Photo Editing For Mere Mortals

One of the many benefits of using a digital camera is you don’t need to worry about the amount of film you are carrying. Keep shooting as many frames as you want – memory cards are cheap and you can always delete the photos later if they don’t turn out. Sounds great in theory but the “spray and pray” approach can also be one of digital photography’s greatest weaknesses. Editing a large batch of similar photos down to the keepers is tough and many of us don’t bother, turning our computer’s hard drive into the shoebox full of prints of yore.

Lightroom Panel End Mark Summarising Bulk Edit ProcessPersonally I used to find it daunting to sit down to edit a largish photo shoot. Confidence in your critical judgement and editing process is something that doesn’t come easy to everyone and as with most things it takes practice to develop. When you shoot irregularly it can be difficult to build up that experience and a repeatable process you can be confident in. That is why I found this post on Chase Jarvis’s blog so intriguing.

I’m a mere mortal. I don’t have to deal with 15000 photo shoots, and it is rare I have any larger than 500. And the post isn’t the first article or book I’ve seen discussing volume photo rating and culling. But it did resonate with me for a number of reasons:

Scott uses Aperture when describing his photo editing process but I found it quite easy to implement using Lightroom. Some suggestions for those interested in trying it out:

Photo editing your own work is not only a practical necessity, it is also a great learning tool. It helps you better understand what works for you,  and just as importantly what doesn’t, so you can hone your photographic awareness and take better photos. Critically thinking about your own work isn’t easy but I found this post on Chase Jarvis’s blog helped make the whole process much more approachable. Hopefully you will find my suggestions for adapting the process to Lightroom helpful and like me you’ll be able to tackle that backlog of photos building up on your computer!


Posted on July 31, 2011 at 10:16 pm by Matt · Permalink
In: Howto, Software · Tagged with: , ,