Editing Step One - the technical edit.
I opened all the images in Bridge and used the "reject" option to remove any of the images that were obvious faulty, the over/underexposed or those with camera shake. Select the image Alt + Delete marks the image as a reject. These images remain in the same folder but can be hidden using the filter options.
|The Technical Edit|
Editing Step 2 - the selects.
From the remaining images I chose the selection that I felt were most creatively pleasing and marked these by giving them 1 star, Ctrl + 1
Editing Step Three - the first selects
Working with this smaller group of images I need to choose several "bests". I used the filter for 1 star to bring up the step 2 selections. To make the next edit I marked the images with 2 stars, Ctrl 2. Before the technical edit I originally started out with over 200 shots; by this step I had whittled it down to 25. For a smaller portfolio I would go through these once more to have the final compliment of photographs. Thinking ahead to the final select of 2 I made the decision to cut these down to 12.
Most of the images I chose within this final group were selected because together they are a cohesive collection of images exploring a given area. They show the people and their environment, living in their environment and the mix of characters you find there. I liked the exploration of light and dark, the way the colours in each individual image pulled together. There is also a subtext of graffiti running through the set. In some of the images there is also a comparison of things old and new. Some images were chosen over others due to the composition or the fact they made for a more cohesive body of work.
Editing Step Four - group and review
Having made the decisions I had, I took a break so I could return to the process with a refreshed eye. Sometimes it is easy to overlook errors and include an image that may in fact be out of focus in the main area, or it may not have the movement you desired. Also you may sometimes exclude an image that may not be technically perfect but is actually a good record of an event, therefore it is good practise to review both rejected and first selects to confirm your final choices. Some technical errors can be recovered in post processing.
Below are the twelve images in my final set.
My final choice shows more empty and derelict business' while the posters on the front boast of new developments available to buy/rent.
The people in the shot also show how this is a multicultural area and the fashions of today will help date the shot to a certain era.
Editing Step Five - a final triage
These are my final 2 images.
It was quite difficult making a decision to choose these two final images. In the end I decided to pick the two that summed the area up best. There are a few images I personally prefer or I feel are possibly technically better but they did not narrate the story in a way these did.
This image made it into my final two because to me it shows despite the dilapidation and very depressing surroundings, life goes on in a very busy and vibrant way. It also is an indication of how the generations change, a young girl enjoying playing with balloons, a teen sporting the latest fashion, and the current trend for wearing jeans half mast, with the older generation wearing traditional dress. I also liked the way the colour red was a theme throughout.
This is a very simple shot but I chose it not only for the interpretations that can be made from it but also it is a true repesentation of what you find. There is a mix of residentional and business premises, many areas where buildings have been demolished and not rebuilt, walls and windows with graffiti, with a general feeling in places of everything shut down and locked up. The broken link suggests that something in society is broken but all it needs is someone or something to come and unlock it's potential.
This exercise has honed my editing skills. I followed a very similar routine previously but the majority of photographs I take are for my own pleasure or snapshots of a day out which others also also wish to share. In these circumstances I sometimes include shots that I am not totally happy with but do sum up the atmosphere of the day/event.
Having to select a series of images of a limited number is an interesting experience, making you examine the minute details of what makes an image work as an individual shot and also in a set. Learning more about the ratings in Bridge has proved very useful and I will use this feature now.