I dislike deleting photos I take, these days when I come back from a gig I have about 500 shots that I need to sort out, pick and then upload onto flickr. Now usually in gig environments you’ll discover that there’s a high ratio of crap shots and good shots purely because of crazy fans pushing you, random hands in the way, or the band moving too fast etc but once you throw all them out you have about 100-200 shots of nice shots.
Now what happens next? Do I upload them all? Now if all shots were unique then hell yeah, upload them all, but this is from one gig. A magazine doesn’t show millions of photos for one gig so neither should I. It’s only best to strip out all the similar but not as epic shots and only keep the epic ones. That means comparing them against one and another and SLOWLY killing the photos off. It usually takes hours to do and is a toughie when the photos are all sharp and presentable. I do have a few rules of deciding which photo goes through, usually judging on how interesting the lights are, and how dynamic the musician’s pose is. Once we’ve declared the winners, we start killing loads of photos that are simply “bad duplicates“.
Once all that is done, next thing is mining out rare gems. Sometimes you can take perfect shots and they require very little photoshopping or editing to make it good, but there are cases where you actually need to crop or “black and whitify” the photos in order to make the photo nicer, usually killing distractions or focusing into the musician, and sometimes these cropped or edited photos beat those natural ones. It’s more apparent with gig photography since you need to immediately focus people’s attention on the band so sometimes it’s important to get that kick and draw nailed.
So yeah, an example is this bad boy.
It’s a nice shot, but the background is quite distracting, it’s wide because when shooting, I wanted to shoot him and his foot on the pedal. But when it came on the screen, it wasn’t really that interesting, and when zooming in, I discover that the shot is pretty sharp so I was able to actually crop this and focus on just the top half of Matt, and here’s the end result.
You’ll notice that this photo has a better impact since it focuses on the subject more. The crowd is quite distracting but meh, they’ll stay for now haha. This crop was done a day after uploading the photos, I was slowly swotting down photos that people weren’t keen on looking at to keep the photo count down, but this one seemed like one of those “hmm, if i cropped it, perhaps it will look better”, and it really did. It’s definitely tough work post processing these bad boys, at the end of the day I tend to stick with about 20-30 photos (the amount you can take with the disposable camera usually) I broke the boundries with Muse but hey, it’s Royal Albert Hall :p.
So yeah, when sorting out photos, it’s a pain, but if you put the time and effort you’ll yield excellent results. I hope you all enjoyed the photos, thanks for commenting on them and all.