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Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 83 of 107

Culling Images

John Greengo

Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

83. Culling Images


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 23:32 2 Photographic Characteristics 06:46 3 Camera Types 03:03 4 Viewing System 22:09 5 Lens System 24:38 6 Shutter System 12:56 7 Shutter Speed Basics 10:16 8 Shutter Speed Effects 31:57
9 Camera & Lens Stabilization 11:06 10 Quiz: Shutter Speeds 07:55 11 Camera Settings Overview 16:12 12 Drive Mode & Buffer 04:24 13 Camera Settings - Details 10:21 14 Sensor Size: Basics 18:26 15 Sensor Sizes: Compared 24:52 16 The Sensor - Pixels 22:49 17 Sensor Size - ISO 26:59 18 Focal Length 11:36 19 Angle of View 31:29 20 Practicing Angle of View 04:59 21 Quiz: Focal Length 08:15 22 Fisheye Lens 12:32 23 Tilt & Shift Lens 20:37 24 Subject Zone 13:16 25 Lens Speed 09:03 26 Aperture 08:25 27 Depth of Field (DOF) 21:46 28 Quiz: Apertures 08:22 29 Lens Quality 07:06 30 Light Meter Basics 09:04 31 Histogram 11:48 32 Quiz: Histogram 09:07 33 Dynamic Range 07:25 34 Exposure Modes 35:15 35 Sunny 16 Rule 04:31 36 Exposure Bracketing 08:08 37 Exposure Values 20:01 38 Quiz: Exposure 20:44 39 Focusing Basics 13:08 40 Auto Focus (AF) 24:39 41 Focus Points 17:18 42 Focus Tracking 19:26 43 Focusing Q&A 06:40 44 Manual Focus 07:14 45 Digital Focus Assistance 07:35 46 Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF) 05:18 47 Quiz: Depth of Field 15:54 48 DOF Preview & Focusing Screens 04:55 49 Lens Sharpness 11:08 50 Camera Movement 11:29 51 Advanced Techniques 15:15 52 Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance 07:14 53 Auto Focus Calibration 05:15 54 Focus Stacking 07:58 55 Quiz: Focus Problems 18:54 56 Camera Accessories 32:41 57 Lens Accessories 29:24 58 Lens Adaptors & Cleaning 13:14 59 Macro 13:02 60 Flash & Lighting 04:47 61 Tripods 14:13 62 Cases 06:07 63 Being a Photographer 11:29 64 Natural Light: Direct Sunlight 28:37 65 Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight 15:57 66 Natural Light: Mixed 04:20 67 Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light 22:21 68 Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light 06:40 69 Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light 07:28 70 Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light 07:52 71 Quiz: Lighting 05:02 72 Light Management 10:46 73 Flash Fundamentals 12:06 74 Speedlights 04:12 75 Built-In & Add-On Flash 10:47 76 Off-Camera Flash 25:48 77 Off-Camera Flash For Portraits 15:36 78 Advanced Flash Techniques 08:22 79 Editing Assessments & Goals 08:57 80 Editing Set-Up 06:59 81 Importing Images 03:59 82 Organizing Your Images 32:41 83 Culling Images 13:57 84 Categories of Development 30:59 85 Adjusting Exposure 08:03 86 Remove Distractions 04:02 87 Cropping Your Images 09:53 88 Composition Basics 26:36 89 Point of View 28:56 90 Angle of View 14:35 91 Subject Placement 23:22 92 Framing Your Shot 07:27 93 Foreground & Background & Scale 03:51 94 Rule of Odds 05:00 95 Bad Composition 07:31 96 Multi-Shot Techniques 19:08 97 Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction 12:24 98 Human Vision vs The Camera 23:32 99 Visual Perception 10:43 100 Quiz: Visual Balance 14:05 101 Visual Drama 16:45 102 Elements of Design 09:24 103 Texture & Negative Space 03:57 104 Black & White & Color 10:33 105 The Photographic Process 09:08 106 Working the Shot 25:29 107 What Makes a Great Photograph? 07:01

