Photograph Editing Tips

5 Tips to Help You Get Your Photography Post-Processing Done

There are more than 5 work strategies to get your stuff done, regarding your image processing; NEVERTHELESS, I want to list 5 recommendations I think about most and put into practice.


Title: White Paint Orange Brush.
Creation Date:  6 May 2016.
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1.  DON’T PROCRASTINATE!  Just get to the post-processing—don’t wait!  Get to the new photos while they are still new and you are still excited about working on them.  If the images are for a job, then working quickly is a necessity—you have a deadline!  Also, if you delay the processing, you will likely be adding continuously to a backlog of photographs needing to be edited and designed.  Having a backlog of photographs can cause unnecessary stress.

2.  Edit, Edit, Edit!  If you took 500 digital photographs during your latest photo-excursion, you already know NOT all are keepers.  Some images may be so bad that you can delete those just by quickly looking at them on your camera LCD.  For the second edit, view your images on a large screen and check for details—get rid of any images that are NOT high-quality and do not fit your purpose, or, images that you simply can’t visualize working creatively with now, or, at some point in the future.  Of course, if you have unlimited hard drive space, you can save everything, but why make your image catalogue messy with so many unedited photographs.

3. Organization:  Once you have edited-down your new images, you can get them organized.  I move my digital images into folders by subject matter, e.g., abstract art, abstract trees, cat portraiture, etc.  I find that early-organizing images by subject will drastically make things easier later on when it is time to copy or move the originals of a subject, and the processed art photos of that same subject, into an archiving solution.  You can easily, then, just copy an entire folder to an archiving solution.

4.  Know Your Photo-Editing Software:  Find photo-editing software that you like, does all that you need, and that you can work with quickly and creatively.  I have always preferred Paint Shop Pro over Photoshop:  Perhaps both programs do roughly the same jobs, but I prefer the working nature of Paint Shop Pro.  In my opinion, it is more user-friendly and it is more customizable than Photoshop.  Photoshop is no doubt great software, but there are other options too, like Gimp, which is good, and free.  The key is to choose something  that works excellently for you, and that it is something you want to learn comprehensively to get the most out of it.  Of course, it is best to get the photographs as good as possible in-camera so you DON’T need to spend a lot of time using editing software.

5.  Practice What You Preach!  You may already have a post-processing system that works well for you, and if that is the case, then stick with it.  If your system is breaking down, then switch things up, maybe you can use some of the advice I have given.  A good system, no matter what, should make your post-processing go smoothly, efficiently, and quickly.  As important, your system should help you reduce stress and enjoy the work more—it should not do the opposite.

STAY FOCUSED!  There are many distractions out there to sidetrack your progress—fight against these urges.  Each distraction will eat away at time, time that you can never get back.  Thus, stay focused on your photography project and just get it done, and then you can take a break.

5-Magic Words that will HELP You Edit Your Photos!

Several times a year, I run into the proverbial problem of:  “Damn!  Where did all my hard drive space go?”

Well, when the disks are full, instead of spending more money too soon, and going out to buy yet another external hard drive that will also become filled in a few months, there is a more economical solution!

After very careful review of the contents of my hard drives, I soon realized that I have filled up my drives with every single blasted photograph I’ve taken over the last few months.  I mean, EVERY BLASTED PHOTOGRAPH!

I’m keeping way too many photographs when considering what Ansel Adams said:

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”
Ansel Adams

Here’s how I end up with so many photographs sitting on my hard drives:  Let me do the count.

I have the “original” photograph from the camera; however, it may not just be one “original”, I usually take several photos of the same scene just to make sure I have a good mix to work with.  Let us say at least 7-“originals” of a subject are shot using various aperture settings and shutter speeds.

After reviewing these “originals” on the computer screen, I immediately save the best “original” as a tiff file with Adobe RGB (1998) color spacing:  This tiff file is the one I work with.

Now, we have at least 8 photos of one scene.

Then, “the best” image goes through an editing phase:  Each major editing of “the best” image will be saved as a new tiff file, which could be 3-edits on average.

The count is now up to 11.

At this point, I may work with this file and convert it to B&W to see if it is successful as a B&W photograph, and this image is kept on file as a tiff.

Once I’m happy with the final edit and any conversions, then the images are saved as JPEG files at 100% Quality (both the color and the B&W versions):  14.

At that point, I resize the image for publishing to my Flickr and/or Facebook Galleries.  I may use the same resized image for both; but occasionally, I design two unique photographs at the smaller size for publication on the Internet:  If I make two resized and designed smaller images, then the photo count is up to 16.

Of course, these are just estimated figures for the number of photographs I end up with on my hard drive, per unique scene.   Nevertheless, I believe that 16-photos per scene seems very probable.

How many photographs would I comfortably be happy with saving per good image?

1:  The “Original” best image, for the EXIF data.
2:  The “FINAL” edited tiff files (the color and B&W versions).
3:  The resized and designed Flickr version.
* I may not need to save the big, edited jpeg version at this point because I still have the tiff files.  However, many online vendors prefer large jpeg images for uploading purposes.

In all honesty, and with a mind geared toward the physical law of “Conservation of Space,” (LOLOL), I could merrily live with four (4) images per unique subject.

So How Do I Clean Up My Hard Drives of Unnecessary Space Bloating Images?

First:  Get yourself a good Image Viewing – Management Software.  My favorite is XnView.

Second:  Teach yourself how to quickly identify the “best” original image of a scene.  This skill may be a matter of personal preference, eye-balling the digital image to scrutinize it for composition, color, focus, interest, etc.  Perhaps you simply like to go by the quality of the histogram…whatever works for you!

And Then…

As you view each image, you repeat to yourself,

The 5-Magic Words Question…

…this is the question that is essential for all Photographers to Effectively Edit their Photos:

“Is . This . a . CRAP . Photo?”

And, zippidy-do-da-day!  With this magic phrase, the answer will become clear to you if a photo is a keeper, or if it needs to be “flushed”, so to speak!

REMEMBER:  If you are NOT totally ruthless in the editing of your work, someone else will be!  Thus, put it in BERSERKER MODE and flush out all the stinkers!  Did I really just write that?

This method is very effective for me.  Please feel free to use my method if you see fit.

Best of Luck!