The biggest problem in photography now: we have TOO MANY photos to look through. We are overwhelmed with our pictures, and we have no idea which of our photos are the best — and we’re uncertain which photos we should share/publish.
Shooting more pictures is good — but how do we choose our best pictures?
First of all, I think it is GOOD that we are shooting lots of pictures nowadays. Why?
To me, the more we shoot, the more we appreciate being alive!
My biggest inspiration in photography is my mom. She takes photos of literally everything. And thank God for Google Photos; all her photos are sync’d in the cloud, and she doesn’t ever need to worry about running out of space.
Anyways, photography is great because it helps us express gratitude for being alive. For me, a camera is like having another appendage– it helps us better SEE more beauty and joy around ourselves.
But this is the tricky thing — how can we keep shooting a lot of photos, but not feel overwhelmed with all the photos we must look through afterwards?
Finding a needle in a haystack
For example, my mom will go backpacking through Europe for a month– and literally take around 10,000 pictures on her phone. Now this is the problem:
Ain’t nobody got time to look through 10,000 pictures.
Google Photos has done a great job of adding the ‘star’ function, to better filter our photos. But still — we have TOO many photos to look through!
So what is the solution?
ARSBETA.COM is my startup to solve this problem. To start, it simplifies the process of image-editing (image-selection) to the simple binary:
Keep or ditch.
But this is the problem: most of us don’t know which photos to keep or ditch.
This is why ARSBETA.COM is great — you can upload your photos to the platform and get real feedback from other photographers, whether you should ‘keep’ or ‘ditch’ the photo.
But still the problem with ARS is this:
You still must trudge through thousands of photos, to decide which few photos to share.
ARS BETA VERSION III
Skipping ahead, I hope that one day we can integrate AI (artificial intelligence) to ARS BETA (perhaps a version 3).
Currently my friend Kevin (CTO for ARS) is building our a critique function for ARS. It should be available in about a month.
But looking ahead– I want us to figure out how we can integrate AI to help us cull down our thousands of photos.
Imagine if you had an app on your phone or laptop that you can feed a bunch of photos (let’s say 10,000 pictures). Then you can adjust how many photos it will give back to you.
For example, let’s say I went to Saigon for a month, and took 10,000 photos. I could then put my photos in ARS BETA and the AI will automatically tell me:
ERIC, I think these are your best 5 photos from your entire trip.
And the additional function would be this: you can adjust how many photos ARS will give you back.
For example, let’s say you feed it 10,000 photos — you can have it choose what the AI thinks is your best 1 photo, best 5 photos, or perhaps best 100 photos.
I obviously have no idea how to do this (yet), but it is something I am still brain-storming.
Practical tips (for now):
- Study contact sheets from the masters of the past, to better understand how other great artists chose their best pictures. MAGNUM CONTACT SHEETS is a great book, or you can look at my own contact sheets.
- Curating your photos means keeping the photos you ‘care‘ about. Which photos do you really care for?
- When in doubt, throw it out.