Lesson Info

Culling Images

Alright. Now, we're gettin' into one of my favorite concepts. And I still haven't done this, but I would just love to hang over people's shoulder, as they are working through their images, like, why didn't you choose that one? That's better. Or, what about that one? Isn't that a good one? Why don't you think this one is better than that? And seeing how people edit their own images. I think there's a wide way of doing it, a wide variety of ways of doing this. I do think there are some ways, that are a little bit better, and worse. But, it's a very personal choice that we make, how we look at our images, and how we decide which ones we keep, and which ones we move on with. So, a big question, that you have to ask yourself... What are you satisfied with? What do you want, in your final images? And so, that's what we're gonna be talking about, is think about what you wanna go through, in 10 years from now. When you look at tomorrow's shoot, what sort of images do you wanna be in there? How...

many images do you wanna be in there? What are they gonna be organized like? So, before you get into this... Try to set up a good work environment, whatever that is. You don't wanna be stressed, you don't wanna be rushed. You wanna be comfortable, in your environment. For me, I gotta have a clean desk. I can't have a lot of other paperwork hangin' around. I wanna be able to just concentrate on this, without any other distractions around. With Lightroom... Lightroom's a little bit slow these days. And so, I wanna pre-load my images. And so, what'll happen, is I'll go, shoot, I'll download it, Lightroom will start building previews, and depending on how many pictures I shot, that might take some time. And so, I always usually try to rush in, start the download. Okay, now, I'm gonna go unpack the gear, I'm gonna go grab a bite to eat, take a shower, come back down, when the computer has done all its work, and everything's ready to go, at 100%. I wanna be able to speed through my images, and see things very, very clearly. The time separation, there is some good, and some bad. Sometimes, you need to go through images, right after you shot them, because you remember something being better about one situation, one photo, then the next. But it also helps, just to wait a few weeks, sometimes months, to come back, and look with fresh eyes, at what you shot, because sometimes, you're very emotionally involved in what happened, it throws off your rating system. And so, I think... That my travel editing is probably better, better than my standard editing, because when I travel, I always go through, and take a look at what I shot that day, and I just wanna get a quick edit, just give me some two-star images. I just wanna see what worked out that day. 10 minutes, and I'm off to bed. But then, when the trip's all done, two weeks, three weeks later, I get to come back, and now I have the whole picture of the trip in mind, and I go back to that day, and I go, oh, there was a gem I missed, and I thought this one was good, but it's not. And I have got another one, the following day, that's much better, and you can emotionally detach yourself from the situation, and this is why newspapers, and magazines had photo editors. They never went out and shot. All they did, was just edit other people's work. They go, hey, I don't know what you dealt with, when you were there, but this is what we needed, and this didn't work out, or this didn't work out. And there are people, that can look at your work, and just tell you what's good and bad, even though they weren't there. And that emotional separation is sometimes necessary, and when it's yourself, sometimes it's time, that will help you separate yourself, from that situation. What's your plan? What's your goal, when you have all your images? And so, I think of it as, okay, I got a mountain of images, and I would like to figure out, what is the best, and get rid of the worst, alright? Now, there's gonna be a clump left over, but how big... Clump, do you want in the best, and how much do you want in the least? How much time do you wanna spend? Are you gonna spend two hours doing this? Do you wanna try to do this, in 15 minutes? It's gonna make a big difference, on how you go through 'em. And so, just set yourself a time estimate, of what you're gonna do, and where all these images are gonna go. And so, that you kinda have a plan, 'cause I know all of us have kind of got stuck, looking through photos, and have time get away from us, and like, wow, okay, what was I doing? (laughs) And, you know... You gotta get a little bit more organized about this, if you wanna be efficient about your time. If you have a lotta free time, by all means, mingle through your images! That's great to do! But, it's good to have a plan. So, let's talk about eliminating and elevating images. And so, a lot of the images are gonna go. If you're gonna go, with my one-star system, just one basic image, we're gonna get the worst, in the garbage, and the best, the two-stars. Some of these might become three-stars, or more, but just separates them from the rest, and we'll deal with them