Want to help with an aerial edit?

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Last week I flew for an entire day over my favorite skyline in the world:  New York City.   I shot 5,952 frames from sunrise to sunset on assignment for a client.   You can read a very nice piece about it written by Matt Buchanan on Gizmodo.

BUT – here’s where this gets a little different – I’d like to give you a chance to help me edit the best images down from my top 55 – down to the top 3…

I’ve been editing images (and working with editors) for more than 20 years.

What always amazes me is how my preference for images changes with time – and that an edit that I do a few years from now will very likely be completely different than the one I do today. That’s why I never delete a SINGLE image that I shoot.

Therefore, I’m curious to see what other people think – in this case what YOU THINK (and see.)

Editing 5,900+ images down to the top 1% is relatively easy – editing the top 55 down to the top 3 is extremely difficult.

I find is that the final editing process can be EXTREMELY subjective.  One’s top 3 will change from hour to hour – one day to the next – all depending on your mood.

So here’s where you come in… go to thru the gallery below and leave comments on your favorite three images in the comments section of this blog (use the filename as reference.)

NYC_Sunrise_to_Sunset – Images by Vincent Laforet

The key is: you have to leave a comment with your top 3 of fewer images… I’d love to see if opinions are all over the place or consistent…

You WILL notice that some of the images are EXTREMELY similar – if not close to being identical.  Each is slightly different – either the focus point in on a different area, or the framing is slightly different.  Making the decision between two similar images can be the hardest thing to do…  Once you’ve made that decision – you rarely – if ever – go back as a photographer.  That tends to add a lot of pressure to the whole process – sometimes you just need to “feel” the best image… sometimes I find myself squinting my eyes to see what seems to “fill the frame” the best if you will… weird but true.  I know that once I’ve decided on one of two or three images – I’ll almost never go back and see the “rejects” ever again.

You’ll also notice that I’ve put the files up in chronological order for the most part.

Flying over NYC – especially since I haven’t done it in close to one year (I now live in Los Angeles) – is unlike anything else. I had a blast and it was great to see the city with a relatively fresh pair of eyes.   Matt seems to have had a great time as well, andbthe best part about reading his article for me was to see him stretch his writing wings and have fun sharing the experience with his readers and writing about everything BUT technology. Matt all too often has to write about the latest gadget for Gizmodo – and it’s always fun for me to see any great writer dive into a piece as Matt did with this one.  This profile is one of my favorite profiles that anyone’s written about me because Matt did a great job of communicating how HE experienced the flight.

The images were shot over 3 flights over the city – one at sunrise, another in the late afternoon, and the last one at night. One important note:  The vast majority of the flight time was dedicated to shooting an assignment for a client that had little to do with the NYC skyline. I spend maybe 10-15% of the time making these images – often to take a break from the assignment and allow the light to shift a little – especially when the clouds pulled in or out.  So in truth – I likely shot less than 1,500 images of the city – the other 4,400 were shot for the client.

One of the big issues with flying over a heavily populated area is to make sure you don’t hover in place for one hour in he same spot.  It’s simply unfair to the people below.  Therefore I tend to break up the flight into 5-10 minute chunks over and area – and go fly elsewhere for a few minutes and come back.  That’s where these images came in  – and hopefully helped reduce the pain on people’s ears below…

You’ll notice that the images were shot with a variety of lenses – including tilt-shift lenses that give a somewhat surreal look and feel to some of the images.   So if you have the time,  take a look through the images – choose your favorites (5 max) and leave a comment on the comment section of this blog below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts – and what YOU find interesting.


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