Illustration and Editing

Technical: Canon G11, 1/1250 sec, f4, focal length 6.1mm

This is an image you would use to illustrate a story. I don’t find too much merit as a portrait. There is some interest from the fence pattern. I agree with Susan that the kids are cute. There is an image here. But you need to explore the scene more. I realize it’s not easy to gain the cooperation of kids let alone a single kid. I would say that this image wouldn’t make it from the edit table. And you have taken so many other good images, that I think you might agree. One of the hardest tasks is to discard an image. Once you take the image it’s hard to disown it. But the hard decision will make your saved images stronger.

My process eliminates more than 90% of the images I take. In Lightroom, I use the 5 star system. The first star is for images that are technically Ok. Everything blurred and underexposed is eliminated. Also I try to anticipate what images will never make 5 star rating. Still, the bar is low. With each pass, I eliminate more images, often sorting vertical/horizontal and similar images. At 4 star I do a rapid gut sort of the images that strike me in the gut as ‘keepers.’ It doesn’t me take as long as it once did. Remember, that gorgeous photo in National Geographic was a single image culled from thousands… really! Finally I transfer copies of the 5 star images to a separate dated folder. It saves lots of time later.

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