The Fine Art Of Self Editing

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Mike_E, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK boys and girls, say some one has 200K images and is wondering what to do with them.

    Say someone else like Anne Leibovitz says that their photography didn't really take off until they learned how to edit photos.

    Let's all get together and do everybody a favor and learn/teach editing!!

    Who's first, how do you do your's??
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have four groups of images:

    1. Images too poor, too unimportant, to be shown to anyone. I usually do not even develop the RAW files of these. The really bad ones with bad technical flaws are deleted straight away.

    2. Images I want to keep since they document something, a trip, an event, or maybe just serve as a reference for later comparison.

    3. Images I consider worth something by their own. Which work as a stand-alone.

    4. Images I consider 'art', which I would use for a portfolio, or for an exhibition if I ever had one.


    The further I progress, the more rigorous I get, the more images I kick into category 1., Category 2 is not really about photography, but still I tend to show them to people, I posted a lot of my category 2 images here on the forum, it is by far my largest category. In category 3 there are much less images, and in 4 just very few.

    If I was serious about photography, probably no one ever would see images from group 2, and only selected one from group 3 and all of 4.
     
  3. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I think you're talking about several VERY thick books on tool usage and technique.

    And after we have the editing chops we realize every photo is a special case - not to mention the infinite number of possibilities in each photo's potential range of "looks".

    The "typically" applied basics are pretty obvious to me and I would hope to everyone who reads here on even a semi-regular basis:
    • Noise removal when needed,
    • Sharpening when needed,
    • Color Correction when needed,
    • Tone remapping when needed,
    And then any of those or their opposites, used for a desired look.

    If someone really has 200K images Alex's #1 really needs to be considered and executed!
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think editing in this thread refers not to manipulation of the image itself, or processing, but to the selecting of images, which ones you use/show, and which ones you discard, since with 200K images this is the most important task.
     
  5. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, Alex B has it right.

    Also how to quickly recognize a good photo and the garbage and the ones that with the right crop/process will stand up by itself and speak but are sometimes hidden.
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That can be a problem. I mean the real garbage, that is easily identified. But then there are often images in category 2 or 3, which really belong into 4, just I do not see the way to crop it, to process it to make it happen.

    Also the other way round happens, in particular when I am too biased towards a shot, when I see my intention just because it was my intention, but it is not really in the image. Then I might think an image is really outstanding, but it is not.

    To minimise those problems, IMHO it is best to re-edit categories 3 and 4, maybe also 2 after some time ... long enough time so the images are somewhat new to you again. At least your mind and ego should be detached from the moment of creating the image then, to get rid of that bias. It is sometimes amazing how different and clearer you see things then.

    My best editing I do one year after I created the images!!
     
  8. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I agree... One man's art is another man's trash - and visa-versa.

    Plus what we know how to do with an image editor potentially changes every image's usefulness.
     
  9. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Translates as ... you can ruin even the best image ;)
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    LOL!!! :D
     
  11. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hell I have only like 10K in images and, really need to sort before I think about anything else. I need to take a day a classify them into subfolders. Then I will worry about PP later.
     
  12. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Has it occurred to anybody that we may be doing ourselves a disservice in viewing our photos on a monitor one at a time?

    In the not so old days you printed to a contact sheet and were able to look at several at a time. Could it be that by viewing them in comparison to each other the winners and losers could be better judged?

    Taking a year to choose is well and good for your personal work but what about a collection for someone else. Either commercial work or a group of portraits for instance. What about the wedding photographer, how they choose from among the hundreds or even thousands of shots they take?
     

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