Back in August I wrote about how I store and sort through my images. I’m becoming increasingly confident in acknowledging my own artistic skill and direction and I like it. I do still struggle with making decisions and it will probably be more amplified as I get closer to my show. I haven’t set an exact date but it will definitely be in March. Today I want to write a little more in-depth on my system and what I’ve been up to lately.
Once I made my initial “pick”/flag decisions in Lightroom I needed more ways to sort and keep track of images. I knew there were more organizational features I could utilize but hadn’t quite figured out how to do that. As a response to Covid, many photographers turned to online instruction. Out of Chicago typically offers in-person events and workshops but they pivoted and pulled together an amazing online conference in April with many great photographers/educators. It was just what I needed at that time in my journey! It was so amazing that they are already planning one for next year. And, I’ll definitely be participating because I’ve already signed up! https://www.outofchicago.com/live/ At that conference, there was a session from Colby Brown on image management and he went in-depth on how he does it. Perfect and just what I needed! I’ve pretty much copied his system with minor tweaks and it is working so far! Here’s what I do:
When I import images, I rename then with the date and location so, if I’m just looking at the file name, I know exactly where it was taken and when. I never thought of doing this before but that one tip has been so helpful! Once I’ve got my images imported, the really work begins. I quickly go through the new stuff and label them as a “pick”, “reject” or nothing. Once I “pick” through my images, I can get more specific with my categorizing. I then go through, look more closely at my flagged images, and give them a star rating. If I really like something, it gets 3-4 stars, if it’s just ok, two stars. I’m not sure why I would give something 1 star but maybe in the future I’ll use it for something. The stars help me determine what I want to edit/process first. I then label my starred images with colors like this:
- Red – single image to be processed
- Yellow – behind the scenes/people, etc
- Green – images to stack then process
- Blue – Processed and good
Sometimes I will give a finished, “good” image a 5 star rating. I definitely want some images that I’m proud to have taken and want to show others. That’s what this project is all about, right???
As I take more photos, it’s been easier to do the mental work to sort through and make judgements about them. I don’t have to be worried about what others think but I do want to fine-tune what I say are my best images. Right now I just might have enough to do my show but I’m still out taking photos and having fun!
So, what have I been up to? I flew on a plane! Yep. It was good even IF I did have to wear a mask (no complaints here). I spent about a week in Virginia a was able to spend 2 days with my sister and her cute family, 2 days relaxing in VA Beach with a friend reminiscing on old times, and 2 days in my old stomping grounds in Richmond. I also was able to take a quick sunrise hike the morning of my flight in Shenandoah National Park. Who doesn’t want to get up at 3 am, drive 2 hours, hike in the dark but enjoy an amazing sunrise over the mountains and then drive 2 hours back just in time to have lunch with a friend and hop on the plane??!! Whew!!! I love that I can still travel even during a pandemic. I learned that I can still have time for photography while visiting. I woke up early on my beach days and spent some sunrise time with my camera. Another morning in Richmond, I woke to morning fog! My friend is a substitute teacher and was at school already so I was on my own anyway. It was so beautiful to go to the reservoir near my old home and capture some images. I’m thinking the pull to do photography AND spend time with friends/family is going to be a real struggle and one I’m not alone in.
I love this journey I’m on!!!!