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

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