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From "good" to "great" to "that's what I'm talking about"

When I recently bought my Canon EOS 7D, I was thrilled with the 8 frames per second continuous shooting mode that I was taking so many shots of the same subject, and sometimes in the same angle just because I have read somewhere that digital photography permits that and why not taking many photos and choose later the best one. But, since then and every time I got back to my Lightroom import process, I noticed that I was spending more time behind the computer rather than shooting or spending time with the family. To tell you the truth, being an enthusiast at this stage and not a pro, I was wondering why the heck I am doing this. Plus I am a RAW shooter, so every photo needs time to be converted into Adobe DNG and then processed individually. The process of reviewing your photos alone without editing was becoming overwhelming even with Lightroom easy shortcuts that make it seem seamless ("p" for picked and "X" for rejected photos).

Then I asked myself the question: if I were a wedding photographer, would I want the bride to choose from 20 shots of the same pose? Definitely no! I need to provide the couple with the best of the best, with unique and creative pictures.

So here's my tip to you (whether pro, enthusiast, or novice): If you have taken 100 photos, chances are that maybe 50 will be "picked" by you when you review them on your computer. Of those 50, maybe 25 are really good. Put yourself in the shoes of your client, your critics, your family and friends and try to examine the picture using their eyes! Then keep cutting your numbers in half as you move from “really good” to "really great" to "THAT’S what I’m talking about!” You know; that monkeying thing every photographer is familiar with? No?… I mean when you see a winner shot you start “hoo hoo hoo” making sounds like a joyful monkey!

If you are to upload those pictures to 500px of Flickr would you upload the same sunset shot from all angles? No... Present only your best of the best. Think like a photography contest judge and not like a photographer.

When done with the above; criticize yourself and the result. I promise you will get better at selecting the cream of the cream. When you do that, the next challenge becomes mentally criticizing yourself before you even push that shutter down. So slow down and try it a few times. Don’t worry you will know in the camera viewfinder when you have captured a winner!