Automating Location Scouting
We talked about locations and so this is a fun little floating topic that I want to interject on di think it's ah it's a good topic to discuss because it's it's something that actually changes the way you the way your photos look is if you have locations locations they don't make the photographer but they do a great job of helping the photographer you know you still got to be good at photography, but if you're good at scouting location scouting your photography will impress a lot more people and it will be a lot more interesting because the background does matter so I wanted to talk to people about the process of location scouting and how you can automate that process or make that process easier on you. So the first and most obvious is your iphone if you're driving around and you have an iphone or any phone that tags the geo location, just make sure that your location services air on so that when you're out there and you're out and about and you see something interesting, you can take ...
a photo of it and the location information is embedded inside the j peg if you do that and you import those images into light room, then the map on light room will register where that was taken time now in my case I'm shooting images at the grand canyon so right here this is an excellent example I've got an image here of there's this big monolith right next to the edge of the cliff on shoni point and so that is a very identifiable mark so I know just where this photo was taken and so the first thing that I can do is go to the maps and if I've taken a really great image and I want to be able to show people where it is then I simply need to go to that location on my map and tag it so I can take this image and right now we're looking at this but weaken zoom out go to arizona zoom in on arizona and we're going to go up just above flagstaff and you can see here is the grand canyon and here's the road up to the grand canyon and I'm actually going to show you where this location is but in order to do that I'm going to turn on the I'm going to turn on the satellite hybrid so that you can see I got to be able to see the actual the way it looks on dh then I'm going to go hunt for this location it'd be much better if I had gps here in order to find my location but I kind of know where this is so I can kind of go right about here is where it is and I don't see where are you I think it's right about there it's funny how the the maps get made or the images you know, this kind of looks like everything's sliding off the hill so anyway so this is generally the location of where we are and I'm not gonna spend a lot of time trying to find it but it's about here I think that might be it but it's kind of hard to see so I'm gonna just pretend that this is the exact location I know where the location it is and so at this point I can grab this image and just drag it and drop it right there and ive penned it once I pin it now you can see that the the actual location information is in there so there's the gps location if you happen to know the gps location, you could also type it in there so that's the long and less simple way of tagging information as to where you are when you're when you're location scouting or when you're shooting so there it is there's there's one photo and you can say ok, what have I shot and you can see where the pins are and then if you hover over it, you're going to see that image and and so this is a good way of finding imagery but the other thing that you khun d'oh as you can say, well where where was this taken so five years from now when I'm old and senile and I don't know where I took an image, right, I congar o to this image and say, oh, hey, I shot this image and look, it bounces c it goes hey, I'm right here. I'm floating over it. Let me see if I can I gotta zoom in a little bit so you can see that it's kind of fun so I go I want to know where this image was taken, float over and it goes on right here, right here. Okay, so, it's, very easy to find a location. So if you have a client that's really interested in shooting a very specific thing and you happen to have a location that you really like but you forgot what street corner it's on all you have to do is hover over that image and it will bounce at you as long as you have been tagging. Now, this is the best thing to do inside of a portfolio. So if you congee oh, tag your information and most of the time issue is in a given location, right? You're not wandering around. So if you do a cool senior port virtue, the first thing that you should do when you come back from that portrait session is you'd highlight every image you don't even know which ones you're going to keep and go to the map module and drag every single image onto the location where you shot it the exact street corner and that's it because all you need is that general location now if you if you if you spanned out over you know, five or six blocks, then you might want to you know, this part was taken here in this part was taken here in this part is taken here that's if you're using a camera that doesn't auto geo tag now, some of the cameras like cannons, new camera I think it's called the six d has a geo location in it, so you congee hotel, it'll geo tagged your images for you, which means that runs the batteries run out faster so you need more batteries, but I think that's really worthwhile. So if you're buying a new camera and you're going to buy that style or that's, you know that pro sumer level go for something that geo tags like the sixteen. If you have a five d mark three or some other camera that doesn't geo tag, you can put a geo tag on the top so you can take a camera and you can plug in a goes on the flash on the top and it will then tag your images inside of your camera. But if you don't have those options available to you you always have one option available to you and that is your phone your phone