Whenever I go home after my spotting session I can`t wait to import the pictures from the camera to my computer. The photos look way bigger on the screen of the monitor and I can see more details than on the LCD screen of my camera.

I just simply pop the memory card out of the camera and place into the card reader instead of attaching the camera to the computer. Once it finishes with the transport I just remove the memory card from the reader and put it back to my camera. While some people may use cloud services, in my situation it`s slightly different. I store all my aircraft photos on the computer (external drive) in a folder called Aviation Photos. That folder splits into years, then I create subfolders for each month and for the dates. I also put the ICAO code of the airports next to each day what also helps me if I want to find a particular photo quickly.

In the next step I am going through the pictures and separate them. Comparing good and bad is a really good way for study. Learning to get rid of bad photos and choose the best ones is critical in being successful, and I know it`s emotionally a painful task.

What makes a good photograph? Why do some photos succeed while others fail? Every photo we take must exist for a reason.That purpose is the vision behind a photograph. There are so many factors that have to come together at the same time to make our photo perfect. However creating such a photo is really rare even for the very best photographers. A right composition with fantastic light and good timing, great post-processing can make a perfect photo.

How to recognize bad photos?

  • A completely failed composition, bad light (underexposed image) destroys every photo.
  • Quality is one of the most important thing for me, so I delete all the blurry images immediately. Most of the time I zoom in at 100% and check the details. Even if parts of the picture are sharp but other parts are soft and it’s not clear that they were meant to be that way, it can destroy the picture. Unfortunately blurred images cannot be sharpened.
  • The next thing is to remove duplicates. I know that it can be hard to give up a photo, but who needs three similar photos? So I decide which one is sharper or choose the one that shows the main object better and delete the rest of them.
  • Items like lamp post, fence, trees, moving vehicles, people, etc. can ruin the impression of the picture. If there`s any distraction which can`t be fixed (with editing tools) I also delete the picture.
  • When the picture is too bright (overexposed) it can be difficult to fix it too. Also processing with digital tools removes and modifies information. Greatest to work with the best information captured image.

My suggestion is to consider each image carefully, then use the delete button – if necessary -, but think twice before reject a nice image accidently. This process can be very difficult at the beginning but will much easier with time as we practice it.