later. Alright, the good ol' trash can. Should we throw things in there? Why would we throw something in the trashcan? Well, I throw things in the trashcan, because they're outta focus. And there's a lotta things, that can go wrong, in the focusing, if you remember back, to the focusing section. Remember our focusing quiz? All the different problems, with focusing. And so, there's a lotta things, that can go wrong, in focusing, that I don't foresee ever being able to be fixed. Now, maybe it will be, and that would be really nice. Noise and lens sharpness are a couple of things, that have asterisks down here, that we can do a little bit of adjustment. And so, don't throw it away quite yet, if there's some noise, 'cause you might still need it, and we might be able to resurrect that image from the dead. But, there's a lot of things, you know, if you don't have enough depth of field, or you focused in the wrong spot, I really doubt that we're gonna be able to fix that, in any time, in my foreseeable future. And so, you may capture an image that, you know, at the time, and it was all, that was a great moment! But, it's out of focus. And it's disappointing, when you get those good moments, and they're outta focus. But, you know what? I don't think that's ever comin' back, folks. It's just not comin' back. And so, that's the time, to really, probably be sendin' that one to the trashcan, unfortunately. Now, I will... I may take an aside here, and say, I do have some personal images. I have my professional catalog of photography, and then I have personal pictures, from my family, and my history, and there are a few very out of focus photos, but those photos are a part of my history, and I have kept that. And so, I'm not telling you that you have to delete all your out of focus pictures. But, when it comes to your quote-unquote, good photography, out of focus pictures really don't have a place, anywhere. (chuckles) And a personal aside, yeah, there's a little aside, a little dark folder, that you can file, under an assumed name, in the corner of your hard drive, for those moments, that you wanna keep. Bad exposures. As I mentioned before, we can fix a lot of exposure problems, but if it's really, really outta the park, you might say, overexposed, underexposed, blown highlights, shadows that don't have any detail, that might be a reason for deleting the photographs. Now, there's a lot of adjustments, that you can do. Take this image here. This image is shot, dark, and we can go in, into the exposure slider, and we can brighten it up, and we can essentially fix this photograph, alright? And so, we've just added three stops of exposure, in post-production, and cameras are pretty lenient! They'll allow you to do that! Well, what if we took a photo, that was correctly exposed, and then we looked at a little portion of the detail, in the shadows? The picture, that was properly exposed, does not have nearly as much noise, as the one that we've tried to raise the brightness, by three stops, in post-production. And that's because, it was too dark, there wasn't enough light there, and we're trying to bring up information, that was never recorded, in the original outset, by the camera. And so, getting the right exposure is important. Now, if you really, really need the photo, yeah, you could do it, and save it a little bit, but it's gonna be limited, as to how much you can do with it. And so, if you have a really bad exposure here, (clicks) into the trash bin it goes. Composition. If your composition is not right, there's a lot of empty space, or there's cropped elements, that are really important in there, that might be a good reason, for getting rid of that photograph as well. Now, there's some things, that you're gonna be able to adjust, in post-production. So, don't be too quick, to throw things away, right away. One good thought, is to put things, destined for the trash, but don't empty the trash, for a while. And so, that's why I label things blue, and I keep 'em around for a while, until I'm really sure, that I wanna get rid of them. And so, I'm not just deleting immediately, I'm just indicating, I don't think I want these. Alright, some other distractions. Secondary subjects, that we didn't want in there, unusual elements, that just don't work with that particular subject. The background isn't right. There's distractions, in the background. The eyes are... We have conflicts, we have bright elements, and there's a lotta things going on, in the background, even though our subject looks fine! The background is so distracting, it has ruined the photograph. There's other just awkward things going on. There's an unnatural pose. It just didn't look right. How many people, how many photographs have we taken, with people, with their eyes closed? Probably don't need those. Missing parts, missing parts? You know what I mean by this. It just happened to be cropped outta the frame! We generally wanna see all those parts of the body, if it's in a situation, like that. And so, that's a good photo, to be deleted, down the road. Duplicate images. And so, exactly the same image. So, important concept, I think, is back in the