Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Editing Redux

Photographer hard at work (above) doing the thing we all should do...even if it's just occasionally.
I recently poured over tons of family photos that had just been sitting around taking up hard-drive space and decided to put them into some sense of place and order. Here's how I tackle a not insignificant cache of images.
First, I do a quick scan of the thumbnails and click on and delete all obviously bad photos. Way too dark, closed eyes, out of focus, camera shake, etc. Next, I try to find one decent photo of as many different family members as possible. Try to represent everyone. When I discover I don't have a single shot of someone I make a note and damn sure try to get it next time around! After that I look for all usable "multiples." Shots of two or more people together.
All the while I'm keeping in mind that I don't want more than about 20 images from any given event. (Don't get me wrong...I have many more photos than I actually show. I don't delete everything! And you don't have to either.) Keeping people interested beyond 20 photos can be quite a chore. If I have at least one decent photo of all at the event and I'm at or around 20 images, I'm very happy!

In this latest round of editing I came across a series of about six photos of Rachel's Aunt Arline. They were shot in quick succession in the exact same spot. (I do this to make sure I have at least one without a blink.) Turns out, they are all usuable as Aunt Arline is a stunning woman! However, you people don't need to see all six nearly identical images. I found the one shot--and it didn't take long--that pleased me most. She has a natural smile, the light was good, no distracting background, slightly off center...boom! That's it! Done. Then on with the process. Editing is a task I wish I could get someone else to do for me. But I can't. So I try to find the time and make the effort. Consistently using the process as described above works for me. It did take a while to get to where I was doing it almost by rote, but now it's pretty easy and flows rather nicely. Anyway, just thought you should know.

And in case you're curious, here's Auntie Arline!


  1. I solemnly swear to do better this year with my deleting. And although this sounds like a new year’s resolution it’s NOT. ;-)

  2. Very good.

    And I solemly swear not to tell anyone you came so precariously close to making a New Year's resolution!