Friday, December 5, 2008

Editing Photos

I have a very random way of choosing the order of what photos I edit. I am a procrastinator by nature. But I’ve been trying to edit photos of bands that I will see again in the near future (as opposed to ones that aren’t playing out, or in some cases have broken up). Now you might realize that as I am writing this I could be editing instead. That is pretty true. I do keep my editing software (Photoshop CS2 and Ulead Photo Impact) open so I can work on a few photos at a time and do other stuff when I get distracted. And actually I’m writing some of this while I’m at work. It’s not something I usually do, but when I feel like writing I’d best go with it (besides work is a bit slow and boring lately).

The longest part of editing photos is deciding which photos to edit. I shoot bands with a rapid fire method. So I can come home with 600-1000 photos in a night. (how many I take can depend on how much motivation to photograph the band), usually on the first time I don’t shoot many, unless I already know what I’m looking to do). After looking at each photo, I can usually narrow the total to about 250 photos. Those will be photos that are in focus and aren’t totally horrible. Then I go through those photos and decide what is truly worth editing. I try to of course find flattering photos of everyone, but I will include some strange facial expressions as well. Even after that there will be photo after photo where nothing has changed except maybe a mouth movement, eyes, and hands.

Here are a couple of photos shot of Willy from Daughters & Sons that were shot in rapid succession:

So which do I use? (I tell D&S I have an obscene amount of photos of Willy. I could paper an entire room with them. All those photos to get just a few shots I really want to use.)

I usually will edit the whole group I have narrowed down. Then I might decide to crop one of the photos different than another. Make it vertical instead of horizontal. Clone out equipment or parts of another person. Crop a photo with several people and make it just of one.

Why edit some people ask? If I shot it right in the first place I wouldn’t have to. Well that’s true in a sense. I could never hand my memory card directly to a newspaper for them to print photos. I like to clean up what I can. After editing I go back to decide which ones to use. Out of about 250, I might pass on 25-60 to the band (But those I copy and make smaller files of). I’ll narrow that down to under 10 best to put up on my website. I might put the whole group that I have given to the band on my fotki site.

Bands have taken over my photography. I have many other types of photos to edit. I photograph some of the local German American Society events; which I’m behind on editing. I love to photograph dogs and have many Dog Park and photos of friends’ dogs (as well as my own) to edit. I have several ideas to work on for presents this year and have photos to get ready for that. My collections of Cincinnati and nature photos sit untouched on my computer. I wouldn’t mind getting some of those printed for myself. And then there are the experimental shots that I have been doing for awhile would be great to work on.

But sometimes I get on a roll though and will go through photo after photo until done.

I have two notebooks I’m working on to keep ideas in. One is for poses. This might have stolen shots from websites to give me ideas. The other is a location notebook. Photos of places I want to shoot at. Not always taken with my Canon, sometimes just with my P&S as I see the place. I keep a smaller notebook with lighting notes, things I want to photograph, times of day, etc.

Writing it all out now is helping me schedule what I need to get done

Bands that I am planning to photograph again in the near future: The Sweep and The Chauncers (to get better photos of); Cash Flagg (because I know what I want to capture with each person in the band);The Long Gones, and Wonky Tonk (saw both of these recently without camera and want to definitely photograph soon). And then there are bands that I want to photograph again and again. Daughters & Sons definitely is my favorite to photograph. The Sailing and Eat Sugar also on my tops to shoot list.

And still left to edit (no links for these, just too many of them):
500 Miles to Memphis
Boss Monkey
The Breeders
Captain of Industry
The Chauncers
Cincinnati Suds
Daughters & Sons (more shows and more from a photoshoot)
Harvey Quast
Jonathan Richman
The Lions Rampant
The Lollipop Factory
Lovely Crash
The Maladroits
Man Halen
Mayan Ruins
The National
The Newbies
The Sailing
The Silver Slipper
The Swarthy Band
Trojan Rabbit
Turnbull ACs
And a few others I haven’t sorted out yet

So that's a brief look at the editing I need to do. And why it takes awhile for me to edit.

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