Sunday, 5 February 2012


Having shot a folder full of images during my ad-hoc shoot, I have now come to sorting the good from the bad. This is the classic definition of editing. The number of images I am looking to edit down to may vary depending on the assignment. For my ad-hoc shoot I took 160 photographs.

Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) RAW converter showing all images from the shoot.
The technical edit
The first sweep through the images is to remove any technically inferior shots. In DPP I can mark these images with a 'Reject' flag. The images can be selected by this flag to either delete them or to be moved to another folder. A quick way to do this is to use the 'quick viewer'. This allows me to step through the images quickly and mark any rejects.

The quick viewer and reject button (high-lighted).
I have stepped through my images and marked any rejects. At this stage I have not actually deleted any yet.

The selects
Having selected all my rejects I now invert the selection. From this new selection I will pick any images that appeal to me creatively. I can place these images in a 'virtual' collection' which does not actually move any files. I mark these files with a number two so that it is easy to group them.

The number 2 selects in a virtual collection.
At this point in the shoot I had already decided what kind of image I was trying to achieve. The shoot had started ad-hoc but when I got to the lake and reed bed's, I knew I wanted to get some good intentional camera movement shots.

The first selects.
Now for the tricky task of finding my first selects. I will mark these with a star so that they can still be selected alongside my seconds.

My first selects.
My first selects have narrowed the field to several versions of just two images.

Group and review
After a break I reviewed my choice by looking back over all my second selects, In this instance I am happy with the selection but I know from experience that I may have changed my mind.

Final choice
So here are my two final choices. Both are intentionally blurred to create a near abstract image., which is something I am experimenting with at the moment. To get this effect I used a neutral density filter on the camera and a slow shutter speed.

1.3 sec @ F16, ISO50, 50MM lens with ND filter.
1.3 sec @ F16, ISO50, 50MM lens with ND filter.
I must admit that the workflow used here is pretty much the way I was doing things before but it was good to go over it and actually put it down in writing. To this editing process there should really be one more step, that is to back up all the work we have just carried out.

Having this workflow in place really does help to stay on top of things. With a good sized memory card and a modern digital camera you can soon find yourself dealing with a large number of files. This can be both labour intensive at the editing stage and costly for storage, especially if the files are not ever going to be used.