What’s the most time-consuming and frustrating part of photography? If you ask me, it’s sorting through your shots trying to choose your best photos. All those unedited photos look so similar and there is so much junk that it’s easy to get annoyed and leave your images as an unsorted digital pile. Worse still, you spend hours looking at your photos, agonizing which ones to keep and which to delete. If this sounds familiar, read on and hopefully these tips will help!
1. Don’t Let Unsorted Photos Accumulate
The worst mistake photographers make is when they let shots from different sessions accumulate in one bloated “Unsorted” folder. Make it a habit to sort through your photos as soon as you come back from a session, so that unsorted photos don’t accumulate.
Another thing to remember is to avoid taking too many shots in the first place. If you still remember the days of film cameras, imagine that you don’t have the luxury of unlimited storage space and compose your photos well before you release the shutter.
2. Eliminate Photos with Distractions in Them
No matter how hard you try to compose your photos, you will always have distractions in your photos. It can be a power cable, a garden hose, etc. When you are sorting through your photos, your job is to check the shots with distractions in them and decide whether they are worth spending extra time on and removing the objects you don’t need with Photoshop, or you have other, better shots. Often it’s worth it to fix such photos, but even more often you’ll find that you can safely delete them.
3. Get Rid of Low Quality Photos
Low quality shots are inevitable – sometimes you shoot a blurry image (always zoom in when you are sorting through your photos), mess up the white balance badly, or your image ends up much too dark. These photos have to go. You can use software to help you find all those low quality shots, especially if you have lots of similar photos. Duplicate Photo Cleaner is my personal favorite because it has flexible image similarity settings, is very easy to use and is very fast.
4. Manage Similar Photos
So you’ve made lots and lots of shots of the same subject. That’s perfectly OK and that’s what being a photographer is about. But then you face hours of work sorting through all those similar shots. The trick to selecting the best one is to find the one that has a special mood or shows a special emotion to its fullest. The rest can go. Once again, I recommend Duplicate Photo Cleaner or a similar program to help you with the task.
5. Don’t Miss Brilliant Shots
Even though the point of this post is to help you sort through your photos quickly, you should always keep an eye out for shots that I call “hidden gems”. When you are deleting stuff, it’s very easy to miss a great shot or something that could become a great shot with a little post processing.