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The Selection Process

Last week was all about the techniques I use to get my shots, and how I use my camera to get them. I showed two versions of the image 'Health & Happiness', but didn't explain why I preferred one over the other. That got me thinking to this week’s post. So I thought it would be a good idea to follow on from that, and show how, or why, I select my photos to be published.

I’m sure we’ve all been in that situation when we have captured one or two strong photos in the same area, at the same time of day, which has made the selection process a bit trickier. To show what I mean, here are a couple of my previous shots that have gone through that selection process.

I’m going to start with one you may have seen before, my image titled 'Paddington Silhouette'. In the space of 20 minutes, there were four shots I captured from this vantage point that I put into consideration for publishing purposes.

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After looking at them for a couple of days I narrowed these four images down to two (pictures 1 & 2). 

Even though the silhouettes of two people are decent enough, shots 1 & 2 were selected because I was going for a minimalist composition, and felt the lone figures in the centre of the frame made more impact here. Once I had made my mind up on these two, it was then very difficult for me to choose which of the two were going to be published. I really liked the glow around the mans head and the sunlight through his legs which draws your eye straight to it in image 1, but I also really liked how the man’s silhouette in image 2 is a continuation from the bannister on the left, to the building on the right.

When I struggle to make an outright decision over a couple of shots, I will always ask for my girlfriend’s opinion. Even though her eye for men is a bit suspect, she’s a studying interior designer and has a great eye for composition and creativity. After some deliberation she chose image 1. For her, it had less distracting details, and a stronger composition due to the silhouette being better proportioned in the frame. Now it's understandable why I ask her opinion, as this was the image that got published in Neoprime Magazine.

In these next photos that were taken on Tuesday, I initially had 3 shots that were on the shortlist for being published.

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These three shots were then whittled down again to two (images 1 & 2). Even though the skater is centred in the archway in image 3, I wasn't overly keen on the shape of his silhouette, so this was discarded. The reason that images 1 and 2 were selected came down to the position of the skater’s silhouette in image 1, and the definition of his silhouette in image 2. Now I had two images left, I was able to compare them side by side to see which of them was more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Thankfully my decision was a lot easier to make than it was with the 'Paddington Silhouette' image, so I didn't need to interrupt my girlfriend watching Grand Designs this time! The deciding factor for my final choice was how my eye was being lead from the line in the wall to the skater, and the balance of the image as a whole. So with that in mind, image 1 was selected, due to the skater being in the centre of the archway and giving greater balance overall, it just felt better. I titled it 'Let's Do This Too'

So there were just two photos that have gone through my selection process. It would be great to hear if you have a similar approach, or what your selection process is. I would particularly like to hear from you if you have different preferences regarding the images discussed in this week’s blogpost, and if so, why you prefer one over the other.

I would now like to end this weeks post by saying how pleased I am to have been interviewed for the Bureau of Arts and Culture Magazine that was published yesterday. You can read the full interview here, along with some of my colour images.

I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my workflow of selecting shots, and thank you very much for reading.

Lastly, there will be no blogpost next week, as I will be in Barcelona for an eagerly awaited break.

Have a great weekend, and happy snapping.

Craig