The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow

Lesson 46 of 47

Alternative Workflows

 

The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow

Lesson 46 of 47

Alternative Workflows

 

Lesson Info

Alternative Workflows

You know, I've talked about my workflow which works for me. It probably doesn't necessarily work perfectly for you. Maybe you're using different software. You might even be using Nikon or Canon software. I doubt it for most people. But I will say this. Technically, if you want the best image quality in the final image that your camera can produce, you have to use the camera company's software. But you may not be able to manipulate the image the way you want it to look in their software, or not easily. The reason I say that is because they know their files, their RAW file type. And you will end up with an image that has the least amount of noise, probably, and the best rendering of the image file. For most of us, we've found that Nikon Capture, or whatever Canon's RAW software is, while it's good at rendering the image file, it's not very easy to use and manipulate the image like we're used to in Lightroom or some other software. I will say for my Hasselblad, their software focus is qui...

te robust. Phase One is a camera company who makes really high-end medium format cameras. Capture One is an excellent piece of software, and it's one of the ones down here. And lots of people are moving to Capture One, which has, honestly, most of the functionality that Lightroom has, if not a little extra few things that Lightroom doesn't have as well. Photo Mechanic, this is not a software you can actually download, or work up RAW files in, but it is a browser software that you can preview and render your images and import and do all kinds of stuff there. Adobe Camera Raw we've talked about. Adobe Camera Raw is exactly the same thing as Lightroom. It's just between Bridge and Photoshop. It is the RAW processing translation. It's got pretty much all the exact same sliders that are in Lightroom. We showed it at one point during the class. They're just oriented a little differently in how they're laid out. And there's a whole bunch of other ones. On 1, DXO, Affinity, I mean there's a whole bunch of new ones that I don't even know the names of and have never used before. So you can try all those out and figure out what you want. It's up to you as to which one works best for your work. In the end, hopefully you're gonna get to the same place that you would've gotten, regardless of the software, because it's your intent in where you see that image going. But hold off in questions just a second, because you know, if you're a photojournalist, let's just talk about different genres of photography real quick. If you're a photojournalist, a lot of photojournalists I know use Photo Mechanic, because they're on the clock. They shot the whatever happening, you know, down at the courthouse, and they've got 10 minutes to get back to the office, download those images, and then 20 minutes later they need to have two or three images that can go into the newspaper or whatever, up on the Reuters website, or whatever it is. And speed is ultimate thing here. So they're probably shooting JPG, or JPG plus RAW. And then they're probably using Photo Mechanic, because it's the fastest download editing software out there that I've seen. I mean, it's wicked fast. It's reading straight off the cards, the previews, so it's not even building previews hardly. And that's like my buddy Brian Bielmann, I was telling you, the surf photographer. He's shooting 3,000 images a day, standing there for 12 hours at the beach, shooting, or swimming out on the water, whatever he's doing. And he gets back and they want those images up on the website in an hour, like the best 12, or whatever, best 20. So I mean, that is crazy, trying to think of that. And I told you, he's tagging on the back of his Canon camera the images that he wants to use. And he has enough experience to know like, these are the best ones, looking at the back of the camera. Then he puts it into Photoshop. He might open them up into Adobe Camera Raw for like a minute each. And he's got presets he uses. And he just whiz, bang, boom, done. And it's not gonna be perfected to the level that we've talked about here. But it's gonna look pretty good and be perfect for the web, and then he outputs them, sends them off, and bam, they're on the web. So it just depends on speed. And so Photo Mechanic might be a great option for that. If you use a certain brand of camera, like I was saying, Phase One, then maybe Capture One's better for you with that camera system. If you're, you know, they're different films, basically. Each one of these different RAW processing softwares is going to start out with different colors, as we saw in the Lightroom profiles, that they just moved to the top of the Develop panel, where you can mouse over and see all the different way that renders your RAW profile, or your Raw image. So, you know, you might find that you prefer the colors in Capture One over Lightroom. For me, I tried out Capture One, and I didn't actually like the colors as much. So I was bucking the system, since everyone seems to love Capture One's colors. It may just be that I've been working in Lightroom so long, it's what I'm used to, and I prefer to stick with that. And in terms of the other RAW processors, you know, whether you use Adobe Camera Raw, like I think Jeff, we were talking about, for your sessions, you're shooting 60 to 100 images. And you know, you're not editing thousands of images every time you go in. You're probably gonna know within 10 minutes what the best five images are. And so, using Bridge in Adobe Camera Raw is just faster and easier. And then maybe you put those images into Lightroom to keep track of stuff later, maybe you don't. It's up to you. So a wedding photographer, this is whole other ball of wax, like a wedding photographer. There's not necessarily a speed component here. So you shoot the wedding. Your client probably wants to see those images as soon as possible, because they're all antsy after the wedding. But hopefully they went on their honeymoon, so they're not chomping at the bit too much to see those images. But after they get back from the honeymoon a week later, it'd be kind of fun for them to relive the wedding, you know, that next weekend, or whatever it is. So you might have a week to work up images. Maybe you use Lightroom, maybe you use whatever you're gonna use. You edit them down, but you might have 800 to 1,200 images to work up. And this comes down to the three things I said earlier. You can have quality, you can have quantity, or you can have it cheap, pick any two. This might have a big effect on how expensive your wedding photographer is. Because if they're gonna spend a week working up 800 images, that means they might have 10 minutes per image after the editing is done to cull it down to whatever they're gonna give you. And they may or may not work it up to a high level, depending on what the time constraint is. Or they might spend three weeks doing it, and their prices are much higher because they've gotta pay for that extra time, depends. But I mean, man, wedding photography is brutal in this aspect, if you're shooting RAW, which some wedding photographers don't. They just shoot JPGs for simplicity, which, it's up to them, you know. So that's kinda brutal on the processing front. Some wedding photographers have crews of people that come in to process their images. Or not crews, but an extra image editor, to help them process images, just because it's a giant workload. So that is actually pretty intensive on the RAW processor. But on the back end, for archiving, they may not, it's not like they're ever gonna need to go back to those images for, you know, whoever the client was. They may just output them onto hard drives and put them away in a safe, and maybe every once in a while, spin those up, just to make sure everything's there. They may hand the client a DVD, and they don't have those images on their hard drive ever again, and say look, these are your images. It depends on how they're working the system. I don't know for wedding photographers how it's exactly done all the time. But they may give the images to the client and then erase them off their hard drives and say, it's you're responsibility to back up these images so you have them. Or they may hold all the images back and give your client a few images, and then offer prints to everybody. But then they're, in a lot of wedding scenarios, prints can be the final images, instead of just JPGs for a lot of clients. And how you do that off of the prints, there's all kinds of wedding print services out there for setting up websites so all the people at the wedding can order prints and stuff. There's all kinds of different ways to do that. So those are just a few options.

