The First Edit
I am doing a broken record on this, but please never edit in the field, it is the worst possible thing you can do and, um, a lot of clients in the professional world, I have to turn in my raw files in addition to my photographer select and if there's a number missing out of sequence in the raw files, it's actually a technical violation of my contract, so certainly have gotten in the habit of that. Even if you've misfired and you've got a blurry shot, the camera's looking up your own nose, you have to include it. So I'll say a you get really careful about not not taking accidental selfies in the field because you don't want those horrible things to get out there, but you shouldn't have it in the field because that little screen on the back your camera is an absolute horrible reference, and it is just that a reference. It is a reference on the less it's great to see what you're getting, get a sense of it. I see what you're capturing but don't delete, and I really recommend making this ha...
bit on dh, and the reason is that very often, for starters, you're there to capture where information gathered when we're in the field, and so the goal is to simply gather the information, capture your different shots. And then make the decision on what you want later and you never know you might decide you want to blend two frames together and maybe deleted one or maybe something that you didn't think worked at the time suddenly when you get back to your studio and you're looking at your edit or your you're you're take you realise that actually does look good? I can't tell you how many times has anybody ever taken a shot in the field thinking that the best one was this one shot and then ultimately ended up liking another one of a lot of people I would imagine right? And so that's the reason why you never edit in the field the other thing is editing in the field is takes a lot of time you're there to shoot do you really want to sit there and be scrolling through while? Next thing you know a black bear two cubs walked by on some wake with their reflection in the snow on the mountain you missed the whole thing because they're sitting there rolling through the camera they're there to capture don't spend your time on that and his memory cards have increased on dh arm or affordable, you know, I think there's an even greater in sent it to just keep shooting, shooting, shooting I certainly don't miss the days of rolled film where you were stuck with thirty six shots though I liked the approach of not having a chance to review everything, you focus more on your composition and getting a great shop than you did at sitting there and reviewing it in the field so I think that's a great habit it's certainly something I always do um I think it's a good good choice vacation of course, right? So when you're talking about not deleting the raw images, not being able to have a missing one is that when you're on assignment in the storyteller or doing a client job that's correct yeah says if you're doing it for you by yourself, you do it by yourself and you get an accidental selfie I don't mean that one, but generally I wouldn't edit anything that's an actual composition that I'm working for, right? Yeah and if I'm willing and yesterday in the field I mean you weren't you talked about not editing in the midst of my six I got blurry shots and bad things I mean, pro photographers have messy raw file takes most of you mortified to show you that I'm going to be mortified to show everybody that but I'm going to show you because it's the real thing this is authentic photography and editing and not every picture you take is pretty it's guy set him, I feel like I'm a better editor then I am a photographer it's the ability to actually cut everything down and being an editor me is part of being a photographer really? What I do do is I added, after every day in the field, I've left the scene when second you leave a scene it's like you get better, at least for me I feel like I have better clarity on what it was it was just photographing it's a so I can actually process it are you know I'm sitting down a mountain at the desk in the hotel room or, you know, weighing on my tent, my sleeping bag or whatever I'm comfortable and relaxed and now finally I can edit everything and take a look at it this isn't the end all be all at it this is just simply how did I do? So I need to go back tomorrow on dh so this is a really a great chance to just sort of make a first cut, especially when an assignment and see how I'm doing it. My gathering different elements to tell my story did I yet one foot waterfall to waterfall, three waterfall and then a landscape that I get all of the different shots that I want and again, a shot list for me is usually big and works its way down, establishing shots, medium close up detail, whatever activities certainly, so this is kind of my first cut if I'm not sure about something you know usually try and keep it at that point but usually I'm pretty brutal and I start to do and a pretty tough at it because you don't want to do wide at it and then you realize you really should have kept that and you've already left the park or wherever there you are I call this my gut instinct at it too because the other thing is people so well isn't it better to edit two or three months after you know a few weeks after you've left and you've gotten back home I wouldn't do my only at it there on you'll see step three is revisit your shooting a couple of months it's good to do that because now you have completely fresh eyes you've gotten away and you might find a few frames but if you didn't do an edit while you're in the field you don't have a chance to go back and you might think you've gotten it or you maybe you were too nice to yourself in the field and then when you get home you know why did I keep that the focus is not