Best way to select/prune from multiple photos

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by teuchter, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Selecting the best shots when you've taken loads. The ones you want to keep and do the final editing on.

    At the moment I only have messy/inconsistent ways of doing this.

    (I'm on mac)

    I might open the lot in Preview or even just look at them in the Finder, go through them and take a note of the ones I want to keep.

    I might open a bunch in my photo editing software, and then gradually close the ones that are duds until I'm left with the ones I want to keep.

    I'm aware there's various software that people use for this, but most of it seems overkill for me. These applications as far as I can see are mostly designed to open RAW images and then pass selected ones on to a photo editor.

    I'm not a professional photographer (although I do take quite a lot of photos); this is not a process I need to do all that often. I don't want to invest time in learning a complicated/expensive application. Usually my photos are already JPGs. I also don't want to be tied into some kind of database managed by specific software. I'd like to continue organising photos into a straightforward folder structure.

    Is there a relatively simple way to do what I want to do, efficiently?
  2. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Practically speaking I just go through them and delete the ones I don’t want. Usually I do more than one run, to make it easier: obviously ruined shots first, then duplicates, then ones which are just pointless or could have been good but have flaws, then ones that I won’t care about in a few years’ time (usually any post happens before this stage). But the mechanism is literally just arrow keys and the delete button, in the Finder or Photos or wherever.

    I don’t hold with keeping photos you don’t want “just in case”.
    brixtonblade likes this.
  3. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Finder almost does the job, used as you describe, but I wish there was a way to make it display, say, 4 images on screen in a large grid, to make it easier to choose between duplicates, with a quick and easy way to make any one of them expand to full screen temporarily to check sharpness and so on.
  4. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Some photo apps do have that sort of “lightbox” functionality, but I never found it very convenient myself as all the versions are still small. I just flick back and forward between them. Actually even with prints I rarely look at more than two at the same time.

    In the Finder I make a lot of use of the quick preview function (space bar) which gives a fair sized image. Column view also does this if you make the window full screen.
    Chemical needs likes this.
  5. hippogriff

    hippogriff Imposter

    You could try Darktable. which is FOSS and has a Mac port

    Screenshot from 2018-11-28 21-45-50.png
  6. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    I download everything from my camera into a folders named by date. I'll then open the folder in Adobe Bridge and quickly scroll though and see if anything stands out (you could do the same thing with Finder using the gallery view). For personal shooting I'll usullaly only edit a handful of shots and I'll often already have an idea of which ones they'll be. If there's a few similar shots (different exposures or whatever) I'll open these in Photoshop and play around with each to decide which to use.

    The edited photos get saved into a different folder and imported into Photos to go onto iCloud. The originals get backed up to a NAS drive and removed from the computer.

    If I'm going to be editing a lot of shots I'll usually just go through them in order, but skipping anything that's obviously rubbish.

    Alternatively you could import everything into an album in Photos (if you use it) then delete the ones you don't want? You can set this so they open in your preferred software for editing.
  7. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I extracted myself from the Adobe world a while ago so don't have or use Bridge.

    I've avoided Photos because it seems like one of those Apple apps that tries to take control of everything and wants me to put things into iCloud and so on - maybe I am misjudging it though.
  8. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I think I had a look at that the other day... and came to the conclusion that it was probably more complex than what I need. Would you say it's something I could spend 20 minutes with and get the hang of how to use it for a basic workflow?
  9. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    It does as standard, I use it to easily get stuff onto my phone. But I think you can disable the iCloud and organising bits in the settings so it just leaves your files where you’ve saved them.
  10. hippogriff

    hippogriff Imposter

    As a whole, it probably is more than you need, but you can ignore most of the functionality and just do what you want. If you just use the lighttable part, it's:

    1. Import the folder of images
    2. Look and prune as required (when you remove an image you are only removing it from your virtual light table)- you can change image size with a slider at the bottom of the screen
    3. Set the target storage to "file on disk" and and choose a folder, set the file format to "copy" and click the "export" button

    The menus/terminology are not terribly intuitive, but you can hide most of them once you know which bits you actually need to use. I reckon 20 minutes or so should do it ....
    teuchter likes this.
  11. Chemical needs

    Chemical needs stirring

    I pretty much do what fm said. Remove duds first. Then flick between alternatives and jot down filenames of the best ones. C&P best ones to seperate folder then load them all in photoshop for tweaks and edits.
  12. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I open a folder and a sub folder, like
    1812 Slimbridge
    1812 Slimbridge/output

    I copy my raws from the card to the parent folder. I use FastStone Viewer to run a slideshow and look at each image for perhaps 3 seconds noting which I want to process and any that need deleting.

    On a second or third pass I stop the slideshow at an image I want to process, open it in elements and continue opening further files which catch my interest.


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