The Importance of Keeping every Photograph from a Photo Shoot – Why? Editing. That’s Why.

Hello Everyone,

Today I want to talk about something really important that many photographers (even just hobby photographers) do, that is a terrible habit.  This terrible habit I speak of is called….DELETING YOUR IMAGES that you think are unsuccessful from a shoot.  

If you are one of these people…stop it.

The only images you should ever completely delete right away without any future consideration of its value are images that are;

  • Completely underexposed and it is basically a black image because your camera settings were     incorrect for that shot. 
  • Shots that are really blurred or completely out of focus (unless that was your goal).  
  • Test lighting shots that do not include your subject
  • Incredibly unflattering shots like eyes half closed, bad angle. etc..

The above are usually safe to get rid of.  However any other image that contains your subject, EVEN if you think you will never ever use it…keep it.

WATCH…

DSC_0023
Original Image I considered unusable… Overexposed He was not posing, just getting ready There is a HAND in the shot I never thought this would be something I use.
DSC_0023-Edit
Finished product – redone over a year later, removed hand, sharpened colors and interesting contrast, model looks like he WAS posing. Completely different photograph

I want to say that as artists we tend to evolve frequently, and our projects and interests sometimes can take such different turns from what we originally planned.  As we grow, we also start to view things differently both in out eyes and through our lenses.  Our minds change, our hearts break and life throws everything it has at you and sometimes just one year later your artistic perspective is completely different from before.

The more important thing is that you should constantly be getting better and improving upon your skills and knowledge.  This includes editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.  The more photos and images you edit and create, the better you get at it…obviously.

Editing is an incredibly powerful a tool to photographers in today’s technology driven industry just as much as the precious DSLR strapped around their necks.

Recently I was looking through my photography galleries just because I can, when I came across 2 images, both over a year old.  Both images at the time I considered unsuccessful for several reasons and truly they were….then.

So I fixed them, and that is when I realized I have ALOT of old photos to look through because I have missed some good stuff.

DSC_0139
Original image – shot in a cave, underexposed, unflattering angle to the model on the right, terrible framing, and just not enough detail
DSC_0139-Edit
Finished Image – redone, cropped properly, exposure and contrasts adjusted, took out the model that I messed up on shooting right, and sharpened features and colors. Much better 🙂

With my improved editing skills, I was able to take the two images in this blog that did not work for me previously and turn them into images that I happen to think work very well now.  I think I would slap myself if I had deleted these because of what I just could not see at the time.  

Like I said, my vision changed and my skills improved.

So as you go forth taking photographs both successfully and unsuccessfully, do not be so quick to hit that DELETE button when reviewing your images.  You just never know!

– B.B. Rebel

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