that great trust your gut the other thing is that subject matter you just photographed is extraordinarily fresh in your mind on dh if the shot stands out to you now in the edit and you were just there then chances are it's a really good shot and it's going to be even more extraordinary once you get away from it so that little that gut instinct at it if it's good, then it's probably going to be good later if you're still not sure right after the shoot and you're not loving it, chances are you might want to keep working on that composition or rethinking where you want to go with it. As I say, honesty is absolutely critical at this point, I also may say you may be tired and worn out great example would be the last six days we have had long days we've had long farty days in the field long hours, strong turnaround time moving around I have edited every single day for the last week and how to take send it to creative lives. We will show you guys some of the finnish shots back my entire edit from mount rainier an olympic national park while not olympic is not done but it's close to done, but my entire edit from all of them is finished. I have my take and I'll actually share that with you a second so edit as you go the first edit critical first past sit down, go through it your selection down from thousand one hundred you go a little broader, but be honest, as I say the other thing I like to do it said it from the small frames like to edit from thumbnails first I actually rarely would actually see them very large and I'm going to show you what that looks like if it stands out to you this big on your computer screen, chances are it's probably going to stand out to you larger. I looked at the large mohr for depth of field um focus, you know, accuracy, whatever, and I won't I will be open to and will often take to or I will take, but I will take two or three frames of the same thing from let's say twenty my goal isn't to go from twenty tow one frame, my goal is to go from twenty to the best two or three they went about it down to two or three I'll take a closer look at those and get them down to the one on dh maybe I'll even do two and see what they approached, they process up like so I can actually demo went at it and I should jump in and show you what that process is like and show you how it went. Now the one thing I will say one caveat I have is that, um these air sort of partially already added, but I'm going to just go through it and explain to you why, um I would normally shoot probably five times this amount of photography that you're seeing here, but because I've been blabbing away and trying to teach and talk and get my flip flops out and everything else that I have not shot, the nearly the quantity I have, but you'll see the quantity roughly and how I've edited this. So this is this is from the shoot we actually just watched a segment on. So this is from the the water chute we just did on dh, you know, as I said, we're all files aren't super aren't super aren't super great looking necessarily if everybody thought like we all only push the button at once and it's a masterpiece every single time that's not a professional photographer, I wish I'd love to say it was, but the reality is it's not so this is the first spot that we checked out, we were scouting out and fired some frames, and you'll notice that I took several frames from the same spot. Um, I was trying different things with the filter a little bit different with the exposure so on, and I took five frames, two and three, and ultimately when I went through the mall, I didn't like any of mine and choose any of these. I felt like I still wanted to get past that next bend and I could barely see into there and I kind of liked out, but it just wasn't safe. And I just ultimately passed and there wasn't an easy crossing and everything else so ultimately a past I kept it in its still not a bad frame it's kind of interesting if I were to look at this and again why we'd shoot more than one frame if we like something if I had a look at these two frames here, I'm gonna go side by side on them the one thing I noticed right away that I would peg and this is me analyzing my my corners and being again very honest let's say hypothetically I like this composition and wanted to keep its not horrible it's kind of cool I would look at this reflection right here this glare obviously either the cloud blew in tree blue, whatever whatever was causing that glared change in the next frame not intentional, but I would look at that detail and that is what I'm looking for this point, so if I was narrowing it down and look at these two and I would pick the one in this particular case that didn't have the glare on lee because it just feels like a distraction it doesn't support it the support of the the general flow of of the shot so it would probably take take the one so generally speaking that's, how I would work through it similar to here, you know I worked the different waterfall area and then end up picking these you'll see what I start, so I started this originally before I had done and edit on it, so it's actually gonna undo that? And so what I ended up doing you'll notice why I went from a raw to a uh uh went from a process raw developed raw, partially developed brought back to an undeveloped this is how it came out of the camera here and I marked it, but I actually didn't work on this file right away. I just kind of I only took one frame for whatever reason it was on my way out the pie just snapped a frame and remember, just remember actually the time thinking about it, I didn't really like it, I'm gonna go focus on the big water fall shots, so I just started came back to it started a post process it and it still wasn't doing anything for me and I just left to go, but either way, I kind of just work it through several steps before actually giving any sort of