has the ability most phones have the ability now to geo tagged themselves and so what I use is a program and it's called uh easy trails so right now there's no gps signal because I have my phone on airplane mode so that we don't interfere with mine inks and stuff but that's this is called uh what I say is calling fast tracks well easy tracks hold them easy trails easy trails is the name of this easy trails and I have it on my dear list so if you are getting the pdf fearless that's in there but easy trails allows you to track your geo location once you tracked your geo location it gives you a list of all of the geo locations all of the different places you've been so you can go and there's all of my tracks that I've made so all I have to do is click on a given track and aiken email that track to myself so when I'm out and I do this on a regular basis and it's just something I do as a course of business and that course of business is finding places to shoot so the course of business you know it's amazing how much people think that we just shoot that's what we do for our job but really, shooting is only one percent of our job. The rest of our job is calling photos, meeting with vendors, talking to people looking for ways to improve our systems, doing taxes, you know, going to lunch with people to try and make better inroads on some way and location scouting and if you're not location scouting, I just don't think you're doing the best thing you can for your business on dh, so I'll go out for two or three hours and just drive around, especially if I have a photo shoot that I know is coming up and someone's interested in something that I can't fill, then I'll just go out and drive around, and so if I know I have a senior portrait, I'll just drive around and when I see something, I'll either take it with my phone, which is already geo tagged or if I'm going out location scouting with a camera like this or with my main camera, I will take pictures and I just simply plug this into the cigarette lighter on my car so that it's so it doesn't drain the batteries and I turn on the geo tag are I mean turn on the the easy trails, easy tracks, easy trails, how is get that confused so I turn on easy trails and then it's tracking my location off time. At least the car's location and usually I'm not far from the car and if I'm going to be far from the car just unplug this put it in my pocket go on when I get back to the car plug it back in because it will drain the battery is rapidly and then I'm just shooting and as long as my camera and my phone have the same time on them then it's absolutely timed so let me show you then I took some pictures with my phone there's ryan on the airplane right there there's me and then this is us okay, now I'm gonna I'm gonna give give away a naughty secret this is us on takeoff and that this is technically an electric elektronik device but I'm taking pictures so this is what tempe arizona looks like as you take off it's pretty cool and then you've got all of this sky stuff going on but then here's what we shot when we went to dinner last night and here's the outside of creative live I thought those looked cool from the outside um and then there is this weird kind of glowy lamp thing going on here. So anyway we took these pictures so that we could geo tag right? So while we're walking up and down the street we have a geo tag going on and so when I go to my maps module you can see that I've got three photos here and if I if I drilled down into those photos you can see my path if on the geo tags uh where did they go? I have no idea where I am in your lovely city uh there we are help there you go. So as I was I barrel down into this you're going to see that there was a photo taken here and a photo taken here so this is creative lives building and this is the building and then we ate over here somewhere and so that's our they were tagged but they were able I was able to auto tagged them because I have the geo trax so let me show you then how to import a geo track you take the geo track that's been emailed to yourself from your phone and it needs to be a g p x that's the name of the file type of g p x so I'm going to go and click on this little tiny squiggly mark that's the track right there I click on this squiggly mark and I say load track log it's going to pull up a question as to where that track log is and I have a whole bunch of track logs here so I have I was doing some geo tagging while we were flying as well I know that's a no no but the plane made it fine so anyway so we're going to grab a a geo track and I don't know which of these some of them I couldn't get a signal and some of them I could and so I'm going to hit choose there you go so we were flying in a very straight line right here and clearly I have some geo tagging going on and this was it like eight fifteen and this was a eight sixteen so we went that far in a minute that's kind of cool to see isn't it? So we went that far in a minute and this is over some pretty rough area and and now I want to see what pictures I took while I was on that route so I'm going to go to my my little geo tag track log button again right here click on it and I'm going to go down too this that says select photos on track log okay, so I'm gonna zoom out here and I'm gonna click on here and it's saying zero selected which means I must not have taken a picture anywhere along this area so and this is going to be kind of crap because I don't know exactly when I had but I'm gonna will find one that works so I'm gonna import trout this next one there's another track look so this travelogue was much longer than the last one so I'll probably get something because I took some pictures over the grand canyon so I'm going to go back to my geo track log and say select photos on the track auto tag the photos so I'm just going to auto tag all there we go so I auto tagged all of the photos where I took