Sorting through and editing images while traveling, in order to create blog posts, is a fast, furious and often “messy” process, given the fact that there’s such limited time to work with. From my days working as a stringer for newspapers in Southern California, I’ve learned to be somewhat “brutal” in my selection of photos for blog posts. This brutality speeds up the editing process but leaves some fairly decent images “on the cutting room floor”.
Years ago, while cutting my teeth as freelance newspaper photographer, I recall coming back to the newsroom with dozens of what I thought were good images, only to have them sliced and diced by the editor. Humbling and painful as it was to see my hard earned images reduced to one or two, it did help me realize my mistakes and pushed me to improve my craft. Now as I self edit, I attempt to undertake the task of editing my photos, just as most newspapers photo editors do, with a no-holds barred approach.
So, here’s a simplified version of my editing process….my first pass on a day’s worth of images, is always aimed at eliminating any and all photos that have technical errors or elements that make them “less than perfect”, I’ll call this, “taking out the trash”.
My second pass is to find the strongest images, ones, similar to the photo that might make the front page of a newspaper. These “winners” need little or no explanation to be understood or appreciated and can stand alone in their ability to “tell the story” and they are impactful enough that a viewer will stop and look.
Once I have selected my lead image for the day’s post, my third pass is to identify “supporting images”. These are images that help tell the story but perhaps don’t have the strength or visual impact to stand alone.
From these three steps, a blog post is created and uploaded. Then, later when I have an opportunity, I take some time to go back and look through what ended up on the “cutting room floor”. During this reevaluation, I often find images that are useful for multi-page spreads, or alongside text and other photos, that as a body of work, can be enjoyed and appreciated.
So, here’s a selection of images that ended up on the cutting room floor over the last few months, some were shot in Cambodia, others in Myanmar. None of these images made the first, second or third cut, but in my opinion they are worth keeping.