How many photos you take? How you select the good from them? This problem has always existed but has become more since the introduction of digital photography. In fact, now we can take hundreds, thousands of photos, at no cost. Previously, we talked about how to keep massive photo archive tidy – that can be a part of the solution, but in order to keep tidy, you need to sort them! Additionally, how many photos you take is another facet in the journey of digital photography.
However, we ultimately find that our memory cards and hard drives are crammed up with images and we have to invest time to carefully choose which ones to keep. In fact, knowing how to select your photos is a must for any photographer. This, not only serves to show only your best photos, but also helps to become a better photographer. In this article we will explain how to deal with this problem. This way, you can reduce the time spent on selecting the photos and increase dedicate more time in taking pictures. In addition, with these practice you will become able to choose the photos really best to give to friends or customers or include them in the portfolio. How many photos you take is a dummy question – you must take at least one shot per day.
How many photos you take : The number does not matter but dedication matters
Regarding the number of pictures to take there are two different philosophies :
- The first suggests you to take as much as possible, since it does not cost anything
- The second suggests limiting the number of photo, to practice to recognize a good scene before you see on the computer screen
The truth of course is somewhere in between. As a beginner, definitely the instinct is to photograph anything possible. But if you want to really learn photography, you have to spend more time observing, before shooting. For this purpose, it is definitely a good exercise to get used to think twice before shooting and possibly not even press the shutter button. That is said, however, that also take the advice of the highest possible number of photos to a single subject to study from every angle and in any type of light. So, the principle to take a lot of shot is certainly useful, but only if it is done wisely, with a purpose.
- Say no to Fast and Furious clicks, just hoping that with a luck you will get a nice picture is difficult.
- Methodical study and repeated shots of a scene through numerous shots is useful. In the latter case, however, you will find yourself with a lot of pictures, probably will be of gradually better quality. In addition, observing them in sequence you can follow the reasoning that led you to the end result and appreciate how changes in the image took place according to your different choices.
Some people check and delete photos directly in the camera, even before checking them on computer. We see at least three good reasons for not doing so:
- It is always better to minimize the time that you lose to observe the screen of the camera to increase at least the hardware life span, including that of battery.
- How big and bright the screen of the camera is, the camera screen does not allow you to appreciate the pictures because the computer screen is much larger.
- The life of the memory cards depends on the number of entries, deleting photos one by one increases the number of writes exponentially.
So, avoid deleting photos from your camera, take them home and select them all on your computer. The only exception may be made from the case where you have all the memory cards full and you absolutely need to make room for more photos.
Understood How Many Photos You Take and Now How You Select Them on Computer ?
Once on the computer, directly download all the pictures (maybe importing them into Lightroom or Photoshop or some similar software), make a backup and format the memory card. Now the fun begins. The first step of selection must be very fast and only serves to prune the dead branches. Scroll quickly through all the pictures and find those strictly to erase out, those has no reason to save and show to someone, including:
- Picture with focus totally went wrong
- Photos too (and not artistically) blurry
- Photos too under or over-exposed photos to be retrieved
- Pictures of wrong subjects
- Photo from the composition totally ineffective
Must be this is a fast process for you. If you have any indecision, not to discard the photo. This first step, in many cases, especially if you are a beginner, you will have to delete a lot of photos and then reduce the set of those on which to make a finer selection. Among the photos that you have left, there will be many to be deleted, but they require a closer look. For example might be :
- Picture with the focus almost correct, you realize that to be wrong just by looking at a magnified screen
- Photos taken at high ISO – of which you have to check the level of noise
- Pictures belonging to a burst series (only one of all of them will be fine)
- Compositions that could be corrected by cropping
- Color photos which can be converted to black and white to prove their worth
- Photo needing post-production in general
So, this second step is much slower than the first. You will find yourself having to make zoom, having to compare sets of photos, try some fas post-production (like conversion to black and white) before deciding whether to keep or throw a photo. An important concept at this point is that, you should not make too many decisions at once. It is virtually impossible for you to be able to take a good and quick decision at this stage.
The photos remained at this point will all potentially be worthy to be processed. Some (or many) will be deleted but only after working a bit. Unfortunately you can save time up to a certain point. The fate of many shots remain undecided until you have tried to Photoshop and even then some of them will need to rest in order to be truly appreciated.