Analysis to Be a Better Photographer


Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® Plugins 101


Lesson Info

Analysis to Be a Better Photographer

I went through and made a secondary catalog and the way you do that is you would go into your light room um oh I shut down later so you would go into victor's catalog and you would open it up and then you would go up to the metadata so we're actually going to go into the metadata up here and we're going to go and find focal inc so see I can go in and find eighteen teo twenty before I can I can find any of those focal links or I concert all the focal links and instead do attributes searches for let's say three stars so once I've done three stars and I've got you know all of his favor images with three star and above and then I can go down and create a collection I'm gonna call this collection favorite images for uh lenses hopes lynn area and I'm going to include the selected photos and hit create once I've done that that I'm going to right click that collection and this is important you're going to create a completely new catalog when I create that catalog I'm gonna put it in the same p...

lace that I have put his other catalogues so I'm putting it in the drive inside next to victor and I'm going to call this catalog victor's favorites okay so now I have his catalog I can quit this catalog and now I have two catalogs I have victor and victor's favorites right here. So now I go back into our little catalog viewer, and I'm gonna go in and open the new catalog, so I'm going to go to victor's favorites click on that, choose that, then I'm going to go and run a new report, and this time I want to look at the focal lengths of the favorites, so now I'm looking at the focal length of a complete of his absolute favorite images. There we go, so I'm just I'm just created a statistical analysis of the images that issued the length, the focal length of his lenses, but on leon the favorites because I so I had his whole catalog, and then I sorted on lee for his favorites and made a new catalogues, so that means I've got everything in this catalogue, and I did a lens analysis on it, and then I've got everything in his favorites catalog, and I did the lens analysis on that, so now I have two lens analysis, kind of like we did with you write one for the entire set and one for the favorites. Now, if I look at this one in comparison, let's, look at the pdf that I made of so here's his general lens usage, so he uses forty two to fifty for all the time. I mean, all the time, that is a huge deal and he does a lot of work at the eighteen to thirty range as well. But then here he's doing look at this so he shoots less wide and mohr kind of normal, and yet his favorites show that he loves the wide ones more than he loves the normal ones. The normal ones he's got at look he's chosen to as as his favorites from the normals, so he shoots this much. He shoots one hundred eighty images in this catalog on a normal lens, and he on ly keeps too ooh, but then he shoots one hundred twenty seven wide and keeps five, so his percentage of success on a wide lens is high and his percentage of success on a normal is a very low. So the question is, why shoot the normal lens shoot the wide lens? So if I were looking at this and trying to decide and this is how I bought my last lens, I bought a fixed thirty five millimetre lens because I was trying to figure out what I needed to buy. Do I buy a really wide lens, or do I buy a normal linds? What you know, and I have a lot of lenses already, but I was trying to find, you know, I had a couple of choices and I looked at the several different choices and then I made a lens analysis of those millimeters because I have you know, I have twenty four seventy and a two hundred seventy to two hundred so I cover a lot of ground right? And I have a sixteen to thirty five and so I can I can see how much I shoot on all of those and I found that the highest percentage of favor images of the different areas that I was thinking about buying lens was at thirty five, so I bought a thirty five because the numbers don't lie the numbers tell me exactly which images I like the most and of the two or three lenses I was looking at buying the thirty five millimetre lens was the one that gave me the most the highest percentage of of accuracy or highest percentage of success and so that's where I put my money so when I bought a lens it wasn't based on I think I'll buy it and it might make me a better photographer right know I bought a lens that I know would make me a better photographer because the numbers told me that brilliant so it's not an expensive little plug yeah, but it's so useful when you want to make sure that you're making the right decision about the lens or for instance and I wanted to pull one more up and I know that probably boring some people but this is for victor's sake I noticed something and I wanted to bring it up long lens so I have a comparison between the long lens favorites so I made four analysis and I'm gonna open up all four of them because if you look at the shutter speed versus his hold on there's also here shutter speeds there you okay so we know what his lenses are and his shutter speeds most of his shutter speeds that I noticed were from one sixty down there's a lot of that going on right yeah and so that's a scary shutter speed so especially when you're dealing with a when you have a lens focal length so when you're shooting your general lenses and you're shooting a lot of stuff up here so if if you're shooting a lot of this stuff up here so you're you know up in one hundred millimeter and ninety millimeter and you're shooting at sixtieth and eighty and a one hundred that's a little scary and so what one thing I noticed about his activity is that he's shooting at four hundred s o and he's not shooting at eight hundred sixteen hundred and I'll tell you why it's because he has a rebel camera so he is making the right choice of staying at four hundred and less because eight hundred sixteen hundred on a rabble isn't all that beautiful if you then look at his shutter speed look see how their way down here and the reason his shutter speeds air down here is because he has no I s o in the height in the high range is so does now the high range I was so so he has to slow down a shutter he also doesn't have lenses that open up wide enough to give him the light so there are two issues that are driving his shutter speeds slow and I'll bet you that his favorites are down here because he can't accept a lot of the long