Managing Masses of Photos with F-Stop

I take a lot of photos. I use the burst mode of my camera quite often, increasing the likelihood of getting a preferred photo from a single pose opportunity. We’ve all experienced the photographer who cajoles a group into posing, only to then review the just-taken photo and realize one of the subjects blinked. “Could everyone gather again for another photo?… Everyone?” Awkward.

The benefit of a the high frames-per-second capability of modern cameras is that you are virtually guaranteed to have a good shot somewhere in the pile of pics. But which?

If you take a lot of photos, the numbers pile up. I recently took formal photos and compiled 1200 snaps between the various poses, lighting changes and outfits. Because I’m away from my desk most of every day, I use my mobile devices to cull the photos down to a small set of best pics. To do so, I use F-Stop because of its one-tap ranking feature.

Twelve hundred taps. I only have time for one tap per photo. Firstly, I review thumbnails to eliminate obvious blurred and improperly exposed photos. In selection mode I tap each, then delete as a group. That eliminates 25-50% of. The mass, depending on how easily I found it to discern errors within the thumbnails.

I review the remaining photos full-screen one at a time. Before F-Stop, I used a standard gallery app and would either delete a poor photo immediately or skip a good photo to leave it as a best-pic candidate for later comparison. In those apps, deleting a single pic is a multi-tap process. Uggh. For those I didn’t delete, comparing the pile of good pics to cull for the best meant continual re-review.

F-Stop improved everything about my process. The ranking system, combined with one-tap advance, makes it quick and easy to review great quantities of photos. Best of all, any rating I apply to a photo in F-Stop transfers automatically to Adobe Lightroom and Bridge, the desktop post-processing tools I often use on my final picks.

Once the obviously poor photos are deleted in thumbnail mode, I then view each photo in the stars and hearts mode. I make a quick judgment and tap a star that represents a general impression as to the pic’s quality. I often avoid using the highest rating so as to leave room for singling out a real eye popper. Towards the end I recognize that I’ve ranked many photos with 4 stars, but F-Stop makes it incredibly easy to do rapid comparisons. I group the photos by ranking and batch-delete one and two-star photos. I retain three star pics for archiving. Next I view the four-star photos, downgrading lesser pics to three and upgrading the better to five. With three or four top candidates in the five-star grouping, I’ll select my favorite one or two and tag those with a heart, then send all five-star photos to post-processing.

I use other mobile apps for post-processing in the field when I can’t get to my desk to use the Adobe suite. I rely on a WiFi beaming app to transfer masses of full-resolution photos between my phone and desktop. It’s easier than a USB cable or removing the SD Card, which, in my case, is a 64GB Ultra, and transfers at very high-speed, taking only a few minutes to move hundreds of pics. I use a WiFi enabled camera that has a corresponding app to transfer pics in real-time to my phone for culling in F-Stop. I can do amazing work in the field via my mobile work flow, but at the core, culling and ranking is the only way I can manage the masses of photos I snap. F-Stop is a crucial component of that work flow, one of the core apps I rely on to make me efficient at my task.

-Roger Bowman

Travel Photography Using F-Stop

I recently traveled South East Asia for 4 months and discovered F-Stop for photo management. I probably took over 5000 photos as I traveled and F-Stop turned my tablet into a formidable image management platform. I would transfer from my DSLR to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and F-Stop would index my photos. Being able to sort by EXIF Date Taken was huge as I edited photos. I would rate and edit photos very rapidly because of the easy to use flow of F-Stop. Once I had deleted / edited / rated my photos I would use FolderSync to automatically upload the changes to Google Drive. By sorting by rating, it was also easy to take highlights of a part of my trip and post them to Social Media. With a new found method of photo management, and a renewed usefulness of my tablet, I came back with 50% less post-trip photo management work. I often don’t have time to deal with my photos post-trip, this is the first time my photography is in such great order. I plan on syncing my previous trips to my tablet and using this method to clean up the images from all of those trips!

Thanks for making such a great app!

Adam Archer

Improving Client Interactions Using F-Stop

When I take photos for other people, they often want to see the pics. Sometimes the “clients” are simply family members at a function, or colleagues at an event. I’m the go-to person for photos, and more frequently than ever, the subjects of the photos want to see my shots in real time on my large phone or tablet.

It’s my habit to use burst mode to ensure I get the shot. Invariably, someone will blink, look away, grimace, or blur the pic with a movement. No problem, I took 60 pics in those couple of seconds you thought I was snapping a single photo. Add that to the 60 from a few moments ago in that other setting. Somewhere in that mass of images will be “the best” with a great smile and good eye contact.

I accommodate the request to review the pics immediately after having taken then while still at the venue. But having gone down this road lots of times, I know to open F-Stop as my gallery. Why? Because the client usually won’t like the first pic they see. Immediate self-critique usually sets in. But as I flip pic after pic in the burst sequence, a better smile emerges, or a slight laugh, or something they are pleased with pops up and they exclaim, “Oh, I like that one!” As I flip more, they say, “Oh, that one too.” After they pic 4 or 5, I need to review the top contenders with them to determine their favorite, i.e. which do they want posted on Facebook.

Using a normal gallery, flipping through 60 pics to select 4 favorites, then comparing the 4 again, would be difficult. F-Stop, however, has a built-in rating system that mirrors Adobe’s stars and flags. I set F-Stop to review mode and each time a client utters an opinion, I tap the corresponding number of stars. F-Stop helpfully moves immediately to the next photo and I tap it’s rating. One tap per photo and I’ve quickly categorized the pics. I then filter the view to the top stars and flip among those with the highest rating, back and forth, until the top one or two are selected, which I note via a heart. I then filter all one star pics, which I use for out-of-focus or blown shots, and delete them as a group. Low rated photos that are nonetheless exposed properly get two stars, and up from there.

User Story Submission

Simply put, F‑Stop Media Gallery is a tool and as such there are often many different uses beyond the expected. F‑Stop is no different. Over the years, I have had a chance to talk with many users about how they use F‑Stop. From professional photojournalists to users arranging their reaction GIFs to autistic users organizing their communication cards, I always enjoy hearing from users and it helps to shape the future of F‑Stop. I thought it would be interesting to give our users the opportunity to share their stories here.  It can be a full post with accompanying pictures or I can mash together several shorter stories in a single article.  It really depends on the feedback I receive. So, go ahead and submit your story below.  We’d love to hear from you.

Submit your story