love. So then I went through and I'm looking at all these and I'm like, okay, well, I got scared at first all I the waterfall was really, really bright, brighter than I realized in the field obviously wasn't analyzing my history ram to see how bad the clipping was but I checked it out but I did know that I got several different exposures but you'll see I decided I'm going to start this anyway because the first shot I just I liked it I thought that the majority of the frame was pretty good size seven star this kind of scroll through and this is how you edit and very often I won't have that they're all at it more like this and just look at shape and just kind of school through and just go off of and make several selections so you see I picked you know one here one here one here this one's very similar to this andi just kind of go through real quick and work the scene and literally working the scene and editing basically to get my end results so this was the shop I'm gonna undo my head it beforehand single shot definitely did cem highlight raw processing kind of almost bordering on that each day? Our thing that we're doing multiple frames could've done multiple frames on this didn't really see it necessary and was able to preserve all my highlights ultimately in the end but this would be my first edit and I use a star system so I go through and I give everything five star I typically don't do a four star I'm kind of one of those people that goes through and does a five star if I need a second edit and what I call them usually it's only at the time if it's a professional assignment and I'm looking at an image count so I know that I need to hit seventy five images meaning seventy five finished fully processed submit a bill publication quality images usually I get between thirty five and forty a day is a typical for me on an assignment between thirty five and forty images a day a bad day would be about twenty to twenty five publication quality images, which is a very high number to hit I will look at them and I will go through and of those let's say, one hundred images at the end of three days let's have a hundred in three days I'll go through and do what I call the red at it I'll actually use a red color coding system so you can actually just go command eight and bridge um if you're you are man six I forgot which one it was so you do five star and then I go the first one after that too the red and the red at it is for me to actually count what are the heroes among my select so I've taken a thousand of narrowed down to one hundred and now that I've added them on, I'll show you what that looks like you could find it they go like this one second I am going to show you this is my final edit from marine here um is here you go. This would be this is what my final edit looks like from just mount rainier. So this is, uh, ultimately this is about two days of the actual photography taking out the aside for education. So I have thirty five images out of it, obviously not super robust. These are the images I like I would go through and I will and we're gonna go through and you see all these and how they process up, but I will go through and actually make an edit and what I call red at it and it would be me picking the ultimate best shots that I like from it, that I thought most equally rep present the scene and that give it the diversity so I would look at the details I would look at the water features look at the different times of different types of orientation of the shots on dso my red head it would probably look like this. Um, something along those lines. So what that means is now I can click over here and these are the top ten shots the red it is is this if it were publishing a magazine, tell a complete story so I'm working through and and why did I choose the shots I did it's because I wanted a detail I wanted a water feature or waterfall I wanted a mount rainier option and then I got a late sunset option we're going to go through all these you're going to see this process tomorrow if the way for these we did finally see the mountain so I'm teasing that a little bit um six days it took for that this is the stuff you saw earlier something a little human element very popular spot detail of water you know I might have takes something like this is well a wide angle water a wildflower tight wildflower you know another another waterfall so basically I'm going through and taking one of at least everything that's not to say that's the shot that's going to be used but it's now if I had let's say had never seen rainier and my shot looked mohr my take look more like this eclipse gave it the wrong reading my take looked like this and this was my story on mount rainier have I done my job as a photographer on assignment? No and that is my editing process and and again that's why I put so much emphasis on getting back to see that mountain because this is about photographing mount rainier and where is mount rainier now if this was for a magazine it would be the same struggle and that is why doing at it in the field because I don't want to leave before I know I have everything that I'm looking for so my red that it is my personal most important at it it may be thirty five images out of one hundred, it may be often it's usually more of an actual magazine if I were then I pretend I'm the magazine editor and I go through and I choose my twelve shots, and then I also looking so well do I have a cover in there? And I hope I have a cover and then covers obviously the holy grail for anyone looking to get published very difficult to get, and usually they come out of nowhere very rarely do I I feel like I ever photograph to cover, and no, I photographed a cover in fact, I don't think I've ever known that I photo have to cover on any of the covers that I've ever had, so but I still play the game with myself, and I still go