141004 Editing - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

I don't really do much. I work with fairly basic software and don't change my source material much. Yet I'll spend at least as long managing and editing photos as I do taking them – a morning with the camera easily turns into an evening with the computer – and then can spend several more hours refining my selections and building a coherent set for a web presentation. For a printed or multimedia project the amount of time actually taking the photos turns out to be fairly trivial, but that's rare and involves a lot of extras. One of those extras is often working with audio.

Editing audio is a whole other experience from editing photos. It takes a long time to gather the media, minutes instead of moments, and then the process takes vastly more time afterwards. To create one five-minute track – a simple one with just a few layers – took about four hours over two days. And this is just a simple field recording, not any efforts at imposing a narrative or creating music. Twelve minutes of the original recording needed to be cleaned up, which I then cut and layered, and added a few other pre-edited minor elements for a bit more depth. Simple. One sentence description. Four hours. And I still have no idea what I'll do with the results.


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