Contact sheets in digital photography


Contact sheets are very important in
film photography They give us a glimpse of all the photos that we took in a roll and we can decide if they are worth printing or not but we don’t need such a thing with digital photography, or do we? Obviously, we can see what a digital photo looks like without having to print it but I want to argue that contact sheets can be very useful for digital photographers to share and to show their thought process or to learn from it This is my case, I like to shoot a lot, I’ve
talked about this before I do work the scene and I like to take multiple shots of the same subject from different angles or to vary just slightly the same composition I almost always delete all the frames but the one that I like the most in those cases, I like to make a contact sheet with all my shots and the one that I selected in the end I like to keep them around and I like to look at the ones that I made from a couple years ago to see how my workflow and my way of working in general in the fields has changed Let’s take a quick look at some of the contact sheets that I’ve made and then I’m going to show you, really quick, how to make one in Photoshop Alright, so this is the first one, this was a church in Austria As you can see, I started focusing on the tower from different angles Then I tried to capture the whole church from farther away, I try to include this tree until I found the angle that I really liked the most, with the mountains in the background I took a few shots with the church a little bit farther down, a little bit farther up until I found the frame that I really
liked, the one that I ended up choosing as the the good one that is this one Here, this is one of my favorite images to date, the one of the full moon in White Sands here you can tell how I approach this, I started with the 16-70mm zoom lens, it wasn’t long enough I wanted the moon bigger than that so here’s when I switched the lens to the 55-210mm so I was able to make the moon bigger in the frames as you can tell, I was playing with placing the moon lower and higher in the frame but I knew that I wanted but I knew that I wanted some dunes on the bottom and some space in between the moon and the top of the frame I finally found these 2 dunes I really liked the lines that they were creating here, but this one had a lot of details the same with this one, or this one, this one was a lot, I tried to remove those details from the dunes pointing the camera farther up but there were not enough dunes there I found the angle that I liked This is pretty much the same image, the same composition but this is a slightly
longer focal length the moon is bigger than here and also the moon is a little bit farther up I liked that other one day, this one that is marked here in red this is a very recent photo of a foggy road as you can see, I tried different things, different focal lengths, I tried to split the frame in different ways here, the bridge is slightly bigger, it has more importance in the frame than that one that I ended up choosing this one, it shows more of the curve of the road, so I like that one more This is another image, another recent image, from a different road as you can see, what I was playing with here was with the angle of the camera The first one is a little bit lower, at eye level I believe, the other ones are higher up I was holding the camera so it shows more of the line, it shows more of the road This angle gives the road a little bit more of importance, it makes it a bigger and also, what I was playing with here is if I wanted to show where this cliff ended or not, like here or just show a little bit, I ended up choosing this one, kind of hinting the end of the cliff another example: this Saguaro, in Arizona, this is the exact same composition, I didn’t move the camera It was a long exposure and I usually take a few long exposures, if I can because as you can see here, the clouds look completely different, I mean not completely different but they look different and I ended up liking the clouds here on the last frame the most and the last one, this is another example of another situation where I take a lot of photos of the same composition, because here the light was changing quite a lot, the subject was completely dark here, and
here it was completely lit by the light I was lucky enough to get a mix of both: the foreground was bright and the top of this needle was bright
as well, while the rest of it was dark I really liked the contrast in this photo so by now you might be interested in making your own contact sheets, I’m gonna show you really quickly how to do it in Photoshop for that, you go to “File ->Automate ->Contact Sheet II” here you just have to select a folder where you’re gonna want to have all your photos, the photos that you’re gonna use for that contact sheet just click open and just play with the settings that you have here you can stop this video and take a look at
the ones that I use just click on OK and Photoshop will take care of the rest, you’ll get the contact sheet in just a few seconds you can use Lightroom for this as well, or you could use a word processor like Google Docs or something like that it would be more a manual task, you’d have to drag the photos manually but you can do it, and I think it’s very useful to keep your images, the scene, how you worked that scene and to show that thought process, not only to other people but maybe to your future self This is what I wanted to share today, Thank you so much for watching again, and see you in the next one!

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