Let’s face it. We all do our best to capture compelling photographs, and sometimes it’s difficult to be objective about the results. In fact, one of the challenging aspects of our craft is determining whether a photograph is worth editing or if it should be trashed.
Keeping in mind that Photoshop can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, you’ll see how one pro determines if an image is a keeper or not. Follow his simple advice and you’ll stop wasting time on futile reclamation efforts.
British travel and Nature photographer James Popsys has been around long enough to examine his work with a critical eye. He explains his ruthless evaluation process using images he shot while hiking up Mt. Snowdon in Snowdonia, Wales.
In reviewing his images, Popsys begins by asking himself if the shot would look good in black and white. That’s because, in his view, “Every single good photo could work in color or back and white.” In essence, if you strip all color from an image it should still be engaging.
Popsys demonstrates the power of having a compelling subject, noting that you can’t edit a boring image into a good one no matter how hard you try. He also discusses the importance of the color green in landscape photos, and how different values of green can accentuate a variety of emotions, from space, warmth, solitude, comfort, loneliness and more.
While watching the video to see Popsys’ other criteria for good images, you’ll pick up valuable advice on composition, filter use, and lens choice. He also provides a few editing tips to make the keepers even better.
After watching this episode, take a look at Popsys’ YouTube channel where you’ll find more great tips. Then check out another story we posted, explaining how to make eye-popping images using a few simple tricks.