Hint and tips: Post processing 1

The first stage of post processing for me, is to identify the pix that I want to do further work on and are candidates to make it through to the final gallery on this site.

The number of pix I take during a rehearsal varies hugely with the production, the location, the duration, the action and the event (rehearsal vs dress rehearsal etc.). In an ’average’ production I shall probably shoot around 500-600 photographs. Of those around 100 will typically make it into the final selection.

I, and my colleagues in ashmorevisuals all use Adobe Lightroom, not least because it is cross-platform and between us we use both PCs and Macs. It is a great piece of software in which to catalogue, key-word and do basic tweaking of large numbers of images. Without it I certainly would not be able to handle the throughput of pix that I do in a sensible time-frame.

My selection process is highly iterative. First I will reject all the obvious failures (wrong exposure, wild composition, crap focusing, etc). Next I’ll look for the real stunning, must have images, and mark those for closer attention. Next I attend to sequences of images that are basically similar. I use the Lightroom Survey View to limit the display to only those images that I have selected. I’ve found that progressively eliminating pix from the selection often works better than trying to pick the best one straight off.

It is then a case of visiting all the remaining images to mark those that should be looked at more closely. Here I am constantly switching from thumbnail to enlarge view as I move through the pix. I do this as quickly as possible going by instinct to pick the images. If I tarry too long it usually means the image isn’t strong enough.

At the end of this first stage I have the candidate images selected (or Picked, in Lightroom parlance) that will undergo the next stage of post processing, which we shall look at next.

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