How to pick your very best photo’s – my 3 step system.
Why it’s important to review your previous years photographs?
We tend to compare ourselves to other photographers which is the quickest way to feeling frustrated and disheartened with our photography! Instead we should be comparing our current work with the work we’ve created previously.
Measure your own growth by how far you’ve come with what you’ve learned and how your photography has improved.
One of the best ways to do this is by doing a yearly review of your images. Going through the last 12-months of your photos and taking the time to choose your best shots. It can be your top 10, 20 or however many you feel.
The goal here is to sort through those images that speak to you, the ones that you’re most proud of and those images that show how much you’ve grown in the past year.
One of my favourite images from last year. I photographed this image using bulb mode on my camera, holding down the shutter until after the lightning struck. Shutter speed varied from 15 seconds to 35 seconds. I then blended a few shots together to create this single image.
3 easy steps on how to sort through and choose your Top Shots
How many images did you take in the last year? Thousands, more like tens of thousands, right? How on earth do you get through all those images to find your top shots? By using Lightroom’s organization and tagging tools you can make this task less daunting.
Step 1. Start by going through flagging your first picks. In the library module of Lightroom there is a little flag in the corner of your image as you view it on the grid. You can click on that to ‘Pick’ that image. You can also hit the ‘P’ key to ‘pick’ that image as well.
Once you’ve done that you can then filter your library by flagged and only those images you flagged/picked will show.
Wild dingo pup
Another one of my top shots from last year is this wild dingo puppy I photographed using a long 600mm lens – here I used ‘Brent’s Rule’ for hand holding my lens – more about shutter speed in this in-depth article.
Step 2. Next you’ll want to narrow it down further as it’s probable in your first run through you ended up with more than 10-20 images flagged – I had hundreds flagged. While you have your library sorted by flagged, go through it again.
Step 3. This time choose the best again. Using your color tag options mark your picks with a color.
Now you can filter your library by flagged and by the color you chose to code your Top Shot picks. This will be your final group of Top Shots. .
Photo BootCamp Magazine
Let’s see how our BootCamp members did on what they chose for their top or best images in the past year for this month’s challenge.
And be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!
(Larger file for desktop or iPad).
Alternatively if you have a slower connection you can view this magazine Here on ISSUU.
Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine…
Join The Fastest, ‘Funnest’ Way To Improve Your Photography!
- Discover exciting new skills
- Rekindle your passion for taking photos
- Improve fast with helpful feedback
- Experience enjoyment and progress
Inside BootCamp Magazine
Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Our featured artist of the month is Rachel Gilmour, from Australia.
One of her top shots is a ‘backyard’ shot. This one was taken in late October. Rachel spotted this character in one of their jade plants. She said it was a bit difficult to get a clean shot of it and it was hanging ‘upside down’, so she flipped it to make it easier to view. The image was created with a 24-105 lens.
This month’s featured magazine cover image was created by Sara O’Brien from the United States. It is a recent image that has become one of her top shots. Hoarfrost is one of her favorite things to photograph when the sun is shining. This image did not turn out exactly as planned, but she still really likes the way it turned out.
Let’s take a look at some of our BootCamp members’ favorite images.
We’ll start with Brenda Potts from the United States. She shot this image in the Mt. Baker National Forest back in May. This stream provided the perfect opportunity to try some long exposure shots using an adjustable circular ND filter. The final image is a series of eight shots with a shutter speed range of 2.5 – 5 sec, which were then focus-stacked in Photoshop. Lessons learned: 1) I love long exposure photography, 2) Focus-stacking in PS is a lot of fun and 3) While very handy, a circular/adjustable ND filter sometimes causes a weird X pattern. She hasn’t quite figured out the magic formula to avoid that in brighter settings.
Then we have Lou Mason-Walsh from the United Kingdom. Lou loves water of all types but especially waterfalls. Due to being in lock-down, his options were limited. This image was taken in Wymingbrook on the edge of Sheffield. It was taken during a rare opportunity to travel to visit his parents. She hadn’t been there since she was a kid and it was great to rediscover the peace and tranquility of the place even on a busy summer weekend. Lou chose the exposure to smooth out the water a little but still keep the feeling of movement especially in the pool at the bottom of the cascade and is one of her top shots for 2020.
You can also share your images by joining Photo BootCamp Academy and can count on the community to help and guide you along the way. If you are not yet a member of this awesome family now is the best time to become one.
You can check out the complete BootCamp Magazine and see for yourself!
- Reviewing your own work and being able to see where you’ve come from and how much you’ve grown is important.
- Sort through your top shots using the pick function in Lightroom and color-coding to choose your favorites and narrow it down.
- Coding our images with colors, stars and/or picks makes it easy to sort your images to pull up just your top shots.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these related articles, too:
- Creating Complete And Harmonious Images Using Visual Balance
Learn how to control the visual balance in your images.
- Creating Moody, Artistic Photos With Low Key Photography
What does LOW KEY mean in photography?
- Creating Cheerful, Artistic Photos With High Key Photography
What does HIGH KEY mean in photography?
Do This Now
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent