at a mountain of images that loom over you—over 13,000 for this assignment. As I stared at the screen on my laptop, I wondered how I was going to make a story out of them. Although I was in a room alone, it felt very crowded, as I was taking into account my thoughts and opinions as well as those of my co-workers. I second-guessed myself a lot. Images got knocked out of the editing process, then brought back in later when I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them. Eventually I wanted to crawl into a ball and look away from the screen. No puns intended here, but this assignment followed me like my own shadow. I thought about some of my favorite images while I rode the Metro into the work, while I ate dinner, and while I tried to read a new book from the comfort of my apartment. As an editor, you need to just take a deep breath, slowly let it out, and decide that you have the final decision-making power. So, here we are: the 27 final images.
There were many images I did not want to let go. This community is filled with very creative photographers who, even when tasked with photographing shadows, went above and beyond what was expected. You gave me images of animals studying their shadows, buildings looming over a city, kids playing in the streets, and the aerial view of an ice rink. I asked you to think about composition and layering in your images and you did just that. You tilted your cameras, got low, and broke the rule of thirds to try and capture interesting images of shadows. Thanks for making this such a fun assignment to curate. It’s a battle to try to get through such a large edit and it can go two different ways. Either all the images aren’t up to par and you are frustrated by trying to make a story out of nothing, or all of the images are just so great that you actually feel sad when you have to cut a few away. This edit was definitely the latter for me. Thanks for the submissions and conversation!