Sorting photos

Larry Colen lrc at
Tue Jul 6 04:06:42 EDT 2010

On Jul 6, 2010, at 12:23 AM, Boris Liberman wrote:

> On 7/5/2010 10:09 PM, Larry Colen wrote:
>> While I wouldn't want software to rate the artistic merits of a
>> photo, software that would rate and sort photos by various technical
>> criteria (focus, sharpness, exposure, ...)  would save me a lot of
>> time in post processing.
> Larry, I am thinking two thinks :-).
> Think #1: you may be overly trigger happy if you feel like an automaton that will rid you of immediate duds will be helpful.

There is some truth to this.  If I'm shooting static scenes, in good light, I don't tend to take quite so many frames. If I'm shooting a static scene in challenging light, I'll bracket the hell out of it in 3 dimensions (ISO, shutter speed, AND aperture), partly to make sure that I get the shot, and partly in the hopes that I'll learn what works with that camera in that situation. 

I also tend to shoot a lot of action shots in light that is too low for the autofocus to work properly. In theory, I could use AF to prefocus, except that people are moving and my fast primes don't have quick shift focus, so I just leave it in manual focus. And I'm afraid that if it is dark enough that I can't see the split prism in the middle of my katzeye screen, I'm pretty crappy at manual focus.  I just did the first pass on my photos from tonight, and even in good light (ISO 6400 f/2  1/30 second) I'm afraid that my manual focus isn't as good as it should be.  It seems that the only thing worse than my manual focusing, is the camera's auto focus. If it actually manages to focus on something in time to get the shot, chances are that it's the wood grain in the floor rather than the dancers.

I also have problems with motion blur, when I'm too lazy, or it's too awkward to use the monopod. 

There is also the case that I'm not good enough to just click the shutter at exactly the right moment when people are dancing. I know when I'd do something cool if I was leading, but I don't always know what the person I'm photographing is going to improvise, so I shoot a lot of photos, because "this might be when something cool is happening". 

When I'm photographing people (portrait sessions and such) I just plain shoot a lot,  because I just can't tell when someone's smile will work well on camera.  I'd rather blow an extra $.25 worth of hard drive, than miss a shot.

> Think #2: without *knowing* what you wanted to depict, a software that checks technical criteria ought to fail miserably. Say, you made a portrait and the wrong eye is in focus and the right (as opposed to wrong, not left) eye is out of focus. How on Earth anyone but yourself can tell which is the eye to be in focus?

That's not the problem. I'm just crappy at focusing quickly on moving objects in low light. I'd be happy to have software that would flag the photos where nothing is in focus.

I don't know how it can look so sharp in the viewfinder and be so far out of focus on the sensor.

> But I think that my think #1 is more applicable in your case.

It probably is.  I try to make up for my lack of technical skill by taking lots of shots.

> No offense meant whatsoever.

None taken.

> Boris
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Larry Colen lrc at sent from i4est

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