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Preparing to edit your photos

Whether you shoot digital photography for fun, for a profession or for something in between, if you are even remotely serious about the art, it stands to reason that you might do a lot of editing. In fact, even the best of the best among the photographers I have met seem to feel that if you can have 5-10% of you images come out without any need for editing, you’ve done an excellent job.

With all that being said, there are some organizational and technical procedures that can help you streamline the whole editing process and help to keep you from feeling the need to rip your hair out from frustration.

In the event that it may help you, here’s how I keep my process flowing.

1. Initial review of photos

- Review your shots one by one to determine whether or not they are worth editing or should just be send to your recycle bin.

2. Create several folders

- Create a folder for images to be edited and one for images to disregard.

3. Open duplicate files

- Open your file and a duplicate copy. Edit the duplicate copy while leaving the other alone. This way, you can measure the difference in your work.

4. More editing and ad more sub-folders

- Once you have successfully edited your first photo, create a sub-folder to store it and all other edited shots. Within that sub-folder, you can create an additional sub-folder for shots converted to black and white or featuring other effects such as spot color if you so choose.

5. Rename edited copies and move your originals

- Once you have edited a photo from your “To be edited” folder, save it with a different file name. Then, you can put the original (see step 3) in a sub-folder labeled something like “Done” or “Finished” so that you know you have already edited that shot and do no run the risk of accidentally editing it several times.

6. Delete

- Once you’ve finished editing everything, delete your folder of shots to be disregarded and you’ll be left with a well organized group of folders and sub-folders for all of the final products.

In the end, it should  be something like this:

Two primary folders -

Trash” and “To be edited

Sub-folders within “To be edited” -

Done” – Where you can store the original copes of shots you have finished editing.

Edited” – Where you can keep your edited, final copies.

Sub-folders within “Edited” -

Black and White” or “Spot Color” or any other effect you opt to work with that is not done in standard color.

This may sound a bit complex bit in process it’s actually really easy and will help you keep your shots better organized when you need to access, print or upload for any reason.

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