stuff. Why so there's very few long favorites and most of his favorites are wide because his wide lands can accept these slow shutter speeds but his long lenses can't. I hope everybody understands why that is there's a basic rule of thumb that if europe say two hundred millimeter lens then you need to be at least at one two hundredth of a second or higher probably double that to be really safe in order to keep from shaking the camera enough to notice it in the shot. So it's just the rule of thumb is just put a one over whatever your millimeter is and you have to that's your bare minimum shutter speed it's a pretty good rule of thumb so if you're shooting a fifty millimeter lens than a fiftieth of a second is a viable option for you and one hundredth is totally fine but a hundredth of a second is not a violetville option for a two hundred millimeter lens. Not a good idea. You should probably be at one, two hundred or higher in order to keep from getting camera shake so what's happening when you see that he has no I sl so he's at four hundred eyes, so and that's like his max, then he he has to slow shutter speed down because he doesn't have wide lenses like with, you know, one point four, two point eight doesn't have much of that, and so he has to slow shutter speed down to avoid going into eight hundred sixteen hundred speed films. So what happens? He tends to favor the wide lenses because the wide lenses allow for show slow shutter speeds, which also tells me that I'll bet you victor finds that when he's shooting two hundred millimeters shots he's getting a lot of camera shake so therefore he's not starring a lot of them, you see how much you learn from just data like this. And so at this point, if if victor came to me and said, what should I buy next? My answer would be by a camera with hirai esa, right immediately, yeah, that would be the first investment that you make because that will allow all of your lens choices toe work now you could say, oh no no no by glass by glass because glasses everything right? And you could say that but the problem with that mentality would be then you still have the same camera that's causing the problem and you only have one lens that works so now you on ly can use one lens to get good shots and then all the other lenses don't get good shots on that camera so if you're going to spend money on one thing the very next thing you buy is a camera that has good high aya so at that point your two hundred millimeter lens becomes a viable option even though it's not the greatest glass but you see now you can start favorite ing you khun start starring all of those long lenses because you have the ice so to cover it and you no longer have to shoot at a one sixty of the second you can now shoot it a four hundred of a second because you can get up to thirty two hundred and still get a beautiful color shot out of a mark three so and I realized not everybody has enough money to buy a mark three but there are also you know fifty d are not fifties what's the sixteen sixties that seventy eight years you know those types of things those have good eyes so much much better than a rebel so the rebels great for starting but once you reach that point at which your your imagery is suffering and you just can't get beyond it sometimes the equipment actually does matter a bit and in this case I'm seeing that you're seeing victor that the that the the long shots are not as good as your wide shots and I'm absolutely willing to bet that the long shots or not as good because you're losing some camera shake and the wide shots are great because they are really nice and clean and I kind of went through victor's facebook and just kind of looked at the shots you're shooting and he's there's a lot of wide and normal shots normal and wide but no long there's not a lot of long stuff andi I really believe that's probably what's happening is that he's just not favoring those because he's losing his camera shake so there you have it those are palm readings from light room statistics fascinating yeah and and it's just a matter of knowing the data and you can do kind of data type searches without this just by going in and creating you know little search search criteria like go in and say I want to see all the five star images from my two hundred millimeter lens and count them to say all those twenty now I want to see all the five star image is with my twenty four seventy oh there's eighty well, clearly I like my eighty my thirty, my twenty five forty eight, seventy better or my like my eighty better. Yeah. So, it's, easy to find these things just by doing a quick little search in your light room catalog. But this gives you absolute down. I mean, some of these reports are fifty pages long, and you can go ahead and look how many what? The percentage of pictures you took with this camera with that lens, you know, are on this day, you know, it's pretty insane. So I just like the graphs at the beginning those help the most? Yeah, a beautiful air. Cool. So anyway, I know that that's not, you know, that's not something really sexy to talk about or whatever, but it is very interesting and very worthwhile. And if you're in the business, you need that. I mean, having that kind of data to back up your investments. Yeah, well, you're making an investment in your business, hopefully, and and so you need to know what the absolute best decision you can make. And for victor it is the next time you want to buy something, you save up until you could buy a new body, and then you just take you you take your rebel and you put it as a backup the rebel becomes the backup that for the longest time, that's what I did is I would just whatever I had last, I would buy the new piece, and then the old one becomes the backup and then there's, the one below that gets sold, so sell the old one to pay for, like an eighth of the new one and take the secondary one, put it as a backup, cool, and then at one point, you know, if you're making enough money that what you're doing, then you could buy two of the same camera one, and then the backup is the same, so that you don't worry about, you know, when I pull this out, I'm using a different camera because I used to find that I would have two cameras and I would shoot with this one, and then secondary one was was, you know, three years model back or whatever, and I'd pull it up and be like, I don't even want to shoot with this because the the file so bad, and so then I would take the lens off of it and switch lenses, and it would become a lens carrier, right? Eso at one point I