Monday, November 30, 2009
My travel photography workflow 3
OK so now we come to the heart and soul of my workflow. As you'll have noticed I don't really mention anything about working on the actual images myself.
It's just not a big part of how I work as a photographer. I work with natural light a lot, and when I do use flash (either on or off camera) I'm always trying to get everything as good in-camera as I can.
The reason for that is one of presentation. For me the most important part of my workflow is making it easy for clients to see my work as quickly (after an assignment) and as easily as possible. With an assignment the client will usually only choose a few frames and those are the ones I may need to work on afterwards, but for an initial presentation I find no need to work extensively on every single picture.
On the stock photography front I often have to make submissions of pictures that were taken over a period of many years, in many different parts of the world and with no seeming connection. Take the image above which is a screen capture of pictures used in this blog. If somebody were to request to see a lightbox of pictures used in this blog those pictures would span a wide range of countries, styles, times and (physically) hard drives.
So my style of work is really suited to one where I don't do a lot of post-processing work on every single picture. But I do make changes in Camera Raw like saturation, brightening and darkening, dust removal and curves etc and I need clients to be able to see those changes. The easiest way I've found to do that is by using a cataloguing software. The only problem with third party cataloguing software is that it can't see changes to Raw files you've made in Adobe Camera Raw unless you first convert them to DNG format. Which is exactly what I do.
(The reason it can't see the changes is because they are written to a little text file called an XMP file that lives alongside your Raw file. Move your raw file out of this folder without the XMP file and all your changes get lost. Third party softare can't read the information written to these XMP files)
After I've made my adjustments I then save all my CR2 files as DNG files and put them in a different folder. I then import them into my Cataloguing software. What do I do with the original CR2 files? I keep a copy of them on DVD only. If I lose them I'm not too worried. I probably don't need to but I do just because I do.
Tomorrow I'll talk about the nitty gritty of cataloguing software and if you don't have any - why you need it!