Why you should stop culling photos manually

One of the biggest headaches for photographers is to select the final photos from the sea of hundreds of photos saved in their camera cards after a photo shoot. The process of diving into this sea and choosing the best ones is called Culling.

If you look back to your most recent photo session, you must have clicked a lot of “just in case images”. Although taking several photos of a single moment is recommended, it can feel like a burden while post-processing.

Culling of the photos is a very effective yet complicated procedure. It is the initial and most important step of post-processing. Let’s discuss why culling is so important and what problems photographers usually face while culling manually.

Why we need to cull:

As mentioned above culling is the most important step of the photo editing procedure. The following are a few reasons that show what makes it essential.

Get rid of duplicates:

When shooting a portrait session, getting a handful of very similar or duplicated photos is very common. Most of the photos look almost identical, but there can be minor elements that make one photo better from the other similar ones.

In order to get rid of and not to be stuck with all those similar-looking pictures, we chose only the best ones from each set. We do not need to edit or deliver all the images from every set.

Finalizes the best shots:

All those photos with bad exposure, dull lighting, and unfocused subjects, now is the time to get rid of them. You will always have these kinds of photos in your photoshoot. Most of such photos are test shoots and they do not need to be considered while editing.

Saves time while editing:

Post-processing can be quite time-consuming. Culling the photos before starting will save a lot of time. After all the unnecessary photos are removed from the list, now you can focus on editing the best photos from the session.

If the duplicates or the low-quality photos were still there, it would be a pain editing and deciding whether to keep it or delete it, one by one.

Keeps the photos managed:

If you work with clients regularly, then you must keep all of your work managed. While culling makes separate photos for different types of photos.

This will help whenever you have to go back to the old photos.

Disadvantages of manual culling

Now, it must be remembered that culling possesses no direct disadvantage or even a problem to the editing process or even the quality of the images. However, some slight annoyances occur during culling, especially, manually culling.

Time Consumption while Culling Manually

The major thing that most photographers are concerned about when they are manually culling the photos is the time required to do so.

No matter the kind of photography you are into after the shoot is done you will move on to the next process, culling. And we do not emphasize when saying that it takes a lot of time that you would rather be glad to spend on photography or even planning your next shoot.

If you are planning to get into professional photography, you will have to be prepared not only for the thrill of the actual shoot but also for several mundane hours of sitting in your study for manually culling the photos.

Manually checking for the focused photos:

The main chunk of all the time spent on culling usually happens when you are checking for the properly focused photos. Culling, undoubtedly, is a necessary process that is why no photographer would want to include photos that are out of focus in the process.

That is why during manual culling, you have to sit and check every single photo. This is essential for maintaining the quality of the work. After that, you have to get to the other elements, which also consumes a lot of your precious time.

Looking out for minor mistakes:

If you are a landscape or even architectural photographer, you would not have to deal with this step for a long period of time. However, this step is the bane of wedding photographers.

Not only do they check that the focus is on the intended subjects but they have to manually go through each photo and check if every single person in that photo has their eyes open.

Not only just that, they spend a large amount of time zooming in and out of the images to even ensure that the people in those images are looking the right way, their poses look good and also, to get the best product they also need to check minor elements like red eyes.

We understand that this might sound very mundane to someone just thinking of starting wedding photography, this is because it really is mundane. However, we cannot deny the fact that no matter how dull and boring it might seem, it is an essential process.

You cannot become a great photographer unless your culling process is perfect.

Chance of human error:

Even if you are spending hours opening every photo, checking all the minor details, there still can be a chance of mistakes. During manual work, there is always the chance of human error and that’s a fact.

Like we said above, you can call culling a necessary evil. It substantially increases the quality of your images but at the cost of your time. That is why you must be prepared for this.

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Automatic culling with AI

Culling is essential and cannot be skipped, and as discussed earlier, manual culling is not reliable. So what if the culling process could be automated.

AI has revolutionized post-processing in photography. Different software are using advanced AI algorithms to improve the editing workflow for photographers. AI assistance for the most challenging part of post-processing i.e. culling can be something that can help a lot in increasing productivity.

FilterPixel is the answer to this problem. It does culling for you by using advanced and complicated AI algorithms, while you can sit back and brainstorm the creative ways to edit your photos. It will detect all the minor problems such as closed eyes, blurred subjects, exposure problems, etc.

In comparison, if you are culling manually, these minor issues can take forever to detect and can be a real pain.

Conclusion:

Culling is an extremely essential part of post-processing. It greatly reduces the load by selecting only those photos which are actually perfect to be edited from a ton of photos.

While culling we also need to look for minor elements that are different in similar-looking photos to choose the best one.

However, this can be very exhausting and time-consuming. Fiterpixel is an AI-based software that will intelligently weed out the bad photos based on these elements, making the workflow more productive than ever.

References: https://fstoppers.com/education/beginners-guide-culling-and-why-we-do-it-89324

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