Dear friend,

A practical tip to speed up your photography workflow: use the ‘thumbnail test’. Look at your photos as small thumbnails (contact sheets) to more quickly and efficiently choose your best photos!

What is your best photo?

This is the problem we face as photographers: we have too many photos to look through!

Our time is limited. How can we best effectively look through all our photos, and choose our best ones (the creme de la crop?)

If you need help selecting your best photos, upload them to arsbeta.com for real feedback.


Contact Sheets

Ever since the old-school photographers and the days of film, they looked at their photos as ‘contact sheets‘. This allowed them to quickly look through their photos, and after they decided which they would print — to see it “full-screen”.

Nowadays we are lucky– we got Lightroom and other image-editing software which makes this easy.

A simple tip: in Lightroom, look at your photos in a Grid (Gallery) view, with the hotkey “G”, and then make the sizes of your thumbnails (so you can see 3 in a row), and then press “L” twice (turning off the Lights), and then use your mouse to “P” (pick) photos you want to look at later for closer-inspection.

For more tips, download my FREE ERIC KIM Lightroom Classic CC Workflow PDF Visualization >


“Work the scene”

You never know when you will get a good photo, so when you see an interesting scene, make sure to “work the scene” — shoot LOTS of photos of the same scene, and afterwards when you go home, select your best photos on your computer!


The best photo might be the last photo you shoot

eric kim street photography contact sheet hanoi lake
Note the best photo was the last photo

Man in silhouette. Street photograph at Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, 2017 / ERIC KIM

For example, sometimes I will shoot a lot of photos of a scene and “work the scene”, and I don’t discover the best composition until the very end!

A simple principle to follow is the “25% rule“. When you think you got the shot– you don’t. Try to shoot 25% MORE of a scene than you think you can!

In the words of Henri Cartier-Bresson:

Sometimes you must milk the cow a lot to get a little bit of cheese.


Eric Kim CONTACTS

Some of my contact sheets

contact sheet
Photograph outlined in red, when the man looks over and notices me.” width=”1200″ height=”713″ /> Photograph outlined in red, when the man looks over and notices me.

Contact sheet for Cindy eyes, and trees in background. Lisbon, 2018
Contact sheet for Cindy eyes, and trees in background. Lisbon, 2018
Contact sheet: Walking woman, Lisbon 2018
Contact sheet: Walking woman, Lisbon 2018
Contact sheet. Man at night through glass. London, 2018
Contact sheet. Man at night through glass. London, 2018
Contact sheet 1, Boy with mother, marseille, 2017
Contact sheet 1, Boy with mother, marseille, 2017

CONTACT SHEETS

Don’t just take 1 photo of the scene: ‘Work the scene’!


Articles on Contact Sheets


LAUGHING LADY by Eric Kim Contact Sheets from MASTERS
LAUGHING LADY by Eric Kim Contact Sheet

If you’re curious more about how to “work the scene” in street photography, download my full-resolution contact sheets for your own self-education and learning with the links below:

DOWNLOAD

For your convenience, I have a selection of my contact sheets as a .ZIP file (very big at 2.5GB) available for you to download via Google Drive or Dropbox below:

All of these photos are open-source; meaning, feel free to print, distribute, remix, or share them with others.


Directory preview


Learn the importance of “working the scene”:

Which Photos Should I Keep or Ditch?

Contact Sheet Books:

Contact Sheet Articles:


Contact Sheets

0-contact cindy hat hanoi eric kim street photography hanoi-0002040 cindy project hat hanoi

 

(c) Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos. Contact sheet by Henri Cartier Bresson, from Magnum Contact Sheets
Robert Frank Elevator Girl Contact Sheet

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