How to select your best photo from the bulk

Back, in film days it was easy. You took a film with 20,24 or 36 shots on your trip and gave it to the lab after coming back home. Or, depending on your destination, you even were able to find a lab in your trip location. A few days later you got your developed film and a bunch of prints, depending on your type of film and the selected service. But, this was quite expensive. 1 film containing 36 shots with development and prints was as expensive as a todays 32 GB SD-Card from a medium quality brand (or a 128 GB SD card, when including inflation considerations).

But, what can I do with a 32 GB SD card compared to the 36 shots on film? Do you remember my post on jpg vs. raw? Assuming, one photo needs 25 MB storage, I’d be able to take about 1.300 photos with only one card.

While I’ve chosen my frames very carefully to avoid bad shots when I was photographing on film, I now often waste room by taking additional shots for different angles, take safety shots in tricky situations or when standing on wobbling ground. Or I try different settings, or taking redundant shots from similar plants / flowers / landscapes / posings  … – you name it. This results in a full memory card with lots of photos to be checked.

In my last post on this I mentioned the star system, for marking bad shots with a waste-bin, good shots with 1 star. Next filter all shots and select those with 1 star and mark the best of these with 2 stars. Repeat this until 5 stars are given to your best shots from that trip or shooting. This is a good workflow for finding the best shots, but it won’t help to find and compare similar photos taken in different places or on different trips or on different times. Here you’re on your own – up to now.

Maybe you’re stumbled upon Google’s image search, where you can put an image in the box designed to put the search term into and Google will show similar images from the web.

You can have this on you own computer, too. How? With the new app “snapselect” by MacPhun.

At the first start the app asks you for your images folder. Next, all images in this folder and all other folders below this starting point are read and indexed. For my image folder containing about 10,000 images this step lasted about 30 minutes or so. It creates a folder inside your home directory (Library/Application Support/com.macphun.snapselect_1.0.0) to store small pieces of data for each of the scanned images. In my case this folder needed about 1,1 GB of my hard disk space. But, this is necessary to do the magic: comparing the images and show similar images from all over your image folder, regardless when and where you took that image. Instead of this, it can also use your Lightroom, iPhoto or Aperture catalog. But, I haven’t tested one of these, because I don’t use any of them.

Imagine: you can select one photo of a red rose, adjust the accuracy slider and see every red rose on your disk. The accuracy slider is to define how much the equality of the images should be – or, in other words, how similar the selected images are supposed to be.

screenshot1Now, you can choose i.e. the best photo for a competition or select the photos to keep or keeping only the best photos on your disk or whatever else you want to reach. In my screen shot above* I selected a folder containing some RAW files containing birds of prey taken at the fall festival in Middelkerke (Belgium) last year. You can see how snapselect grouped the photos showing similar birds and in similar poses. This is really a fantastic help when it comes to select photos.

This is one of the fantastic features of the new snapselect. Go and get your own trial and check it out! You can get it from your Mac App store.

Take care!

* (click on the image to see it bigger)

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11 thoughts on “How to select your best photo from the bulk

  1. I appreciate your work on this timesaving matter very much and thank you for this very helpful advice and tips!

  2. Thanks this really looks interesting and I am going to delve into it more on the next weekend I have free. Appreciate our post 🙂

  3. Pingback: 2016 – A review in images | MyBlog - solaner

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