realized, you know, I'm just going to have two of the same body so that I like both images from both cameras and so I'm just choosing the lens because I shoot with two cameras got which is why the spider holsters is so important because otherwise I'd be like, you know, doing this holding a shoulder strap and trying to do that so I just hooked on both to my belt and they just hanging there and I shoot with this one put it away pulled this one out shoot with that one and I have a wide lens and the long lens what when you're shooting a wedding let's say uh huh what are those what what you're sitting on there twenty four, seventy and a seventy, two hundred thirty two a great so I'm that way I I am got it all legally covered it's heavy so that's why I need they have kind of utility belt that comes with that spider and I hook it on and then I'm just shooting with it but it's a little heavy sometimes I get this wild urge to shoot with like a you know, in eighty five and fifty or an eighty five in a thirty five or something like that, you know, I think that would be cool to, like just be a fixed lin's photographer at a wedding and I'll just walk in and move in and stuff and I'm a big proponent of fix lenses don't get me wrong when I'm doing street photography I would much rather have a fifty millimeter lens or an eighty five just a fixed lens and then just swap out the lens every once in a while, yeah, I'd much prefer to do that because I do think that as a practice shooting with the fix lenses, the most that's, the most learning, you can have it in a practice experience, but once you get into the act of wedding photography and you're trying to get a shot over there of a little kid and, yeah, you can pull out your fifty and take a picture and then run as fast. You can take another picture, but if you have the zoom lens, you can get the crop that you want now before the kids stops playing with the flower, and so I think the moment is far more important then, you know, having the cool experience of walking around, taking pictures and how, you know, so I'll card around the heavier gear in order to be able to zoom in and grab something, but, you know, teaches own. I have some very, very close friend photographers who shoot with fixed lenses on weddings, and they do fantastic work and so there's, they're both ways are absolutely valid, it's just that. I would prefer to shoot a wedding where I can get to the images quickly but if I'm doing street photographer a fixed lens is my favorite thing to use yeah, I think for me if I had like like a couple of wives fixed right I'd be happy like fifty and maybe a thirty five but seventy two hundred that there's you know that's so much tougher yeah well I'm here if you're if you're shooting long it it would be very difficult to have a fixed long ones that was an ankle on a sunday so yeah I think if someone were to want to shoot all fixed lenses than the seventy two hundred could be the long lens because that's a fantastic especially the seventeen, two hundred version two of the cannons is just that lends is so sharp yeah it's just a sharp lens yeah the original one not so much but the new one is super sharp hey, we got we got a quick question from jim and virginia yeah can you search for focal length and your cattle and your yeah workflow when you're doing in that saw in the software well the software gives you a focal length uh area so it'll say from about forty two to fifty two that's the area because you're not actually there you're not actually at fifty europe forty eight you know and so it gives you ah spread but you can create if you go into a given catalog. So if we if we went back into victor's catalog, we can go into the meta data in the catalog and weaken search so we can search by metadata and go focal length and weaken search in the focal. Ng I want thirty five millimeter on lee. Great. And then once I did that, I can make a new new catalog based on that search by right clicking, whatever. So if I create a collection of these and then I right, click it and create export, a new catalog, this this option right here. Then I created a brand new catalog that on lee has thirty five millimeter shots in it, and then I can run whatever statistical analysis on that, which I could then run statistical analysis on how much I started, how much I flag it, what you know, do I key words on it. What, you know, all that kind of stuff can be run. So the when you work with that statistical analysis software, if you use the search features in light room at the same time that you're using that, so you're creating different catalogs for different search purposes, you get the most bang out of it rather than just trying to run one general search out of that. Through the software right? You get a better job because you got to really search specifically here and then take that catalog and search them and run the analysis on and then compare the two always have ah baseline any time you're doing something scientific you have a baseline so you first check it against the main catalog what are the numbers for all images and then run a statistical analysis on the very specific thing that you want to look at and see how it changes then you know something we won't know anything if you just run an analysis on the specifics you have to run the baseline first got it cool look at us getting all scientist I know right? So um the uh the important part of all of this when it comes to a now analyzing the way you shoot and things like that is just knowledge about how you work and what you're doing and not doing is the power to change. So if you look at your analysis and realize that you're not key wording you've got then you you khun you and change and become a key worker because there are things like that key wording on dh flagging and starring and stuff like that that really will change the way your client's view your work and how accessible you are two people who want to find you those types of things are very critical too your business and to the way your images are viewed by your clients for instance, if you're choosing to many images your clients are going to see you is not as good a photographer it's on lee when you realize that les is mohr that your clients will start to see you as a better photographer than maybe even you are I mean there's a lot of people out there that wonder how you know x photographer, wife, photographer get a that such and such a client and the reason they get such in such a client in the reason they get all these clients that you think how they ever