Blind Team Editing

by James Duncan Davidson

Working an assignment as a team has many perks, not the least being that you have two angles to work shots with and twice as many chances to capture fleeting moments. Another perk is that you have two sets of eyes to edit your images with. Pınar Ozger and I have been working together on various assignments for almost a year now and have been exploring quite a few ways of how to edit our work together, the most fun of which to date has been something I call Pair Editing, a photographic version of Pair Programming where we hook two keyboards and mice up to the same system so that we can work on a set of photos.

Yesterday, while working up a set of photographs for a portrait shoot, we stumbled into another interesting methodology, which I'm going to tentatively call Blind Team Editing. Pınar was taking the lead on this particular project and had rated a bunch of poses of our subject. But, before she went further and made the final cut, she wanted to get my input. She didn't, however, want my input to be affected by the rankings that she had already given. Instead, she was interested in seeing my unbiased selections so that she could see the set of photos that we both thought were strong.


Daniel Halber
2007-10-09 19:50:31
Here's an alternative implementation of your interesting idea.

A1- Editor 1 rates each photo with stars.
A2- Select all photos and make virtual copies (which become all selected).
A3- Remove all stars from virtual copies.
A4- Filter for virtual copies.
A5- Editor 2 rates each photo with stars.
A6- Remove the filtering, hence displaying all photos.
A7- Sort by file name.
A8- Option 1: Review the photos, two by two, and delete either the highest or lowest ranked of each pair, depending on whether you're looking to globally decrease or increase your final number of picks. In the case of same ranking, delete one of the photos randomly.
A9- Option 2: Filter by stars (e.g., 3 stars or higher) and delete all photos which are not duplicated. Then filter by virtual copies and delete all photos, then remove that filter, leaving you with one copy of each photo that both editors rated 3 stars or higher.

This Blind Team Editing schema can easily be extended to teams of more than two people by creating more virtual copies. Either the team is small enough for each editor to get assigned a color (and you filter by that color to have each editor ignorant of the other editors rankings) or you use the following method (which has the advantage of properly handling the case where the initial photo set already include virtual copies -- I wanted to keep the initial A-steps description easy to read).
B1- Editor 1 rates each photo with stars.
B2- Select all photos and assigned them the red label. That way you remember the initial photos set.
B3- Make virtual copies (which become all selected).
B4- Remove all stars from virtual copies, and assign them the yellow label.
B5- Filter for the yellow label.
B6- Editor 2 rates each photo with stars.
B7- Select all photos and remove the yellow label.
B8- Filter for the red label (instead of yellow), select all photos.
B9- Go to step B3, for the next editor to rank the photos.

Best regards

Daniel Halber

John Wilson
2007-10-12 06:07:30
Like Daniel I have a suggestion based on virtual copies.

Whe you have winnowed out the obviously unsuitable images make a virtual copy of each image.

Stack the copy and virtual copy.

Collapse all stacks.

Person 1 now rates the images.

Push the top of each stack down revealing the unrated virtual image.

Person 2 now rates the virtual images.

Expand all the stacks.

It's about time Lightroom had a scripting facility and an API - it would make this stuff lots easier.