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Making Selects

Lesson 27 from: The Ultimate Photo Storytelling Workshop

Finn Beales

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Lesson Info

27. Making Selects

Finn gives you an insight into his digital post-production process, and shares the system he has developed for filtering image catalogues to help him easily locate files.

Lesson Info

Making Selects

Okay, before we can do anything with our images, we've gotta get them off our camera and into our computer. So I'm gonna walk you through my process I use for importing images from my card into Lightroom and the selection process that I make. Let's get on with it. So before I do anything I have one main folder called Import which is on my desktop. Within this I will then create a parent folder for the shoot. So I have a naming convention for this. It starts with Work or Personal, only two differentiators. If it's work, it begins with Work. If it's a personal shoot, it begins with Personal. So Work-date of shoot, year and month, so 2018 September, followed by client, followed by the assignment. So in this case, that would be Workshop. Within that create four or sometimes five other folders, beginning with Catalog. So this houses my Lightroom catalog. Capture, this houses all of my raw files. 2,500px, this houses any JPEGs outputted at that size. And one more, it's 4,000, similarly any J...

PEGs outfitted at 4,000px. Just keeps things in order. Sometimes if I've got drone footage, keep it in caps, I'll create another folder for all my drone files. So yeah, that's the folder structure. I've already done this here. So this is my demo that I'm gonna show you. So here's my Lightroom catalog within the Catalog folder. I'll open that up and we'll run through quickly my star rating system for making selects. No surprises here, I use one to three stars to filter my catalog to make my selects. It's very quick process. The first pass, really just going on composition and how I'm feeling about the image. Really wide edit. Just giving anything that I feel I like the look of one star. I rarely delete images. Often I'll come back to stuff. I might come back through the catalog again at a later date and see something that I might have missed. So you can see I've actually graded, not graded, rated, quite a lot of these already. So once I've gone through the catalog and rated everything I deem worthy of one star, I can filter 2,799 photos, my entire shoot, down to the 633 that I want to take a closer look at. At this point, I'll introduce my color labeling system. I use color labels to filter all of these one star photos into specific shot types. So red, yellow, green, blue. Red, six, denotes a cutaway. Seven, yellow, denotes a close-up shot. Eight, green, denotes a medium-close or a medium shot. And nine is a long shot, such as this, where the environment is dominating my character. So I just run through the catalog. This is a nine, this is an extreme or long shot. Again, this is nine, as before, I've done this on quite a lot of photos already. You can see along the bottom. This is an eight. It's a medium shot coming into our subject, but the environment is still dominating our character. This is a, six, a cutaway. This is, a seven, a yellow, a close-up. You're gonna get the idea here. Back to nine. Actually I'd give that an eight, a green, medium. Environment isn't dominating there. I would say subject is six, cutaway, eight, medium, long, which is blue, six, cutaway, six, cutaway, six, cutaway, six, cutaway. So it's really simple, really quick, six, cutaway. So once you've done this, this is all of my images. This is all of my images rated at one star. So what are we working with here? 635 for 2,805 photographs. If I now click the red filter, show photos with red label, that's gonna show me all of my cutaways. So I'm down to 103. So when I'm building my story, if I need a cutaway scene, I can just filter the entire catalog, based on that type of shot. Similarly, with a closeup, by hitting the yellow label, show photos with yellow label, it's gonna show me all of my close-ups. Similarly with medium shots. And again with long or extreme-long shots, all of my blue images, 262 of these. It just makes retrieval of images so much quicker, rather than sifting through, what would this be without this system? 635 photographs, all of a mix. I can drill down really, really quickly into the type of image that I need. One more thing I tend to do if it's a multi-day shoot is create collections based on locations. So as you can see here, day one was the board-shaping shoot. Day two was the road trip that we did using the Land Rover. And day three was the surfing section of the shoot. Again, using this system or process can seem a little laborious to begin with, but when you're working with a lot of images and you want to retrieve things quickly, I tell you, it's invaluable in terms of time saving, especially if you're coming in back to a shoot, or coming back to a catalog months after you've finished and submitted the files, often clients or magazines will be interested in a particular image that they've seen from this shoot and they wanna buy it. Having this system in place allows me to open up the catalog months after a shoot's finished and retrieve images very, very quickly. All of this is time saving. Time is money when you're a photographer. So having a system in place to make you select and retrieve images quickly saves you money. So I'd really, really recommend it. In the next episode, we're gonna move onto editing using Lightroom. I have a two-step process where I use Lightroom, Photoshop, and actually a Photoshop plugin which I'll also walk you through. But in the next episode, we're gonna stay in Lightroom. Use it to begin the grade on my selections that I've made here. (ethereal piano music)

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Ratings and Reviews

Brent Morris

Fantastic My thoughts on the storytelling workshop. The short is; it’s fantastic. The long is I loved all the details covered, from shot types and the ideas behind them to the call sheets and shot lists, and the whole process. I felt like I had a better understanding of how to schedule a professional shoot and I really felt like I had a much better grasp on many ideas and concepts, and I believe I’ve been able to improve my photography with them, so thank you and Finn. It really is fantastic.

Oswaldo Martinez

A path to better stories Very happy I got this workshop. Finn and Alex do a great job at teaching highly useful methods and specific advice to help you improve your own work, and more importantly, tell better stories that are meaningful to you.

Tommaso Selleri

Simply the best This is simply the best workshop out there on photography and storytelling. Finn is awe inspiring and so real and authentic. A pleasure to watch, a joy to learn from such master. I really hope a volume 2 is coming soon! Thank you for this one!

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