I enjoy the editing process of photography. After an event or outdoor photo shoot, I come back to my studio to edit the photos and see just what I captured. The first part of the process for me is picking the best photos. I use Lightroom 3.0 now and have learned how to quickly go through a large number of photographs and select the best ones. I mark them as picked by pressing the “P” key. Then I go back over these selected photos again to really narrow down the very best of the best. I mark these with a green label and then give them a star rating depending on the strength of each individual photo.
Last week I came home and had 72 photos that I picked and then narrowed this down to 11 of what I considered to be the best of the best of this photo shoot. These are the ones I show on my website, to colleagues, and to friends. Most of my friends don’t have the patience or willingness to sit through a slide show of all the photos I took or even the ones I think are the best. Showing our best work is an important part of the editing process.
I make sure to take the time to edit my picked photos and spend a little extra editing time with the best of the best, which are going to be seen by others. I am quite picky in this process but then I expect big things of my photography. Sadly, this means there are many photos that almost make this selection process but are just out of reach to making the best of the best category.
Here are three examples. The first one was very close to being selected, but I just didn’t feel the colors were quite right and I wished I had more of this eating bull in the image. It’s close, but didn’t make my final cut. The second one was also close to making it. I really liked how we can see the bull’s tongue coming out of his mouth in this photo, but again the colors were kind of flat. (The light wasn’t very good that evening.) It was just shy of impressing me enough to be picked as the best of the best. The third image has some weeds in-between the camera and the bull. This was distracting enough to be the worst of these three and not good enough to make the final cut. I certainly won’t trash these photos, but they just didn’t quite make the final cut.