Photos: Keeping / deleting / selecting for publishing

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Taking pictures is one thing, selecting the best another. I really struggle with this. How do you choose your “best shots”? Do you have a strategy, maybe fixing a percentage?

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Posted by claus
Asked on 16/10/2016 18:54
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I delete what I think is not very good. Then half an hour later I regret having deleted the pic. I need some huge external storage unit very soon. …

(Tibor Robert Radvanyi at 16/10/2016 23:02)
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I tend to have three copies: a copy of everything, a backup copy of everything, and then the selected ones. It is a bit ridiculous, but I have found, as Tibor said, that sometimes I want the image I deleted or thought I’d never use. So, for example, overexposed images can be just right for some graphic element of a website…. What really takes a huge amount of time is going through the images, getting rid of the really unnecessary ones, and also organising the others in some way that I will find them again (my curent favorite is to organise them by potential use – exhibitions, greeting cards, websites). It can be very time-consuming to find that picture that you know was fabulous, if only oyu knew when and where you took it.
When I can, I’ve started being choosier about my shots — someone recently criticised me in fact for only shooting when I was confident the picture might be interesting. He said, ‘you’re not using film! It doesn’t cost!’ but that’s not at all a useful approach (I also have three of four boxes in the basement of slides and negatives.)

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Posted by AlexandraB
Answered on 18/10/2016 19:59
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I just had a family reunion today. I shot a bunch of formal portraits, about 3-4 per person, couple, and family groups. In this case my process was pretty straightforward. I wanted one “good” shot of each one, no more and no less, with the idea to print a photo album. So I imported everything in Darktable and started rejecting the missed focus and closed eyes. Then assigned 1 star for keepers and 2 stars for best ones. Then if more than one per person had 2 stars I would retrograde all except the best. All went smoothly and I’m left with 54 shots before retouching.
Of course the process will be different for landscape, travel or street photos or any other genre but I use the same tools and always the same conventions: reject if they’re broken or boring (I’ll delete them afterwards), 1 star if I keep it just for the archive or documentation purposes, 2-5 stars for something I will not be shy to show someone else. I have very few 5 stars in my collection, these would be my portfolio pictures.

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Posted by Luc Moreau
Answered on 16/10/2016 21:07