Culling similar images after a photoshoot: the rule of 8

Introduction

Culling the images is a tedious task that is needed after each photo shoot. It is however extremely important. So, there is both the need to fasten it and to improve it. Therefore, over the last few years, several software has been developed to bring this kind of value to their user. Let’s discuss today how Futura Photo, which is one of them, want to help you culling specifically the similar images.

 

Burst images versus similar ones

When the photographer is using the burst feature of one of his/her camera, there is few reasons to believe only 1 image should be post-processed. The other should be discarded or archived. But in the other cases, where the photographer is taking several shots of a similar context, it can be difficult to clearly define any rule to support the methodology of culling this series of similar images. There can be several good pictures, similar but interesting, that the photographer wants to keep for the next steps of the workflow. And the number of images in this series is highly variable from 2 (you need at least 2 images to create a series, right?) to… as many as needed – it could be over a few dozens.

 
Burst images: Can't stop shooting the (almost) same image of my cute baby boy. Does it sound familiar ? Burst images, only 1 or 2 are needed...
Similar images: a four seasons photo shoot. I need only 4 actually. Maybe 5 or 6 with the night shots. The rule of 8 can certainly be applied here.

The rule of 8

It is a common rule to believe that only 20% of images worth being post-processed, 80% can be discarded or archived. This ratio is arguable and can even be significantly higher but that’s not the point of this article. Therefore, it is very interesting to display images by group of typically 10 images. This way will let the software display large thumbnails and 10 images is OK for a human being to “process”. I mean, the photographer with just a little bit of experience can decide almost instantly from this group of 10 which one is the best. And sometimes, it will be 2 of them, hence the same ratio of 20%. However, most of the screens are now with a ratio of 16:9 and most of the cameras are shooting 3:2. So, showing 10 images is not efficient. It means “too small thumbnails” compare with the size of a 16:9 screen. But if you just reduce this number by a little bit, 8, you come to a good ratio, kind of nice compromise. That’s why there are (almost) always 8 images maximum in Futura photo after having grouped similar images altogether.

Future Photo can group together up to 8 similar images to let the user only choose the best shot from the group of 2 to 8 similar shots.

Disclaimer: I am the founder of Camera Futura, the company behind Futura Photo.