How I select my best images

How I select my best images


You might have noticed that I shoot a lot. I mean, I take a lot of pictures. and if you are anything like me, you know that going through hundreds or even thousands of pictures from a trip to select the best ones can be a very daunting task but fear not, because over time I’ve developed a process that is relatively fast and painless to select my best images and I wanted to share it with you in this video I use Lightroom CC for this but you can use any software that allows you to organize your photos in albums or folders or anything like that you can even use regular folders in your hard drive The idea is very, very simple. But before I even start going through the images I like to wait. Some times it’s just a few days, sometimes it’s a much longer time. For example, I only recently went through the images that I made well over a year ago in South Dakota at the Badlands National Park The reason why I wait is because images take some effort and time to make And some of them require a lot of time and a lot of effort Maybe we had to drive really far away, maybe we had to go on a hard hike Things like that that might trick us into thinking that the images are better than they really are The goal here is to look at our own images the way a stranger would look at them as much as we can, of course the reason is because everyone is going to look at them that way if we are lucky enough to have anyone looking at them, but if we do have someone looking at them they are going to look at them that way only you know what it took to make that image, the effort and the time that it took I believe that if we can look at our images that way we are going to be better at selecting the best ones ok, so once we are not attached to them anymore, it’s time to start selecting the photographs the way I do this is, instead of making a selection from the huge, very big set of original images, I like to narrow them down in a series of steps, and after each of those steps I have fewer and fewer images until I end up having just a handful of images hopefully the best ones I have several folders that represent each of those steps. I call them #0, #1, #2, #3… you get the idea I have 4, but you can have as many as you need let me show how this would work with a quick example of some images that I took at the Great Sand Dunes Ntl Park in Colorado as you can see I have these 7 that are very similar to each other the reason why I have so many of the same composition is because the light kept changing if you watched the video you might remember there were some clouds that were moving really quick and that were creating a lot of patterns on the sand so I kept taking more photos because I liked this composition a lot and it was changing really quick all of them are in the folder called #0, that’s the first step I’ve already made the selection here but what I’d do I would look at them, as you can see they already have flags, rejected and picked I’ve already gone through these ones, but that’s what I’d do From these 7, I chose 4 those are the ones that I like the most I select them and move them to the next step that is folder #1 I remove them from folder #0 and the ones that I don’t like, I just delete them, so they are gone those 4 go to the next step in the next step, I’ll narrow those 4 down even further hopefully getting 3, 2, or even just 1 to the next step and this is not always an easy decision to make I don’t dwell on this, I don’t spend a lot of time at least in the first steps of the process I’m very quick and if I have to move 4 or 5 or 6 images that are very similar to each other to the next step, I will because I’ll have more time and many fewer images to select from in the next few steps the goal here is to move quickly and narrow those photographs down from hundreds to just dozens or even fewer than that as you can see the final step of the process is a folder that I call “to publish” every image that makes it that far is going to make it to my website, I consider my website to be the main repository for my work, it’s where I publish all of them I post images on Instagram, Twitter and here on YouTube but most of those haven’t gone through this whole process, it’s just a quick selection that I do just to share more in real time my work I work further on those images, I edit them a little bit more some of them will never make it to my website My website is the final goal here. And the prints, of course. This is basically it, how I go from a lot of photographs… for example this most recent road trip I don’t have the exact number but it was somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 photos that I took I’m down now to 1,000 photos, that will go down to probably 100 or 200 in the next step and hopefully I’ll end up with 50-60 images from 3 weeks of shooting across the Southwest and that’s how I do it, how I go from a lot of pictures to just a handful of them without going crazy I’d love to hear from you, if you shoot a lot, how do handle that? How do you select the best images? Do you do something similar? You just go insane every time you have to do it? This is it, I hope you found this video helpful Thank you so much for watching, and see you in the next one!

8 thoughts on “How I select my best images”

  1. Thanks for the tips, I will use it for my workflow! Sadly, for me the most demotivational thing about photography is taking the time and selecting the photos I like, editing and publishing them. It's overwhelming.

  2. FYI: I went to your website. None of your photos appear on my iPad, only white space where I think the photos ought to be. Not sure if the problem is at your end or specific to my iPad. Cheers!

  3. Yo ,al revés,tengo que hacer un repaso de las fotos con las sensaciones de la sesión todavía frescas ,y hacer una limpieza rápida .Pero cuando estoy en duda entre varias ,las dejo descansar ,pero tampoco mucho .Aunque lo mío es distinto,hago recorridos cortos,muy cortos ,que si alguna no me convence ,vuelvo otro día y con lo aprendido de la primera sesión ,la repito .Por otro lado p mis ediciones son en general muy básicas ,sin fantasías y si considero que la he acabado ,la guardo y borro todo ,todo lo demás ,hasta el raw ,si ,ya sé que de esa manera no podré participar en ningún concurso,ni podré realizar un nuevo priocesado con esas herramientas superpotentes que dicen que te sacan toda la chicha del raw y te convierten una foto en lo que no es ,pero me da igual,tampoco mis fotos son de calidad para concursos ,sino tendría llenísimos un montón de discos duros ,y no estoy por la labor ….

  4. I shoot a lot also, my way to selects is: first, using photomechanic to do a rough selects, from 1000 to 100 maybe, then import all that those into lightroom and then rank those 100 from 1 to 5, and I always only edit 4 or 5 stars…..

  5. Hi I develop my film then go through my contact sheet print what I like and scan the best ones save to my hard drive and post them on my Instagram pierreninaphotography. 

    I have a full archive of all my negatives and contact sheets, On the negatives sleeve I put a red dot if it does not make the cut and a green dot of it will go to print at a later stage.
    Thanks,
    Dominique

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