4 Ways to Handle the Mess of Taking Too Many Pictures
Now that summertime has unofficially begun, I’d like to share a little warning… Don’t fall for what I call the “Quadrotriticale Paradox.”
Remember that “Star Trek” episode titled “The Trouble with Tribbles” where those cute furballs found their way into a poisoned storage bin of quadrotriticale? All of the tribbles had a big feast, but many ended up starving after eating the poisoned grain.
What does this have to do with all of those summer photos you’re going to be taking…? If you’re snapping hundreds of pictures, your family and friends may still feel like they’re starving to receive a few images that show what you’ve been up to.
What’s the Plan?
We all want to share our best summer moments, but the “Quadrotriticale Paradox” can get in the way. The truth is the more pictures your take, the lower the odds you’ll actually find the time to go through, organize and share your top photos.
Short of taking fewer pictures…
The best way to reverse the effects of the paradox is have a good plan on how to unlock and release your photographic treasures.
Here are four ways that help me get the job done…
Rate Your Photos to Find the Gems
There is no magic bullet. You have to review each photo.
(I prefer using the larger real estate of a computer screen vs. a smartphone or tablet.)
Use the 1-5 numbering system.
(Both Adobe Lightroom and Apple’s Photos allow you to do this.)
Here are my rating rules-
- Total failure. Give it an immediate appointment with the trash bin.
- Really bad photo. Trash it unless it’s the only shot of something special.
- Just okay. Decide whether to trash it another time.
- Good photo, but there’s a better version of it
- The better version or simply a great picture
Then, organize your photo album to display in descending order based on the rating numbers.
Give your 2’s another look and see if any of them should be a 3.
Then move the 1’s and 2’s into the trash, and DELETE!
Your worst photos are now gone forever.
Now it’s time to focus on the pictures you want to show off.
And those are your 5’s.
Share Your Photos Quickly
I know I’ve said it before, but it’s always worth repeating…
Your family photos have an expiration date! Nobody is really interested in last month’s photo. Last week is already yesterday’s news. Yesterday’s pics are okay, but today’s photos are even better.
So, you don’t have a lot of time before your amazing photos are old news.
If you want to tweak your best pics before sharing, that’s fine, but don’t let that delay your process. You can always take the time to crop and adjust the colors and brightness when building your archival photo albums.
One is Better than None
Sometimes, when time is really working against you, you’ve won’t have the luxury of evaluating and rating your photos.
Instead, just ask yourself this question…
“Which one or two pictures tell the story?”
You’ll need to rely on your instincts here, because remember… you won’t have the time to go back through all of your photos.
If you start practicing this technique regularly, you’ll begin to recognize ‘the shot’ when you take it.
Then, you’ll be able to quickly find it again and share it with your world.
Don’t Fall Behind!
After the firestorm of immediacy subsides, you may return to your more organized process.
But there’s never really more time to handle yesterday’s photos, because tomorrow’s are just around the corner.
And if you fall behind and develop a backlog of pictures to review… you may never get to them.
You’ll find yourself sitting on thousands of photos from months and years past that nobody else ever had the chance to enjoy.
It’s Time to Deal with the Mess
The reality is we’re all faced with the likelihood of having to manage thousands more pictures in the years to come.
The Quadrotriticale Paradox is a beast that needs to be kept under control.
Now go tame your photographic jungle and hunt down your best pictures to share. And if you come across a wild tribble or discover a way to stretch the fabric of time, please let me know!