them and so now if I click here you can see those clouds were over this exact location so if I really want a certain like certain type of cloud I know that it exists here during this day so now let's go over to our other track log this one this long one and let's auto tag those as well there we go see I took lots of photos from here to here and so now we can go down to the grand canyon and say ok, well what photos did he take during this part see that those are the ones I took during this part so if I click on it select some for me and says this is what you took when you were here so now I can if I want to look at this when I can go there there is the grand canyon look at that not pretty there there's the end in engine and there's the grand canyon but the point is that you have the ability to automatically know where you are at any given look any given moment and from here on out these air tagged because the actual information is inside the file the gps location is in the file so if this file ever makes it to my portfolio I know exactly where it was shot so at home then my portfolio looks like this I have a bunch of images that aiken sort through and in most cases I've geo tagged the best from whatever shoot that I you know, the things that I like and the locations but for certain anything that I've done as a course of location scouting has been geo tagged that way if I ever have a client say hey, I want, you know, some green photos or whatever then aiken sort and look for things that have grass because I could type in the keyword grass and aiken type in the keyword you know, trees or whatever and find locations that may have pictures of people in them or they may be from location scouting and I can put together a a little gallery for them and say would you like to do any of these and they say yes and all I have to do is say ok that's the one they want point to it where was it and it's on my map? I know exactly where it was and I can go there so there is even a process for automating and streamlining your uh, location scouting on dh part of that is just making sure that you geo tag any of your event, so any time you shoot images or wedding images or whatever, make sure that when you finish that photo shoot, you take all the images and you put them on a map so that they're just part of the raw imagery, and you do that before you ever export psd or a j peg. You do it right at the beginning so that then that geo tag is always on that particular file, so that later on, if you need to know where you shot that, you know, so that is the process of automating your location, scouting, and in the end, it will save you a lot of time, because now you know where to shoot, and you can actually show your clients to may think how cool that is to have someone come into your office during, you know, say, say someone's coming to you for a consultation for a wedding constant what wedding consultation? And they say, hey, we're thinking about doing some interesting engagement photos. Do you have any ideas for interesting engagements? And you say, yeah, absolutely, and you pull up a map of engagement photos. And then you just kind of hover over and say what about this location? What about this it's right over here and it's very easy to get to and and this is what it looks like imagine how amazed they are by that like wow this guy because what I find is my intense organizational skills when it comes to photos helps to sell me as a wedding photographer not because wedding because brides want someone who's super organized and geeky but because they know that if he's organized he's not going to be up he's going to be late and if he's organized he's not gonna lose my photos and if he's organized his and get me photos in a timely fashion like those inspires a lot of confidence for someone when they see someone who's organized I mean I've always much more confident when I walk into an office for say, an accountant or a lawyer or whatever and it's organized I have never understood lawyers who have piles of that mean, you know you we walk in and there's paper everywhere and you think how how do we how can I ever trust that this person confined the brief for the trial that they're working on you know I mean clearly they have the ability to do it because they're not you know they're not out of business but I don't know how that happens it's a mystery oh so a clean working environment inspires people and inspires confidence and so does organization. So so you know, these types of things that could inspire a lot of of a lot of confidence in your client's so any questions could question you you bet you so karen age would like to know if you use the free or paid version of trails I is that the paid version? Okay, I think there was some very minor limitation. Okay, I think it was the number of tracks you could have, and since I'm doing a lot of it, like I just have lists and lists of tracks, you know, just tons of tracks in there. So with the number of tracks I have, I couldn't possibly limit that, and I don't even think it's more than a dollar minutes three dollars or so I don't know if it's cheap self. Okay, I think that was our big question. That was like on people's minds. Okay, good. All right, so that is the maps. So I know that that's weird to say that that's a plug in, but my phone is a plug in to the maps inside of light room and it's a very valuable plug in, so I thought it was worth mentioning and people really, really enjoyed that segment. We have a someone like david, just a quick shout out tio right brain for higher family I knew you're going like that like that says they do a lot of work for architectural prospects and geo tagging is going to be amazing love to draw dots on photoshopped maps right now I think I'm just as insanely organized as mr jared so I think for architectural stuff I architecturally stuff that's a brew is absolutely a necessity, I think yes, yeah