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Here’s this week’s photo tip… Bonnie Caton Staff Writer, Great Escape Publishing P.S. Travel writers — you’ll find this tip useful for sorting photos that you want to include with your article. ******************* September 23, 2009 The Right Way to Travel, Weekly Photo Tip *******************

Digging for Gems: 3 Easy Steps for Sorting Your Photos

By Shelly Perry in Portland, OR Things have changed for photographers with the digital revolution. For one, the learning curve significantly shifted to the photographers’ favor with instant viewing of your photos. And with digital memory, you no longer have to shoot with cost in mind… With film, each roll costs several dollars, not to mention processing… which is why I used to shoot much more conservatively and try to make every shot count. Now, as long as you have plenty of memory, you can shoot to your heart’s content. And you should. In fact, shoot as many pictures as you can. “Work” the subject until you feel confident you have overdone it. It’s much better to shoot more than enough shots and have lots to choose from than it is to return home and discover you’re missing the perfect one because you didn’t shoot enough. Read an article about working the image to get the perfect shot here in our archives.  Once you fill up your memory cards with photos, the key is then sorting photos and digging out the gems, culling those hundreds of photos down to the best of the best. Here are my top three criteria for quickly sorting photos: Note: I use Adobe Lightroom to do all my sorting and selecting. ** 1. Initial Appeal – I go through at a pretty fast pace and select any shot that appeals to me, looking at things like composition, expression, and those that evoke an emotional response. At the same time, I get rid of the bad shots – and, by bad, I mean those that have lousy exposure (way too dark or too light), are blurry or out of focus, have a subject whose eyes are closed or has a poor expression… any shot I know I will never use. ** 2. Similar and Favorites – With my first picks in front of me, I go back through, slower this time, and look for the photos that have that extra something — the perfect expression… the genuine laugh… that sparkle in the eye… the perfect moment when everything lined up just so. I call these my favorites. If there are two or more similar shots (and there usually are), I decide which is the strongest image and pick that one. ** 3. Final selection – Now, I go through my favorites very carefully and view each one at full frame (100%). I won’t know for sure if an image is worth processing until I check it up-close for focus. If I discover that a photo is lacking focus then I remove it from the final group. With these three steps, you can quickly take any shoot and narrow it down to your best shots. Those are the ones you’ll process first, and try to sell. The Photo Challenge Grand Prize voting begins in two weeks — that means, in just two weeks, you’ll get to pick the $2,000 Grand Prize winner from our Hall of Fame. We got a lot of good submissions this year… it’s going to be hard to choose. When voting begins, try using the criteria I described above to narrow it down to your favorite photo. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]  

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