January 12, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Composite_XFiles_PA_1Composite_XFiles_PA_1 Disclaimer: This assignment is blatantly timed to coincide with the re-opening of The X-Files. Mulder and Scully are back on the job, uncovering labyrinthine conspiracies and saving the world from itself. The Truth Is Still Out There.

Do you want to believe? I am here to help.
Believe this: Lightroom is part of the grandest conspiracy of all; its layout encourages worldwide mind-controlled users to identify, rank, and digitally manipulate images and even supplies them with a specific button labeled X to tag images with hidden or cloaked data. To identify an X-File in the Library Module, all you have to do is scan through your photos and press X whenever you see a potential alien, monster, controversial document, chemtrail, or secret one-world government agenda. Your X selections are instantly fed to the euphemistically named Creative Cloud (through your willingly paid monthly subscription) to be parsed and analyzed by ranks of robotic androids, with the most intriguing sent on to the matrix overlords to be recorded and filed in the hive. Their motto? Deceive, Obfuscate, Inveigle. 
Lightroom data management is a wonderful thing. You can retrieve your X-flagged photos by... hold on a minute, the doorbell's ringing. I'll be right back.
[scuffling, raised voices]
[car door slamming, tires screeching]
[missing time]
[static, weirdly familiar music]
[awake, as if from a dream]
Um, what happened? I'm a bit disoriented, dizzy. Sorry for the absence; was I gone long?
Huh. Flashbacks. I seem to remember a long, sleepless series of of interrogations, blinding bright lights, cutting straps, and long, dripping needles. Oh yes, it's coming back... bits... pieces... I was abducted by a reptilian being who called itself Ah-Dho-Bey, and who proceeded to wipe my memory and implant new versions. I'm not sure which memories are real, frankly, but I don't think the process was entirely successful. For instance, I don't think you are supposed to know what I told you about the Lightroom X key. Ah-Dho-Bey insisted that the X key is really for flagging inferior files to be deleted, not for alien identification. As if I'd believe that no matter how traumatic the brainwashing. Anyway, short story, I fought back and during a moment of captor inattention (they need bathroom breaks, too), somehow managed to escape. I barely made it back to you. My struggle was worth it; I care about you that much.
I fear I have only a few moments before they track me down again and take me back to the mothership, so if you want to help fight the future, here's what you have to do, and quickly. We may have only a couple weeks to save the planet.
Scan through your to-be-trashed photos. If you've already X-flagged some for deletion (whether in Lightroom or just in your mind), take a second look before sending them to oblivion. Maybe's there's something you missed in this one or that one. Something worth rescuing, something that could be teased out with some extra processing, something compelling that you'd like others to see. Who knows, maybe one of those X images contains the key to a previously overlooked facet with your human family - a revealed emotion, a nearly forgotten story, a cultural landmark or a childhood home that won't be here 100 years from now. Maybe it is the missing link to a piece of art you've wrestled with for months.
Once you're done rescuing the potential keepers, X the obvious deadbeats and actually delete them. You don't want to draw the attention of the overlords by hoarding unnecessary photos, trust me. The more X files we send them, the busier they are and the less likely we are to be targeted for re-education.
What matters to you? Why do you point your lens at some things and not at others? When someone from 4 generations downstream looks at your body of work will he know who you were, what lit the fire in your soul, what message you hoped to deliver? The answers to these, and many other questions, live in your photographic database. Spend some time in there, dig a little deeper into the dustbin, extract a secret, a clue, a key, an uncut diamond. Remind yourself why you photographed this frame; it meant something once. The truth is in there.
Your assignment, in a nutshell, is to take your rescued files, bring them to life by whatever means necessary, and post them in Photo Assignment. The Resistance thanks you.
X-FILES will run for two weeks, from Jan 13 through Jan 26.
Please post your images directly to the main Photo Assignment page, not here under the Event posting. That's a good way to draw unwanted attention from the eyes in the sky, for sure.
I should write a book. Meanwhile, I remember a few cosmic bombshells that Ah-Dho-Bey dropped on me. Here's one that will knock your socks off. You really want to know why gravity is so sticky? Well, there's this villa called Ormen where a black sta...
[doorbell rings]  


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