because there's so much you do with architectural where you just I mean, if I were an architectural type person, I just wander streets in fact, I do when I'm on vacation like I'm going to budapest on sunday so I will be in budapest on sunday and by the way, if you want to join me, you can come there's actually is seriously five hundred dollars off for last minute sign up so well if you happen to be anywhere near budapest and we want to fly down for a week in budapest it's five hundred dollars off the price and all you have to do is put in the code hungry five hundred s o it's at budapest's master class dot com and we're doing four days of photo shoots and work flow so and and what we're going to do because it's a very small class size we're actually going to custom design workflow for each person so every person that's in there we will look at what they do and will customize workflow specifically for them so but anyway, when I'm in budapest, most of what I do is just I love wandering streets and finding architectural elements and I love looking at streets just was streets in him and then finding like some little purcell waiting for someone to come into the and become like a human element in there that some of my favorite stuff to do but I remember I was in stock home for a number of of weeks because it was part of my master's thesis for why I was there and so I would wander the streets of stockholm and uh and I took all these great photos but it's all on film and then years later I was scanning these and trying to figure out where they were and I could remember walking down and so I had to pull up google earth so that I could see this faces of the buildings and then I have to, like do a google earth tour of of my of my experience and stockholm looking I'm like, ok, I remember there was kind of this to the side and it took me I don't take me a couple days to find the places that I had shot so that I could name the images with the street names so I could say this is such a such a street or such in such a building um so anyway, I'm so glad for geo tagging now because tell you what film geo tagging is no fun whatsoever no yeah just kind of the meander through google earth so any other questions have you ever used the application scout app? I have not ok? They were just they were asking about that it's again it's a like a location scouting application also has a camera involved in it and you yeah, and the thing is is I think that that the iphone itself is a fantastic scouting and applications, so if you don't have a geo tagging software or you don't want to run, you know that much power out of you're out of your phone just take a j peg photo with your camera with location services on any time you're anywhere andan just import all those photos as location scout photos and and then you can you take the iphone shot that's sitting right next to all your five d mark three shots and just copy the meta data from the iphone shot to the mark three shots and you've jake geo tagged your location because even you can highlight an image just like this, you've got the geo tagged location way over here and if you just shift, click all of those images that happened to be on the you know another camera then you can just go in and say sink metadata and then you choose what you're going to sink the only thing you need to sink is this geo tag information right here and and so your camera on your iphone as long as you just every once in a while say oh we're in a new location take a picture of it and it's if you're the time of your camera here has the same time on it as your phone then it will always show up at the same locations at the same time and you could just synchronize it so you can also just use one picture from your iphone every time you go to a new location toe help geo tag all of the others you don't even need a track log the track log is just better for this kind of circumstance when you're moving around a lot it's tracking every little location that you are at the precise moment you're there so it's much better for like if you're doing street photography and you're moving around we're moving around with a bride and groom or something like that you'll know exactly what specific spot you were on down to the foot right as opposed to just a general idea but sinking up with the photos is a good idea to great thank you they were going to roll okay all right so we have about twenty minutes here so I thought that we could go into we have we have plenty of plug ins that we haven't really covered all that well, but I thought we could go into our photo shop again so I'm going to go toe photo shop with this little I thought it was a cute little photo I thought the dread air this little hanger this is like a little necklace hangar thought it was kind of cute, so I wanted to talk about another important aspect of photo shop we already talked about making tool presets s o the size of your brush and all that kind of stuff. Andi, we talked about making actions which were here, and I like to keep it in but mode because that makes it a lot easier to find the different actions because the color coded but I wanted to talk to you about even mohr interesting way to find your actions so I'm the type of person that on lee uses about twenty actions or so it's about it don't have a lot of actions. So what you see here from here down to here, down to this blank spot is what I use and those are actions that I've made and then everything else down here is actions that I have that have been installed for me based on the fact that I'm going to show you kevin cobb otas actions now the thing that I like about so if I was an action lady in person I I wouldn't live without the dashboard and this is the dashboard right here and interestingly enough, cambodia has actually made his dashboard into a legitimate part of photo shop whereas nick still has a floating were floating window up here look