When you’re editing your work, you choose one photo over the other. The reasons vary as to why you picked Photo A over Photo B. But because as you gain experience in both shooting and editing, you have a tougher time choosing what you believe is the best photo.
During an edit for my Photo of the Week section in my portfolio, I came across a such a dilemma. I had to choose one photo over the other. Both photos I like equally well.
Being as I am my own worst critic, it was quite useful to nit pick over the flaws of each photo. But the reality is, when you’re working a deadline at a newspaper, you just have to choose one over the other according to the needs of the story.
Then when you go over your photos and in not such a big hurry, you wonder why you didn’t pick a certain photo. Editor’s remorse you can call it.
This week, I spent a few hours with the Street Photographers of Seattle group and went out to the Seattle Center. It was a fun time. I ran across a man in a wheelchair feeding the seagulls.
Most of the participants shot him from the side. From experience, I knew the better photos would be from the front. Frame the man surrounded by the birds.
As a result, I captured a few good moments. Some are tight on just him and the others had the Space Needle in the background.
So I began the comparison of the two photos.
Photo A: Nice moment with a good expression and some bread in the air. It has good focus and depth of field. It fills the frame. But, the horizon is crooked, the bags kind of irritate me, and his head is too close to the top of the frame. Also, you can’t really tell where he’s feeding the gulls.
Photo B: A good moment with the gulls in the air, he’s looking up, bread in the air, a gull appears to have its wings wrapped around the Space Needle, and a nice sense of place with the Space Needle clearly visible. However, the dead space in the upper right is boring, the photo is a touch dark, and I find some of the background distracting.
Both photos have strong merits that outweigh the drawbacks. However, this made the editing worse. It made it tougher to choose.
So I considered the use. This didn’t help. They’re for my website.
The one factor I needed to consider in choosing the photo was personal choice. I like the tighter frame where you can see his face more clear. And this was the deciding factor.
For me, photos should draw you in and garner a reaction. They should make you think, create an emotion, keep you engaged. But again, that’s all a personal reaction by the viewer and each brings in their own experiences. This is why everyone has different tastes in photographs.
In the end I just chose the photo that I like best- Photo A. And that is what editing in photography boils down to: personal choice.