On editing photos and telling stories.

Wow! Our video inter­view with Pho­to­Shel­ter hit a nerve! We have received over a 100 emails and tweets with addi­tional ques­tions. That is awesome!

For the peo­ple request­ing the GH3 arti­cle, here’s the link, for the ones ask­ing about Cus­tom White Bal­ance for Video, here’s the link, for the ones ask­ing for addi­tional Light­room 4 Tips and Tricks, here’s the link (which includes 6 more links!), and for the rest, keep reading.

I truly believe that one of the most impor­tant skills we can learn as pho­tog­ra­phers is to objec­tively edit down our images and visu­al­ize themes in our work. On the interview/webinar I shared my thought process and very per­sonal work­flow to edit tons of images into a coher­ent and man­age­able port­fo­lio. Here’s the full recording:

If you are short of time (who isn’t nowa­days?) here are some of the most rel­e­vant slides from the pre­sen­ta­tion with addi­tional comments:

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An image from one of my five-year-old nephew’s books! Totally cool. It is a good reminder that we should have a great begin­ning that grabs the view­ers’ atten­tion. Then there needs to be some­thing really strong in the mid­dle that reen­gages the viewer, and, finally, some­thing won­der­ful at the end that leaves them think­ing about our work.
Eduardo Angel Photography Editing Images 04On this spe­cific assign­ment I shot about 1,500 images. I deleted about 400 and ended up with 1,100 to work with. I then nar­rowed that down to 100 images, which is ok for my online port­fo­lio but still too many for a client. I ended edit­ing the port­fo­lio to 15 images, which is about 1% of the orig­i­nal amount. 1% tends to be my “gold stan­dard” for photo editing.

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Eduardo Angel Photography Editing Images 06On the first “pass” I star my images with 1 star (per­sonal), 2 stars (good) and 3 stars (very good). I only use 4 stars when com­bin­ing the best images from dif­fer­ent port­fo­lios, and  I NEVER use 5 stars. It is a philo­soph­i­cal approach: there’s always room for improvement.

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I wanted to start my “Mid­dle East” story with this image. It is an inter­est­ing, clean and min­i­mal­is­tic image that com­bines art, archi­tec­ture and reli­gion.
I want the viewer to think “hmm let’s see what this is about.”

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What has put Dubai on the map is defin­i­tively its amaz­ing archi­tec­ture and urban devel­op­ment. This it the Hotel Burj Al Arab, the only 7 star hotel in the world and one of the most expen­sive ones.

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When trav­el­ing to new des­ti­na­tions, I sug­gest read­ing rel­e­vant books before arriv­ing at your des­ti­na­tion. When you talk to locals and they real­ize you know some­thing about their coun­try, or city, the expe­ri­ence moves to a whole dif­fer­ent level.

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As soon as I arrive I also visit local book­stores and spend some time look­ing at post­cards, famil­iar­iz­ing myself with that place’s high­lights (cul­tural, archi­tec­tural, etc). I often dis­cover new places, unique van­tage points, and dif­fer­ent ways to doc­u­ment the obvi­ous landmarks.

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I love this image and would like to use it as my clos­ing image for this spe­cific story.
Remem­ber, we are storytellers!

On my next post I’ll talk about fine-tuning these images using Adobe Light­room and the Color Checker Pass­port. Stay tuned. If you don’t have a Pho­to­Shel­ter account feel free to use this link. And remem­ber to add your com­ments below.