How listening to Music can help your editing…

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: January 2, 2012

Category: General

Hi Folks,
Later this week I’ll be posting a complete walk through showing how I made this recent image covering the photo shoot in the studio and then all the editing involved. Before I do though, on the subject of editing I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

When I first arranged this particular shoot which incidentally was a personal project as opposed to being for a client, I thought I knew what I wanted the final image to look like. I was intent on making an image showing this heroic solider on the battlefield, explosions going off all around him, other soldiers engaged in a firefight in the background, debris and so on…and in fact that’s how I initially approached the editing; however, as you can clearly see that’s not what I did…

I’ve always followed the advice I was once given by friends Calvin Hollywood and Matt Kloskowski and that was to both slow down when editing and also to make a point of walking away from what you’re doing and comeback to it some time later. This helps you to really see what you’ve done with a fresh set of eyes as opposed to slogging away at the screen determined to get it finished in one siting and becoming what I call ‘pixel blind’, and ultimately not doing the image justice.

Now this I did…still with the intention of creating this ‘scene of mayhem’ but each and every time I came back to work some more, whatever I did just didn’t feel right however the eureka moment came when a certain piece of music began playing in my iTunes library.

You see I always edit with music playing in the background and it’s usually music that suits what I’m working on. For example when I was working on these picture  I wanted a superhero kind of feel so I had a playlist containing title tracks of Superhero movies playing (X-Men, Batman, Superman etc….)

When I was initially working through the editing of this recent image I was listening to hard rock but it just didn’t seem to fit and it wasn’t until I had the music library on shuffle that the ideal track came on…Wherever You Are by the Military Wives. Everything about the song…the words and the message, just seemed to fit perfectly and having a close relative serving in the Armed Forces totally made my mind up with how I wanted the it to look; something with a more personal feeling as opposed to what was essentially a scene of violence.

So just out of interest what do you think? Right choice? Take a listen/watch of the Military Wives and ‘Wherever You Are‘ and let me know if you think it fits with the feel of this ‘Homeward Bound’ composite…

If you have any questions or comments as always please feel free to make use of the comments section below but also just wondering…Do you edit to music and if so do you have a certain playlist or artist you listen to that just seems to help? or do you find editing in silence works best for you as music tends to distract you?

Enjoy 🙂

•     •     •

Keep up with Glyn ‘Day to Day’ and get more from ‘Behind the Scenes’…

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  1. Kelley

    Ok now that I’m done drying my eyes,… I’m all about editing to music. Often when I’m shooting I have certain songs in my head. I like to put together slide shows of my photo shoots for my clients so they can see what I saw when I shot/edited their images. It really brings in the heartfelt emotions behind the shoot. The chicks always cry= success for me!

    The song you posted was perfect. I thought it was a beautiful image but the song just sealed it for me. I am the touchy feely type though and everything to me has some sort of meaning so I’ll mention that Steve watched it with me and he thought it went great with the image and he really liked the video.

    Editing without music for me feels like I’m working… Hmmmm

  2. Rocio Garcia

    I have a few different playlists that I listen to while editing. Depends on my mood but it ranges from Salsa to Dubstep which I was recently introduced to. It definitely helps and makes editing more enjoyable.

  3. Kevin Halliburton

    I have a three year old at the home office so I’ve edited to a Barney sound track more times than I would like to admit. Come to think of it, that might explain half of my portfolio! 🙂

    • Glyn

      @Kevin…Superb…some of those results you just have to share 🙂


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