How I Cull Through Selects From a Game (When Covering For a Team)
When covering a game for a team, I always overshoot. In many cases this is the one or two games per year that they will budget for my coverage so I want to provide them with images of every player. I will easily have thousands of photos to cull through to choose my selects.
You all know I love PhotoMechanic. I hate to ever use the phrase "you're doing it wrong" because so much about photography is about what works for you, but I would say, if you are using any other platform to cull through you're selects, you are not being efficient with your time.
FIRST CULL: Quality of Images
In my first cull, I'm just generally looking for good images. Making sure they are in focus, a player/referee didn't block my view, eyes are open, or, especially in the case of covering for a team, are images of the team looking good. No communications/marketing department or parent is looking for a photo of their player's turnover.
Once I've culled it down to images that are remotely useable
I'll also do a quick crop on some images. For the most part, I'm using a long lens and cover action reasonably tight. I leave a little space for the designers to have some options, so I'm only cropping out distracting elements
I'll save with player's name in the filename (automated by the IDs I added to the metadata)
SECOND CULL: Curation of Images
In my second cull, with files sorted by name, it gives me a good sense of which players I have TONS of images of and could maybe cull down further, and which players I only have a few images of where I might keep images that aren't as strong, just to make sure I'm sending something of them. As I'm culling down the photos where I have multiple, I'm considering light, expression, and their body position. I want dynamic light, looking athletic, with an intensity in their eyes. I am also considering backgrounds and am especially a fan of choosing one, maybe two, from a sequence, unless it was a scoring play or otherwise particularly epic peak action.
RINSE and REPEAT
I don't have a set number of how many images I should have of each player. It depends on the game they played and what I was able to capture. But I may cull and cull again. Yes, content is king, but I don't want to look at what gets posted and think "why did they post that?!" In the end, I want to look at an overall of the gallery and feel like I'm submitting a very strong set that is great for their archive and that any given image, I'm proud to have my name attached to the byline.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you great about culling? Or do you just motor-drive and submit everything?
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