With the quality of cameras getting better each day, the habit of clicking photographs is nothing short of an obsession.
But have you ever wondered how many photos, both raw and refined, exist out there?
How are they organized? What’s the best way to organize them?
Well, if you know about ‘culling’, you probably know that it’s the best process to deliver more in less, once you master it. However, it’s the most overlooked skill as well.
So dear photographers, pause. Just pause for a moment and learn the art of culling, if you haven’t already. After all, it should be the most developed skill in you.
Having explored the photography world a bit now, I discovered that culling is the most powerful tool we photographers can ever have.
The below three points would give you an insight into why we need to cull:
- Dr. Suess says, “The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Similarly, if you are giving 100s of photos to your clients, it would be difficult for them to choose the good ones and share them.
Remember, YOU are the professional. So, learn to select the best and dump the worst.
- If you have heard the phrase, “good is the enemy of great”, you would want to weed out 25 great clicks out of 150 good clicks. As such, your great photos won’t get lost and you can tweak your final collection for the client.
- Once culling is done, editing has to give the final touch to your collection. However, culling cut down a lot on the photo editing time and thus, it’s an easy task now.
Culling is, therefore, a badass process that every photo-organizing software ought to have.
Below are the top 6 software that can be considered for culling:
- ACDSee – Photo Studio Ultimate 2019: ACDSee Ultimate is an industry-class photo culling software, mainly designed to view, edit and organize images.
- FastStone Image Viewer: FastStone Image Viewer is a popular image browser, image converter (from one format to another) and photo editor.
- BreezeBrowser Pro: BreezeBrowser Pro is a versatile image browser, viewer, editor, and manipulator. It is one of the most employed tools for isolating (and editing) standard images in the midst of low-quality ones.
- Photo Mechanic: Photo Mechanic is a prominent image viewer, browser and manager.
- FastRawViewer: FastRawViewer is a special purpose RAW file viewer and manager, specially designed for culling RAW images from digital cameras and fine-tuning them on PCs.
- jMedia: jMedia is a flexible software that helps users to quickly find, tag and share media with friends and family. It also transfers videos, photos, and documents from one device to another proving its versatility.
|NAME OF THE SOFTWARE||DESIGNED FOR||SPECIAL FEATURES||SUPPORTS||COST|
|ACDSee||Windows OS, macOS, and iOS.||The software offers a 1:1 Raw file editing, which makes it ideal for fine-tuning photographs taken by digital cameras, any quality loss.||Almost all known digital camera brands.||At a discount price of $99.95|
|FastStone Image Viewer||Windows OS.||Hosts a highly intuitive user interface, which is a subtle imitation of Windows Explorer’s UI. It is optimized to cull and sort images with unparalleled speed.||All known digital camera brands.||Available for free, albeit for personal and educational uses. For commercial or business purposes, a commercial license, which is offered at $34.95 (lifetime license), is required.|
|BreezeBrowser Pro||Exclusively for Microsoft Windows PC, with support for Windows 7/8/8.1/10.||It is specially designed to speed up the workflow of professional creative artists or photographers.||All known digital camera brands.||Offered at a starting price of $95.00.|
|Photo Mechanic||Windows OS and macOS.||It’s widely used by professional photographers to create top-quality pictures. It saves your quality man-hour from manual image organization and management.||Almost all known digital camera brands.||It’s the latest edition – Version 5- is available at a fixed price of $150.|
|FastRawViewer||Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and macOS.||It previews raw images in their original RAW formats.||More than 1000 different types of digital cameras.||It’s available at a license fee of $19.99.|
|jMedia||Windows OS, macOS, and iOS.||It’s known for its flawless performance. It can handle millions of photos and videos.||All known digital camera brands.||FREE|
If you are a professional photographer, you won’t mind investing a few pennies on any of these softwares to deliver high-quality work in less time. After all, these softwares are known for being worth every penny. But would you like to try a software, somewhere more flexible than others, for FREE?!
Well, I am talking about jMedia.Though it was an unsure decision for me at first, I thought of giving it a try.
And here’s why jMedia became the love-at-first-sight for me:
1. Faster Import Time
There’s a huge collection of photographs existing in the world. Besides, a large chunk of these resides with professional photographers (duh!). Since they have thousands of shots to be first culled, then edited, and then delivered, importing them all can be an awfully slow process.
Meanwhile, scrawling down with some personal experiences: “jMedia imports all your bunches of photos effortlessly and in no time. In fact, don’t worry even if you have millions of photographs and shots with large sizes, your shots will be imported in a flash.”
2. No Load Time!
On days when you are dumped under lots of work, can you imagine how irritating it would be to see your photographs taking time to load?
Honestly, for me, it’s like ants pinching me all around. (that’s funny! I know)
But the best thing is, jMedia plays a perfect role here. On most of the other softwares when you are going through your RAW images, there’s a one-second delay (or longer if you’re using a slower computer). This is because they are trying to process the RAW image.
However, when you click through the images on jMedia, there’s no delay at all! You can easily fly through the images quickly, select the best ones and edit them. This saves HOURS of your hard work and, no doubt gives a feeling of accomplishment!
3. Culling — makes it all the more easy
a. Weed out duplicates
When shooting a pose, it’s very common to have a handful of images that look almost the same. Now, if you sit to find the duplicates and then editing the best one, it literally seems impractical.
And, this is where culling comes into action. We don’t actually need to edit or deliver all the images from every set. Instead, we select only the best images, or even a single image to be edited from each set of duplicates.
So, for culling to weed out the duplicates, I tried jMedia that gave me two options: sorting by image-size or sorting by clicking-date. This, in turn, gave me flexibility in spotting twin-images.
Moreover, you can try out the ‘collections’ option as well where you get to see all your shots together making it easy to find duplicates.
These features made me fall in love with jMedia.
b. Remove bad shots
You are always going to have some bad images that don’t need to be given a second look. It can be because of the bad facial expressions, blinking, or even due to those poses, you thought would work but didn’t really.
Anyway, removing them is important!
Earlier it used to be a challenging task for me; however, once I started using jMedia, removing bad shots became a super-duper easy task!
After getting my collection free from duplicates and bad shots, I love doing flagging. For this system, I assign a flag to each image. Every image starts off as “un-flagged” and as I go through the images, I select my favorites ones.
I add my favorites to the “favorites-list”. For this, all I have to do is just click on to the star icon and lo, your image is added to the favorites-list.
This process is good if you are just looking to select images to edit and also if you want to physically delete the bad “rejected” images.
For making things a bit easier, I prefer going with this process.
d. Adding comments
At last, I separate my images for different purposes. Like, there are some images that are good for my blogging site, a few are good for my social media profiles while the others are too good to be used in portfolios.
jMedia made this task a lot easier for me once again. I simply choose an image and add comments to it. Later on, when I click on the images, I can see my added comments.
While starting as a newbie in the photography world, I was rather confused between whether to invest in some high-rated culling softwares or to start off with a new but free and all-rounder software. I decided to begin my journey with jMedia and today when I look back, I don’t regret my decision.
jMedia is, indeed, worth your time and energy and I am happy to have chosen it as my constant culling companion 🙂