“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this penetrating quote from the great landscape photographer, given the fact that this year, since February 2011, I’m celebrating my own personal, 10-year milestone, of having shot over one million photos, on 10 different iPhone cameras, in over 50 countries of the world.

If you are counting, that is roughly 833,333 iPhone photos per calendar year.

Granted, I’m an iPhone photographer and Ansel Adams was an analog photographer.

Ansel used a wide variety of cameras including both big and clunky 4×5 and 8×10 field/view cameras, a Hassleblad 500c medium format, a 35mm Zeiss Contax, a Kodak 21/4X41/4 Speedgraphic, even a No. 2 Brownie Box Camera and a Polaroid Land camera (a.k.a SX-70)

The advantage, of course, of shooting digital, is that we can shoot way more photos than our early analog counterparts (note-i said “more”, not “better”)

My gut instinct about what Ansel Adams was telling us here is to be discriminating and discerning in our picture taking and making efforts.

Shoot to our heart’s content. Go for it. Do it. But don’t share everything. Share only what is significant and meaningful. Create, not just a mishmash, hodgepodge, ragbag group of random and unrelated images but an intentional, curated, presented body-of-work that represents who you are, what you think, how you feel, what you consider important in this world.

That number, to you, might be 12, it might be 120, it might be 1200, it might be 12,000.

Just make sure its a significant and good crop.



Jack Hollingsworth