Perceptive Photographer #20: Value of the contact sheet

Hosted by Daniel j Gregory

July 27, 2015

Episode Number:


It is important to keep yourself organized as a photographer. As I was cleaning up the darkroom, I found a pile of contact sheets from my film shooting. In looking at those contact sheets I remembered how important those sheets were to my photographic process. I have found that there is huge value in having those contact sheets to look at and review images when making editing and printing decisions.

Those sheets allowed me to look at images from the entire shoot, get a sense of the shoot, remove judgement of a image in isolation, see how I framed and experienced the location or subject over time and hopefully pick out the most interesting image. In working in a digital space, I think there is huge benefit from making contact sheets and then looking at those sheets on paper or in a computer program that doesn’t allow you to immediately edit the shot like the grid view would in Lightroom. I have found that keeping organized in editing as distinct from developing makes for a more efficient and effective workflow.


Magnum Contact Sheets
The Contact Sheet
Hollywood Frame by Frame: The Unseen Silver Screen in Contact Sheets, 1951-1997

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