at this like this floating window will in no way doc anywhere it just won't it just sits up there and it bothers me death a hate it but it's nice I mean, you can click on it and you can you can actually you can actually like these air places for presets so you can actually just say ok, I want to store a preset that I've made in such in such a filter right here so you it's quick access to the different things that you have there so you click it and it just does it so this is a really useful tool but it won't dock anywhere you know, and and cambodia has actually figured out how to dock it because he actually it installs into light rooms manager I mean in tow photo shops manager so he's actually part of this so it looks like to see that cab ota is part of the tools he's he's is important is the fonts right? So I don't know why nick software and rad labs can't dock like come on guys like spend just a little bit more money, hire a programmer and docket it's driving me nuts, and I've told them I told nick the knicks after that the other day, I was like, really, why can't? Why? Why do I always have to close this thing and get it out of the way? Because it's just so ugly and just hate it, but it's a useful tool. So anyway, these don't doc, but tebow docks and I click on it, and I've got all of the actions that he makes here, and I can choose a category for the actions. So if you're looking for a specific category, say like monochrome effects, well, there you've got your monochrome effects just like that and it's. So now instead of scrolling through a list of, you know, fifty or one hundred or whatever, you're scrolling through a very small list and you can just simply click on this now if you click on it shows you what it's going to look like see that so I click click shows me the different ways is going toe look, but if I if I double click, it applies the action or I can click on it and then I can apply from here. But so if I want to run this thing through a black and white, I double click it and it runs the action for it. And then what you've got here is the action is created all of the layers and notice that those layers have been color coded so you see what has been created so that you know all these are the things that were just created and now I can choose to do whatever it is I want to do to those things you know I can adjust them I can fade I'm like what um so or I could take him and I can delete him get rid of him. The other thing that I think is really important than is he's not just giving you his actions but I can also install my user actions and there they are. Look, all of those are user actions that air right here so you can search it he'll go through and basically the dashboard goes through and looks through all of your actions and anything that's not a cambodia action it installs it into the dashboard and this dashboard is absolutely free. So even if you are a person who on lee uses their own actions or use his actions from somebody else you still need to go to cambodia actions and download the the dashboard it installs really simply it hides itself perfectly inside of all of your other little panels and you cook on it and you can search so I can actually click on the search and I can say I want color, there we go. So I've got removed color, noise and color change layer those air two of my actions that are showing up, and I hit doubleclick one, and it'll take care of it, so fantastic little tool and it's free, and then you can also there's other things involved here, too, like, for instance, you can you can create an auto album through it, there's just there's just a lot you can do, so he has an album design tool in there and stuff like that. Although I don't design albums and photo shop, I think photo shop is a really weird place, the design album, but if you're a photoshopped album, designer and that's what you do, you've got an auto photoshopped album builder thing inside of that dashboard, although I don't think that the dashboard is free, but the priests are the actions and the album designer and stuff you would pay for. But that means said the dashboard itself is so useful for for actions that you should have it because it's a way of automating the process of finding stuff if you have a lot of actions, so and it's free, which is great, and it docks, which is an it docks where I don't understand what doc doc it doesn't block, maybe now that google is behind them you may be who knows what's gonna happen right? I don't know yeah they're supposed to be you know, doing some awesome stuff and by the way, you know, there has been I've seen several people talk about the concern that google bought nick and it made all of the photographers go oh no you know is google just buying it tio take the to take the technology and then apply it to their image processing stuff and then just kill the program which would totally make sense you know, if google were too by nick software take all the technology and put it into you know, there online image you know, on google plus like if you could just do all your online imaging and google plus with that with that technology, I'm sure that technology will get in there somehow so I actually posed that question to nick and to the people that nick software and the people that nick software answer wass and I asked if I could say this and it's okay, they said we're in development of other nick software, so the answer is we're still building great, so if they're still building you khun you khun alleviate that fear that google is going to kill the nick program that's I don't think that's the case I think what's going to happen is you're going to see a lot of that technology entering into google plus and entering into picasa and all those type it's things. I think that there are those will beef up. But I think that you'll find that the knicks software itself is going to be coming out some pretty cool stuff. So