For this exercise you need to start with a set of recently shot images. You can shoot these as part of the exercise, or combine this editing exercise with another. Try to work with a reasonably large set of images, at least 50, all covering the same theme or location. Once the images have been downloaded, follow the steps in time sequence;
Step one- the technical edit. Take out any images that are obviously faulty.
Step two- the selects. Make a selection of all the images that satisfy you creatively.
Step three- the first selects. Work within your selected images to choose the several best.
Step four- group and review. Take a break to return with a refreshed eye, then confirm that you have made the best choices.
Step five- a final choice. Choose only two images from your list and explain why you chose these.
I decided to combine this exercise with assignment one. The subject I chose for this assignment was a portrait photoshoot of a young teenage boy in some local castle grounds. He brought his younger cousin along to get a few photos with him too, but the shoot was primarily for the older boy; therefore I have just used photos of him for my assignment. I thought this would work well for the assignment, as I love to shoot people, and really enjoyed the carefree aspect of this photoshoot. More info on this in; Assignment One Writeup.
I uploaded the images to Windows Photo Gallery- there were 50 images in total.
(Step one- the technical edit) The first thing that I did was remove the images that were faulty. I deleted a few where the subject was blinking, and another one where the castle in the image was slightly slanted in the frame. I also removed one that was overexposed. This was 5 images in total that I removed at this first stage.
(Step two- the selects) The next step I took was to score the remaining images from one star to five stars using the star system in Windows Photo Gallery. This was easily done by selecting the image, clicking “rate” and choosing a rating from one to five stars. I rated a few images as 1 star- these photos were either disjointed or just of a poor quality. I rated some more images with either 2 or 3 stars- these photos were of average quality; nothing overly wrong with the actual images, but they just didn’t satisfy my creativity. I then rated the remaining 16 images with 4 or 5 stars, meaning they had potential for my final selects.
(Step three- the first selects) This step required me to choose the best images out of the 16 images that I had rated either 4 or 5 stars. To do this I simply went through the photos and flagged my favourites. This was easily done by selecting the image and clicking ‘flag’. Through this I selected 9 images in total. This was quite a lot, but I decided to edit these images, and then decide which ones I liked best post-editing.
(Step four- group and review) Having narrowed my 50 pictures down to 9, I knew I needed to narrow this down even further. Therefore, I left the photos, and returned the next day to give myself a fresh perspective on my selected images. The following day I reviewed my selections again and narrowed them down to the six images I was going to use in my assignment.
(Step five- a final choice) For this exercise I had to choose just two images out of my final selects. Therefore I simply chose my favourite two images that I thought showed this young fella’s personality perfectly, and also provided technically strong images. (For my assignment, upon further inspection of the images, I added one more photo from my 4 and 5 star list, creating 7 photos altogether)
I learnt a lot from this exercise. I did not know that images could be ‘flagged’ or ‘scored’, and so prior to this exercise, I would simply have deleted images without really thinking about it. This exercise has taught me a great way to order my images from best to worst, and then decide which photos work best over a couple of days of thought. This provides a much more in-depth review of a photoshoot, and gives me the best chance of picking the highest quality photos from that particular day.