AI Photo Culling vs. Manual - Here's The Verdict

AI Photo Culling vs. Manual - Here's The Verdict

Culling is an important and necessary step for photographers. Anyone from beginners to amateurs, especially professionals who do photography for a living, needs to cull their photos, selecting images that they believe are the best out of the hundreds or even thousands they’ve taken. While taking a lot of photos and then manually culling them afterward is routine for most people, the rapid improvement of AI technology has provided photographers with a new option: AI Photo Culling.

How does this technology work? Is it reliable? Is it efficient? Is it better than manual culling? In this article, we’ll discuss and weigh out numerous standards in comparison for AI Photo Culling vs. Manual Culling.

why do we have to cull photos

Why Do We Have To Cull Photos?

No matter how large someone’s data storage is, it’s going to end up being full if you keep all the photos you take. This is the primary reason why culling is essential. Just like your room, you have to throw out the trash and all the unnecessary things you won’t be using to make sure it isn’t filled with junk.

Culling gets rid of duplicates. Most photos look identical at first glance, especially when taken in bursts. Still, they’re bound to have minor differences, that in the eye of professionals, can be the difference-maker between a good photo and a great photo. Even if they were taken milliseconds apart, differences in minor elements are bound to be present, especially if the photos aren’t taken in a controlled environment where many factors like lighting and subjects are prone to changes.

After culling your photographs and getting rid of photos with bad exposure, off-lighting, unintended blurs, and unfocused subjects, you’ll be left with the best of the bunch. This means that the photographs you’re left to work on are the best raw photos you’ve taken from the shoot and that they have the highest potential if you plan on editing them (which you should!).

Since it’s already a given that these photographs are the best you can work on, this means that you’ll be saving time on the most time-consuming part of your hobby or profession: editing. With all the junk photos out of the way, you’ll be able to focus on editing the best photographs taken from the session. This means that you’ll have more time to focus on these photos without rushing yourself, more time for yourself, or even more time to take more photographs.

The Pros and Cons of Manual Culling

Now that we’ve established that culling is indeed a necessary step for all photographers, it’s time to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of manual culling. While manual culling has been what photographers have been accustomed to, it doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect process and that there aren’t annoying things that come with it.

The first positive for manual culling for photographers is that its part of the process, and they’ll feel more in-tune with the art. Image culling often happens after a photoshoot in a studio or an event like a wedding or a birthday. They happen when the photographer gets home, grabs a cup of coffee for themselves, and plugs the memory card in their computer to start culling. It’s a process that most photographers are accustomed to and some find relaxing.

Only a handful of people would enjoy the grueling process of having to scan through hundreds and thousands of images that look very similar to each other and pick out the best ones in terms of lighting, focus, subjects, blurs, and overall beauty.

Even if they did enjoy it, they’re more prone to error than computers and AI that’s run by binary and commands that are consistent. Human error is possibly one of the biggest cons when it comes to manual culling, and it certainly stands as one of the most convincing reasons for people to move on to AI culling.

No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Even an excellently trained professional is bound to make a mistake sometimes. This is more likely to happen when someone is staring at a screen for hours, manually scrolling through images, and looking for minor details and barely noticeable mistakes.

To even make things worse, this is more strainful to a person’s eyes in software like Lightroom, which is arguably the most important tool of a photographer. This, in turn, results in the opposite of the goal of culling, which is to increase the quality of the images you have while giving you more time to work on more important things like editing.

The Pros and Cons of AI Photo Culling

Some people are afraid that they’d end up losing all their images if something goes wrong in the program or software that utilizes AI Photo Culling. This isn’t a threat that’s exclusive for AI Photo Culling programs. The problem still exists for even the simplest of processes that involve your image’s data, as they’re still open to things like getting corrupted. AI Photo Culling, especially services like FilterPixel, allows you to keep that same level of control while making things easier for you.

It’s also important to note that an AI Photo Culling software can’t delete all your images, and even if it did, that would only be because you’ve allowed it to. For software that deals with important data like this, there are safety nets that ensure that the data won’t be lost without reason.

Moving on to AI Photo Culling’s advantages, aside from getting rid of all the negatives that manual culling brings, like stress, time consumption, and human error, its primary advantage is the automated system that’s as consistent as it can get. FilterPixel fixes most of the flaws present in manual culling by using advanced AI algorithms that are constantly improving while objectively being able to do a better job than what a photographer can, considering that it can go through the same amount of images a photographer culls in hours within just minutes.

An AI Photo Culling software is faster, smarter, easier, and more convenient. The AI Culling Software is your best friend that saves you time. Most software like FilterPixel will ask you to import your raw images and storing the converted jpegs on your machine which kills your storage. FilterPixel will generate previews in real-time without creating any junk on your hard drive.

Conclusion

Just as how film cameras are now a thing of the past and only a handful of people are using them, manual culling will likely be a rarity in the future because of how convenient and easy it is to use software that automates a process that would usually take hours to do.

Using AI-based software like FilterPixel will ensure that you’ll be able to weed out bad photos based on objective criteria and will give you more time to work on other things.

Want to save your photo editing time?

Hey, I'm Aayush Arora, founder of FilterPixel. FilterPixel has saved 10k hours for photographers around the globe. My only question is, how many it will be able to save for you?

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