through it to make sure that I feel like I'm doing my job and that the work I have supports the idea of getting the entire story, so go back any questions so far on that process, everybody staying with me? No, no, I just I'm in your way loving the comments that are coming through and chat rooms in there just there calling out certain numbers of images that they want to see see they're saying e I wish I had that many keepers in it's the mountains shot that's the cover story terra no you guys are doing great to that point you know that that's why I gave so much space up in this one and I actually shot this in several different ways so you'll see that tomorrow and you'll see how I gave more room on each but let me go back to the edit we were looking at and by the way I have a question sure go for weight rooms you know chatting away gotta bring my questions list okay so really quickly for candy fifteen oh seven why do you use adobe bridge versus regular photo shop for editing? And then also people had asked about light room shuriken definitely address that you probably noticed how small of this little book is that I'm using and I'm, um awake freak assed faras how much I bring into the field you know, most people actually drills holes in the end of my toothbrush so that I can cut wait on the amount of now I'm totally somebody but I have a friend I've seen it done and that's how I know but you know anyway I got a powerful machine here by all means eins on dh it works really well but I move fast and I work more from the journalistic perspective where I don't actually I don't use light room simply because my catalogue is usually gigantic my assignments are usually gigantic andi I have a lot of assignments where they're going over two or three months and had multiple ones going at a time and I like to just move fast and I had issues were slower and not necessarily working at the speed I like I've also creature of habit the tools that I use are exactly the same I used bridge maura's a viewer on my desktop than anything I actually do edit in all of my editing in adobe camera wrong don't be photoshopped, so I'm going to actually go through that step and go through that process and actually process some of these images for everyone but the but ultimately I'm just using this as a quick view or it's a quick way to go through and start everything I don't have to import everything I could just click a folder and go on dh usually my deadline's in my days are long and my deadlines or tie and so this just has always been the fastest, most convenient way for me to work on that cool thank you more personal preference than anything awesome okay g too as well as caleb cook uh what do you do with their rejected raw files I keep them all. Ugo yeah, every since the first photo ever took that was wrong. I have them all on many hard drives. I actually started storing my what I call my raw file select and my higher jpeg. So I process my files into two and products I always keep I do it, ralph. I'll select so that's just simply the raw files that I select and it's always the broad select so it's not the twelve images or the thirty five images, but it's one hundred images that I select. And if I'm feel like I might want to ever have that permanently, you want to come back to it and I might not be one hundred percent married to a frame. I might take a frame on either side of it as well, so that that that it may even grow fur storage purposes. But strictly speaking about how I permanently storm, I work it's fully about cloud for me. Now I have many, many hard drives I still buy and use them in the field. There might go to and not go would've actually, I've only had I think one driving history and many years ago fails so far, so good, but but I use cloud storage on dh, so we actually created our own at tan called tanned involved we'll give you a plug tandem vault attaining vault dot com is how a story really cheap and it uses the amazon storage system has three it's permanent as long as of course you keep up on your monthly amazon fees but it's very, very, very, very inexpensive and aiken store gigabytes tens of gigabytes terabytes I have in the cloud and if a drive or anything it's completely redundant and I can access my files anywhere in the world and what's great is actually for this presentation I've been downloading from my storage in the cloud on dh so it's really, really great because I thought of this I really want to share it with these guys today and lets me do that, but it also means that I don't have to worry about losing any of my files either. So here's, the thing that has stopped me from going to the cloud is my thinking that it's just going to take forever and a day to actually get those things up. Do you do it overnight like what's your process in terms of juggling? Yeah, I call it like a sort of like the nicole stop photography this too it's sort of like you put a little askew go if you're taking everything you've ever done and throwing it up there, I think it will probably take forever in fact, I haven't done that even on our own system. I kind of said like today's the day, and I'm going to start uploading my work here, and then at least I know from this day onward, I have my selects and I don't do every raw file, even though I have them all on hard drives, and that is just maura again being sort of o c d obsessive about storage in general, and oh, my god, I might need to go back, and I will say, I've had a lot of sails when I've gone back to the raw files and something I didn't I didn't take maybe it was some obscure flower at the time, it wasn't necessarily that important to my story or whatever, and somehow we missed it. But I go back and do a second look because a client says, hey, by any chance, I noticed you were on this trail in this photo. Did you happen to see this waterfall? And it might not be