Beltie Girl

Beltie Girl, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

One of my “Beltie Girls,” 4H kids who take care of and show Belted Galloway cows at world-famous Aldermere Farm, in Rockport, Maine.

Documenting them was my photo project.

I made over 900 images, that were then culled by me to 80, Wednesday night into Thursday morning. I can barely explain what a strange and intense experience this was. From the 80, my pal Casey, our diligent TA, helped get me down to our instructor’s mandate of 40 images.

The next thing that happened was one of the most amazing and hard-to-describe experiences of my life: sitting next to National Geographic Senior Graphics Editor Bill Douthitt (my teacher!) as he edited my photos down to … six. I was very, um, concerned about this. I don’t know how to express how I felt. I felt nervous, I was kind of afraid that he’d say “Mick, there’s really not quite enough to work with here. I want you to go shoot some more.”

But Bill and his wife, Nikon Legend Karen Kasmauski (also my teacher) were among the strongest “the carrot not the stick” proponents I have ever met. I sat with Bill, and he consoled me by saying: “Just wait a minute, Mick. You’re going to be amazed at what’s about to happen.”

So from 900 to 80 to 40 to 6. I’ll put the show up soon.

Holy cow. It was presented last night at the Big Show (all the collected work of the Workshops this week) and there have been a stream of people complimenting me on them since then.

Which feels so great.

(By the way, this picture did NOT make the final cut!)

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