Monday, December 31, 2012

Year's End: overlooked images

Last winter
 As this year closes I wanted to review some old pictures that have been overlooked and maybe deserve a better place than mediocrity.

This year I reorganized my photos into three folders per year, and every four months I like to complete the sorting and editing on one folder and copy it into the portable hard drive and the other computer, starting a new folder on my laptop (that doesn't have enough space for all my photos put together - around 500 GB).

So these past couple of weeks I concentrated on wrapping up the edits for this year, and starting next year (rather, next folder) I will start working on new ideas. Also, I will need volunteers for some of this stuff. But all in good time.

So today I put together a few pictures that were good, but didn't fit into any post. Looking back at these I think they may have been overlooked.

The way I organize my pictures, all using lightroom, is by setting keywords for places, people and subject matter, and after I flag the pictures I liked (I will usually have 30 - 70 pics from a folder) I will edit them and then rank them from one to five stars.

I give five stars to images I really like, that I think stand out and have value outside the collection they are in ("the money shot").

The four stars are pictures that are good enough to bother printing and hanging up, even if in small format (10x15 cm). This is a good criterion for me to make a cut between good photo and outstanding.

Three stars are good photos but aren't good enough to print or publish (however, many of them do get published because they help tell the story).

Two stars are for images that are technically good, but don't really excite or compel me in any way.

Finally, one star is for pictures that are ok, but after editing I realize they weren't worth the trouble, or maybe images I edited because some else wanted them but I didn't particularly care for them.

I try to bring only the best, four or five stars to this blog, but these images that get left behind often have more to them when looking back. But five star pictures become rarer as I grow older and more critical of myself.

Time for a little self-statistics. This year I have shot:
1 star ~ 250 images
2 stars ~ 900 images
3 stars ~ 600 images
4 stars ~ 80 images
5 stars ~ just five images

Tel Aviv skyline, handheld at 1/30sec at f/4 at ISO400

As you can see from the statistics above, I am a bit hard on myself. In 2011 and in 2010, I shot around 20 five star images each year. Maybe I also had more opportunity. But mostly its me being tough on myself. This is a good thing.

Also notice there are tons of two-star pics and less one-star pics. This reflects me not bothering to edit those pictures I don't really like. Also, a lot of day to day photography I make in mundane situations, without trying to do something exceptional, is cause for many a mundane photograph. 

A ten picture panorama, made because I only had the 50mm f/1.8 and not enough room to back up. 

 So I wanted to look back at all these three-star pictures and take a few of them that stood out. They still don't really impress anyone, I think. But maybe, if I look at them and give myself a break, I might even say they deserve and honorable mention... luckily there's no three-and-a-half stars in lightroom. This would have made my life so much more complicated...

Three layers. One for the sky, two for the road to make the lanes less and more crowded. 

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see you all next year!

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