days of film, occasionally, we had cameras that had a little, tiny scratch on the film plate, and it would scratch the film, maybe just for one picture. And so, photographers, at the time, shooting film, somethin' great, just take a bunch of photos, just in case there's a problem with that piece of film, in the development, or something else. Nowadays, with digital, there is no real reason, to shoot the same picture, twice. Change something! Exposure, focus, composition. Do something different about it, because we can copy photos very easily. So, do something different. And so, if you took three or four photos, that are exactly the same, you can get rid of all those extras, except for one. So, those are all good reasons, for eliminating photographs. Now, why are you gonna rate things better? Why should they go up, to two, or three-star images? Clearly, the best moment. If there's something that happens, that boy, that was really the pinnacle moment, that's gonna be good. With portraits, it might be the best expression, or best gesture. Maybe, in landscape photography, it's when the light was actually the best. Or maybe, it's just when you happen to get the camera in the right position, to get the best composition. In some cases, you're gonna hit a conflict. Well, this one's better here, and this one's better here, and this other one's better here, and it's gonna be kind of a balance of all of those, in how you're gonna use your photographs. Judging a beauty competition, this one's winner here, this one's here. And so, which one actually wins the whole contest, isn't necessarily the winner of any one of those particular categories. Sometimes... I'll have a series of two-star images, and one of 'em will get rated to three-stars! It's not really a three-star image, but I just needed, you know, every group of idiots needs a leader, even if it's not a leader! And so, sometimes, I will have a two, or three-star image, that isn't really a two, or three-star image, but I needed a winner outta this group, because it's generally a good group, that I'm gonna make use of, in some way or another. Now, some common types of photography, and things that I'm looking for. So, landscapes, portrait, and sports, are some pretty popular categories. And so, in landscapes, I wanna make sure that I have sufficient depth of field, and that there's no notable distractions. And I'd prefer great light. I'll take good light, when I'll get it, but I'll take great light, even more. Portraits, I'm really looking for those eyes. Small, little gestures can be important. And anything, that seems kinda awkward, outta place, a collar turned up, or anything that just is gonna draw the attention of something that you don't want to be drawn attention to. With sports, there's usually peak moments, on almost all types of sports. Looking for the eyes, 'cause it's essentially an action portrait, in some ways. If you're shooting a sport, with a ball, it's really nice to have that ball in the frame, and that gets to be really hard on sports, like hockey, or baseball, where we're talkin' about a very small object. But, not having that object in the frame, that's just one of the other people runnin' around the field. But, when the ball's in frame, they're at the peak of action, and that can be really important. And it can be very hard to deal with, the background, 'cause you have very little control over the background, but you do have control over it, with the lens you choose, and where you choose to shoot. Alright. So, in this whole concept of what goes down, and what goes up, there's a lotta things, that we need to think about, and... Where it gets rated. And, in this case, you may need to develop the image a little bit, to figure out whether it's really worth it. And so, every once in a while, I will do something, that I know I'm not supposed to do. It's my time. I'll do whatever I want. But, you should go through, and just edit your images. And then, finish 'em, and then go start working on them. I can't help myself. I see an image. It's got potential. And I wanna bring it, and I bring it over, in to develop. Like, if we crop it like this, and we just add this, I know you can become a three-star image! Just need a little bit of help! And so, sometimes, I get excited, and I don't do things in order, that you're supposed to. There's no rules on this, but in theory, you should just edit quickly, and then go back, and develop. And there are a number of things, that we're gonna improve on, when we get into the develop section. But, that was kinda my ideas, on culling, and how to choose images, for deletion, and rating higher.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!


Dear John, thanks for this outstanding classes. You are not only a great photographer and instructor, but your classes are pleasant, they are not boring, with a good sense of humor, they go straight to the point and have a good time listening to you. Please, keep teaching what you like most, and I will continue to look for your classes. And thanks for using a plain English, that it's important for people who has another language as native language. Thanks again, Juan