Class Description

Setting up a practical and efficient workflow with your photography feels like a daunting part of your business. Internationally recognized photographer Michael Clark introduces you to techniques to allow you more time to shoot the images you want. His workflow philosophy is that you must first know how you are going to edit the image in post production to know how you need to shoot it.

In this class Michael teaches:

  • Best practices for a shooting workflow from setting up your camera to histograms and exposure
  • How to clean the sensor on your DSLR camera
  • Color management workflow including your work environment and monitor calibration
  • An overview of Lightroom® and multiple ways to speed up your workflow including file folder and batch naming as well as metadata and archival processes
  • Techniques to finalizing your images in Photoshop® with basic adjustments and retouching
  • Making fine art prints, choosing your printer, paper, understanding ICC profiles, and much more!

Michael covers everything you need to know in order to streamline your post production workflow in Lightroom® and Photoshop® and best practices for printing your art at home. Digital photography is far more complicated than shooting film ever was. Knowing the best practices for a digital workflow will make you a better photographer.

Lessons

  1. Class Introduction
  2. Shooting Workflow: Set-up The Camera
  3. Shooting Workflow: Histograms and Exposure
  4. Shooting Workflow: Sensor Cleaning
  5. Overview of Color Management
  6. Color Management: Monitor
  7. Color Management: Workspace
  8. Color Management: Monitor Calibration
  9. Color Management: Do I Need This?
  10. Introduction to Lightroom®
  11. Download & Import Images With Lightroom®
  12. Lightroom® Preferences
  13. Six Ways to Speed-up Lightroom®
  14. To DNG or Not to DNG?
  15. A Logical Editing Process in Lightroom®
  16. File & Folder Naming in Lightroom®
  17. Batch Renaming in Lightroom®
  18. Entering Metadata in Lightroom®
  19. Managing Images in Lightroom®
  20. Introduction to the Develop Module in Lightroom®
  21. Lightroom® Develop Module
  22. Sharpening, Chromatic Aberration & Vignetting in Lightroom®
  23. Graduated Filters & Spot Tool in Lightroom®
  24. Converting images to Black & White in Lightroom®
  25. Creating Panoramas in Lightroom
  26. Creating HDR Images in Lightroom®
  27. Lightroom® to Photoshop® Workflow
  28. Export Images to Photoshop®
  29. Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Basic Adjustments
  30. Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Retouching
  31. Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Saving Master Files
  32. Make Fine Art Prints: The Cost
  33. Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Printers
  34. Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Papers
  35. Make Fine Art Prints: Understand ICC Profiles
  36. Make Fine Art Prints: Sharpen Image
  37. Printing From Photoshop®
  38. Printing From Lightroom®
  39. Compare Monitor to Physical Prints
  40. Printing Black & White Image
  41. Extended Workflow: Back Up Images
  42. Extended Workflow: Storage Options
  43. Extended Workflow: Archiving Images
  44. Submitting images to Clients
  45. Prepping Images for Social Media
  46. Alternative Workflows
  47. Final Q&A

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Michael is a true professional and readily explains all of the nitty gritty issues of a photographer's digital workflow, including important things like Color Management, Lightroom workflows, Printing, and more. He is eager to answer your questions and has a thorough knowledge (after all, he worked with the original engineers at Adobe and wrote a book on it) and passion that he loves to share. He can get way deep into the subject, which I found fascinating. You can tell Michael has great experience in teaching and also likes to learn from his students. He is very authentic, honest, and direct. I highly recommend this class, and look forward to another one of Michael's courses in the future!

a Creativelive Student
 

This is an excellent course. It reinforced what I already knew and enhanced my spotty skills with new knowledge. I really like Michael's explanation of saving the document for print and web and the importance of doing these differently. Using the histogram to show this was terrific. Each session there is some valuable gem.

Chris van der Colff
 

Michael covers the postproduction workflow in a simple and easy to understand manner. He includes some wonderful tips while explaining his methods. It’s nice to learn from an experienced photographer who breaks things down for both the professional as well as a novice. I have watched this course several times and get something each time. Michael is a great instructor.