a perfect end, but it's still a sale and important to my business, and so I'll go back and re process that image and submitted, and very often times actually yields a lot of result. It's also the same reason why not only do you want to go back to your work two months later but maybe go back to your work two years later and look at it with completely fresh eyes I may even want to go back and re process some of my files as software techniques skills improve all sorts of things I'm not a photo shop wizard by any means and as I walk you through my steps here you're going to just see basically what I called the basic at it I call it all of these images that you're looking at our basic at it there's six steps I'm not going through this advanced photoshopped process there's plenty of that out there on ways to learn and everybody has to find a style that works but I'm doing all of these images and all these colors everything of processed very quickly and more for reference than anything. One thing I should know is that I calibrate all of my monitors they don't know it stay calibrated depending on what's going on but generally calibrate all my monitors including my field monitors but I have one particular set up in the home office where I do my final check provided that I'm able to do that final checks if the deadline's allow and I could run them through and check for color I wil I haven't obviously done that on this trip so everything you know, is kind when it is these air, this is really contrast to our students here. So, yeah, I want to point that out. It's not it's a much more subtle. Thank you. Thank you. There actually were a couple of people in the chat rooms asking about noticing that they looked also highly saturated. This's this is this is this is yeah, this is bordering on bordering on super serial a little bit up there. Yeah, this saturation and I'm gonna talk about that as well, actually, the next segment go sort of my field process that I didn't get to show in the process, of course and that's shooting in the evenings and shooting for color in mind particularly, but yeah, the color on television is not as accurate. It's probably not perfect on here, but the truth, these colors never perfectly uniform anywhere, in my opinion, so you do the best you can by looking at history rams and really understand meaning but knowing grave and knowing that you do have that final process of going teo, that calibrated monitor before it goes to the client, correct and in the client has their own process very often to the magazines are going to send everything through their own color correction, color checking process, preproduction and then the printer at the magazine whoever they send it to will also do their own color check and process on dh so there is a balance system for that your question keep most of your raw files are you compulsive about key wording so that you could go back and search for a particular phone? You mean these things down here? Yes, yes I am I have yes, I keyword everything and I do it as I go and so that's why you'll notice I'm I'm a good photographer and I do my captions and key words even though I haven't done anything with these yet it's a lot easier to do eight photos at the end of the day that it is to do a t at the end of a week that is eight hundred at the end of the month. So it's one of those things it's the ugly side of being a photographer the reality is if you want to find your images later keywords and captions or helpful andi, if you are a professional photographer there most likely required I've rarely seen it not required. In fact, I've seen some incredible lists of what are some requirements are faras tc or metadata? I do all my metadata, you know I get at least the basics done I'll go back through and add them so I did a basic keywords set here but I didn't add things like reflection or wildflowers anything yet so I'll adjusted the basics now and then I'll go back and do the detail species latin names of flowers, things like that I'm pretty pretty meticulous. I just lost half of our viewers saying, yeah, so yeah, I seen that in the chat rooms as well. So thankyou, bob. In addition, I don't wanna make sure I do the metadata, but I make sure that my name's on there as well, my phone number, my contact info, the earl probably shouldn't flash all that. But I also make sure that I remarked that it's been copyrighted, so it is definitely definitely important to have all that information up there. So any other questions on that before we continue let's? See? So a question came in from miss ship or no miss hip to peace mishap with two p's, how much time do you spend on the first edit per photo on? And I guess that's, one way to go once we've gotten to this point, go back through, I would I'll actually go through this edit for you and just show you this is actually the shot I thought I've found it. This is the shot I saw about where I had that rogue flower on the side, yeah, that was just kind of not working for me, um and ultimately andi I will do if I don't use indies in the field occasionally if I'm like just running and gunning I'm just taking a shot I will use an nd filter in voter shop just to kind of manage my highlights a little bit it just depends I prefer to do everything field as often as possible but I'm not opposed to nd filters and they're also not considered digital manipulation based on most of certainly my client's ethical outlines and standards on digital manipulation but that said I like the shot and I thought it was okay and I was kind of going through and every single frame did not have that stupid flower was always in the way so ultimately I went through it this is about I often have a window up like this probably that way I can check and see what my eyes so was so if I'm going through and I say oh I had a little bit more depth of field on this frame