Easy way to select keepers from exposure bracketed photos on Mac?
September 25, 2010 8:58 AM   Subscribe

I often use exposure bracketing with my Panasonic DMC-FX01. But now I have a problem, a huge chunk of my iPhoto library is taken up by trios of the same shot only one of which is actually needed for my archive. Is there some easy way to review bracketed sets and select one while deleting the rest?
posted by pasd to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
3 ways to do this follow.

#1: You can do this straight from Windows File Explorer.

Choose View / Thumbnail.

Set for "Folders" view, so you can see the directory tree to the left of the thumbnails pane. Create a new directory, "SAVED", in the parent directory of your photos folder (that is, directory PARENT now contains at least two subdirectories, PHOTOS and SAVED).

Adjust the width of the Explorer window to allow three thumbnails across. Make the height full-screen.

Using Ctrl+Click, select the undesirably dark or bright pictures. Select as many as you want, taking note of how many trios you go through. If the pictures are sequentially numbered, this won't be a problem - the file names will help separate the saved versions from the "as-yet-unselected" trios.

Delete the selected, undesirable pictures to the Recycling Bin. Don't Shift-Del, which permanently deletes, in case you make a mistake.

Shift-select all of the saved (undeleted) photos from the trios you've gone through so far, and move them to the SAVED folder. Now, the remaining trios should line up, left-to-right, as trios again in the thumbnails pane. Alternatively, you can make sure you filter trios 3 at a time: when you delete 6 photos from 3 consecutive trios, for instance, 3 saved photos will remain, and the unfiltered trios will line up properly below them.

This is a lot harder to explain than to do.

#2: Same process, but use a file explorer (like xplorer2) that allows you to customize thumbnail size.

That way, you can have the thumbnails as large as you please, up to ~1/3 your screen size (minus spacing, of course), for ease in screening.

Not shilling for xplorer2 specifically, except that I use & am mostly happy with it, and the simplest version is free.

#3: Download the free image viewer, IrfanView, and use its thumbnail viewer (hotkey: T) to do the same idea.

IrfanView allows you to set the thumbnail size, of course.

I am actually shilling for IrfanView. It's so freaking awesome, I install it on every noob's computer I fix, in my role as "that computer expert friend".
posted by IAmBroom at 12:26 PM on September 25, 2010

IAmBroom, I'm assuming from the original post that they are on a Mac using iPhoto.
posted by qwip at 12:41 PM on September 25, 2010

Response by poster: I am on a Mac, sorry that was implied but not stated.

I have thousands of these bracketed shots to go through do it using a standard image browser will be painful. What I would ideally like is an application that figures out which trios of images make up a bracket (I'm assuming EXIF metadata would make this possible). Then present the three to me and provide an easy way to keep one and delete the other two.
posted by pasd at 1:10 PM on September 25, 2010

I believe that Aperture can identify and group similar shots automatically (ah yes, the feature is called "stacks") - maybe make use the 30 day trial to edit and discard your rejects?

Otherwise, I would just bone up on my iPhoto keyboard shortcuts, and cruise through my library, (spacebar to embiggen, arrow keys to browse) flagging the good ones (command-. ?) or hide the duds.
posted by misterbrandt at 7:31 PM on September 25, 2010

As misterbrandt said, Aperture's "stacks" feature would be helpful in this situation. It's time-based, so it analyzes the EXIF and then groups images based on a time duration you can set and adjust. So, you'd go Stacks >> Auto-Stack, then set a duration like 3 seconds. It'll then group photos taken within 3 seconds of each other. Once stacked, you can then select which of the photos is the keeper, which brings that photo up top -- you can then collapse the stack so the rejects are hidden (or just delete them altogether).
posted by Hankins at 10:55 AM on September 26, 2010

« Older Medtronic internal transfer waiting period   |   Mouth writing checks that butt cannot cash Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.