get that client is because they don't shown very many images you know they showed him like they showed this great portfolio but you as their friend know that they're not a good photographer but they're only showing you know they're fifty best images and so the client thinks they're amazing. Well, if you're showing the client you know a thousand images every time you show them a wedding or something like that, you know when you try and get the business if you're showing him every shot you've ever shot you just you just watering down the message what you need to do is you need to I I like when I go out to dinner I love lemonade love it I always drink lemonade whenever I'm anywhere I am but sometimes if I if they don't have lemonade, they'll ask me. They say, do you want water with lemon in it? Because they assume that I want something wet and I happen to like women. So it would make sense for me to have a a lemonade, you know which just water and a piece of lemon in it. Lemonade is different than water with lemon in it. Because lemonade is potent, it is saturates the very, very essence of lemon it's sour it's. You know, it gets you, whereas water is mostly water is mostly blah with a little bit of lemon. And so when you choose, you know, one hundred images is to show your client stead of five. The five will wow them on all five images. If you give them one hundred images, they'll be bored on ninety percent of them, and then they'll love the ones that they would have loved anyway, if you just showed him the five or ten. So you want to make your viewing experiences potent as possible and it was interesting I was teaching a workshop in person. Teo and I was teaching this concept of of, you know, selecting less images instead of showing your client you know, a thousand images shown five hundred images. You know, cut it in half and see what they think and never show the client two of the same thing. Show them one, you know, the best version of this and the best version of that. And I said, I promise you, if you do this and you do it well, you know and be a harsh editor, that when your client looks at the work, they will come back to you and say, wow, every image you shot is amazing and they'll be wrong because every image you shot is not amazing, you know, every image you shot, you know, fifty percent of them were duds, but you only showed them five or ten percent of what you shot, and so they think everything you shot is amazing, but what they're really saying is everything you showed me is amazing, and so sure enough, she sent me an email right after that workshop because she had applied everything I had told her, and when she came back to me, she sent me an email and said you were absolutely right. When I sent these images the first time I've ever done it this way, I sent my images to the client, and then she quotes her bride and her bride rights or back and says, wow, every single image you shot is amazing and used those exact words every image you shot is amazing and so it's very true that people will judge you by what they see and what you choose to show them and that's why cartier bresson is correct and saying that showing your contact sheets is like taking your pants off in public because you're showing stuff you don't want to show so the better photographer shows less not more so that's why flagging is important that's why starring is important that's why knowing yourself is important so any way you can come to learn yourself and understand how you shoot is a worthwhile process because once you understand how you shoot you can correct some of your deficiencies so that's that's the way I feel about it that's the that's the way I operate it as an artist and as a photographer I try and take a step back and objectively look at who I am and what I'm doing so that I can correct and make course corrections to be better at what I do andi I think over the years it's been it's been fascinating to look back and see how much improvement has occurred on dh and I'm glad because I if if if you're not embarrassed by two years ago his work then you're not improving enough and and I really believe that you need to really look back and be embarrassed by what you've done because you want to improve that rapidly and the only way to improve that rapidly is to really scrutinize what you're doing on dh that's just a tool that you can use to do it but there's so many tools to use to do that including your friends, your friends and your acquaintances you know, use them too, critique it work find other photographers that you trust and have him come in and critique your work so that they are and tell him to be honest, you know, don't encourage brutal, honest discussion of people's images you don't get it a group of ten people together or five people are three and say we're going to be brutal with each other and when we leave, we're going to go and have dinner or whatever and we're going to be friends again. But when we're in this session, we're going to brutalize each other when it comes to our photography because that's, the way you learn and the yes man syndrome, you think you're good, but when you get out in the world, you're really not, so you end up doing weird things like most stars do, you know you end up, you know, doing strange things in bars, you know, urinating in buckets and stuff like that, you know, because you you've everybody said yes to you your whole life, and so you're going to think you're awesome, no matter what, and it's, just not true. None of us are awesome, no matter what. So we need people to say you messed up here. You're not very good in this, so that we can improve.

Class Description

Want to know how to tailor Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® to make them even more powerful? Join creativeLIVE instructor Jared Platt for a three-day introduction to the plugins that will change the way you use Adobe’s seminal programs.

Jared will guide you through a wide variety of plugins as he explains why and how to use each one. You’ll learn about building a workflow that incorporates plugins, saving you time and money in the post-production process. Jared will also cover ways to synchronize and implement plugins on multiple computers. You’ll also explore the built-in tools in Lightroom® and Adobe® Photoshop® for creating and implementing your own plugins.

By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to harness the power of plugins and take your image editing skills to new heights.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0, Adobe Lightroom 5