a little slower shutter speed here we'll take the faster shutter speed always be looking mohr at this information as far as what my settings were then I will be looking at the content of the picture I'm mohr going through this thumb now and I would probably I would edit it about this rape probably a ce faras my speed goes and then I'll probably go through you'll notice that my my photos don't automatically correct from two vertical I have that turned off that's a function in the camera where you can actually set it. Tio auto rotate four shots as they as the three camera goes vertical, the reason I don't do that is because they rotate in camera and I want it and they become really small. Exactly. So I don't turn the auto rotate off so that I can actually get a large view on the back of the camera and the view in the reference screen lcd screen. But generally my rate of ah of editing would probably be about this fast. That said, I've every single image on tandem, ivette and so I've looked at over well over a million images in the last two years that are not even mine, not to mention on my own work, so I've probably viewed between, you know, two and three million images over the last couple of years. Yeah, which is crazy, I look at about five thousand images a day, forty five yeah, forty five thousand images a day, no wonder you can go through so I can get it pretty fast. So I know what I'm looking for a thumbnail, but that doesn't mean I don't make mistakes, I admit that I make mistake, yes. You know, an animist and editing is relatives and objective process. This is not a perfect process we are and all the photography there's so many different ways to go through and edit your images and there's something different styles practices so on I'm simply sharing my practice with everyone. This is simply what has worked for me has resulted in a lot of work being published, and I'm extending it out to you whether you take it or not is up to you, but certainly, you know, my, my my my editing style tends to be pretty pretty fast for sure, so I'll go through and I'm when I'm looking, I'm looking at different things going on shading color, the motion of the water I'm looking at this one's bright, this one's off this one's a little yellow, little green it's been adjusted, obviously without the adjustments you know, you could tell I even gotten to the point where I stop rotating the images just simply go like this and turn my head and just like, yeah, no, no, you know no on anyway, this is something to talk about. Let's point the highlights I just wanted to show you this real quick you know it's okay, but I personally and again going back to the idea that you know what we do and what we selected was ultimately on personal taste and style but I like everything very balanced and I really go after color color is like my big thing for nature photographs and I look for where you can maximize the amount of color on dh just really capture that vibrance sort of reasons been the thing I like and the bright spots of sun and everything they could be preserved and you can do it you know, with your highlight management everything, but it just doesn't work for me nearly as well as the shots that that have that arm or uniform and more even throughout. So but if I'm not sure you know what I do is and I'll go on a little down those five stars this is ultimately with my five star looked like, um and I can do if I'm not sure I'll just do a quick side by side comparison and look at the difference look at the four miles of the element and see the sun you know, so on and so forth and and ultimately make that decision on it but that's that's generally the past that I d'oh you'll see this tomorrow the segment I believe tomorrow right tips to lake so in a last ditch attempt before I knew that I'm becoming back to get to rainier and actually be successful went to the back side of the mountain over the tips to wake and we managed to get a bunch of frames over there but unfortunately was the middle of the day and shooting in midday light and that's always a really challenging time and so what I ended up doing and noticed the filters and by the way knows the difference of course in a raw file that's process versus un processed this is basically if I was shooting j peg this bottom frame would probably be a bit more more apt to look like a jpeg and this is the raw doesn't have the contrast of the sharpness or so on on dh so what I'm going to do is actually walking through that process but this is what we got to see and it's going to be it's pretty cool because the landscape section of this is landscapes in my core been going through these again I mean I just kind of rapid fire through all this stuff and you say well look how many shop but you see the adjustments that I'm making look how the frame wiggles I'm making little horizon adjustments throughout so I feel like a time lapse making little adjustments throughout and by the way look what felt frame I took one thing you'll notice very often I take the last frame, which is interesting, not always and that's. Why at it very often the last frame for whatever reason, hit the mark of what I wanted to dio and use just the right, uh, just in the right place. So in this case, I took the second last, but they look very similar. In this case of using a tripod, you could see a little bit of a difference, says the lens correction on it. So on I warmed it up as well. Um, thank you for pointing out about the difference between the wrong j peg files when you're looking at them. When I first started to shoot raw, I didn't understand why all of my images were coming out not as good as my friends who are shooting on there like smaller cameras with j peg. Why aren't mine, huh? From files are boring, flat, unsaturated and hopefully some of you out there who might be newer had the same experience. Yes.