Editing for Style

It’s the end of the year and that means two things; Holiday Cheer and Image Editing. Most years, I start out ambitious with a rigorous schedule of editing through our photos monthly or quarterly or…by the time May rolls around, yearly. It’s not a bad idea to wait until the end of the year. You have an entire body of work to sort through and comparing images once instead of several times is much easier. Except when you have the volume that we do. This year I sorted through 27,000 images to find our Best Of.

Where to even start? I take several steps to manage this process and every year it gets a little easier…I have seen many of the same images year in and year out so I can easily compare quality. But it is still a daunting task.

  1. I have to be in the mood with an open ended amount of time, at least to start. The process is broken down into chunks; initial run through, quick comparisons, edit by topic, etc. And music helps
  2. I clear out all of my galleries from Lightroom and start with a clean slate. I can do this since we are in a server environment and don’t depend upon our catalogs for managing our images.
  3. On the initial run through, I look for the strongest images that make an initial impact with light, composition, interesting angles or juxtaposition. It has to jump out at me, I don’t debate for even a second or else it doesn’t make the cut.
  4. On the second run through, I remove duplicates and images that just kind of fade when next to stronger images or I think “why did I pick that to begin with?”. I have to have a reason to back up my selection
  5. Editing for content. I then run through and choose the best of the best depending upon our audience. Online, people love to see our beauty and abstract shots. Our clients love to see their jobs we have done for them. And our photographers love to see the challenging jobs they worked on throughout the year.

I share with you a small gallery of these images and hope your holiday editing is enjoyable! (I recommend a side of egg nog to help 🙂

Wendy Whittemore – Flight Commander

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