The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Welcome to our class here, professional photographers workflow, digital workflow. We'll just get a little bit of an overview of the class, because we're gonna cover a ton of material in the next two days. A little disclaimer upfront here, these are my opinions, these are my experiences, these are not the only way to do stuff. I'm sure all of you, and all of you in the audience, have your own digital workflow and your own software, that you use, which may or may not be the same stuff that we're doing, and it's just as effective as what I'm doing. I'm not here to say this is the only way, I'm just giving you an example of a workflow. Take from it what you want, you know, if you learn something cool you can add to your workflow, that's great. If there's something I do, you're like that's totally nuts, I would never do that, then don't worry about it. Just keep moving on. Who's this class for, or what we're gonna cover in this class, we're gonna cover a lot. This is a complete a to z class...

on digital workflow. We're not gonna sit here in software for two days, don't worry, but we certainly could. This is starting with the camera, going all the way through, this next slide showing the shooting workflow, how you shoot in the field, effects, the overall image quality in the end. My philosophy on digital workflows, it starts in the camera and it goes all the way through to the final print, or wherever the image is being shown, whether it's online, or on Instagram, or wherever. We started with a camera, then we start with color management, which is why we have this nice EIZO monitor here. And we'll talk about digital processing, so that is the software, we're gonna be using Lightroom and Photoshop. And then, cataloging and archiving your images, since it's a professional photographers workflow, there might be a few extra things on the end, that a lot of you who aren't professionals, don't necessarily need or want but just so you know what we're going through. In terms of topics, we're gonna talk about, setting up the camera, by shooting workflow I mean, like how I set up the camera in terms of the histogram. We'll talk a little bit about histograms, figuring out the best exposure, which may or may not be the exposure the camera tells you. We'll do a live little shoot with one of our members here. Color management, I'm kind of a total nut job on color management, so you'll find out very quickly about that, that'll be most of our segment this morning. Managing your images, which is a huge deal for most people, just keeping track of stuff. Editing images, adding metadata, which is also a key part of keeping track of stuff. Cataloging and archiving, I mean there's a whole bunch of topics, this isn't even all the ones we're gonna go through. Working up your images in Lightroom, and Photoshop. Printing, which is something you may or may not do, but I'm gonna highly recommend that you start if you don't already, and give you reasoning for that. Backing up and storing, which is a huge deal as well, so you don't lose images. And then, we'll discuss tomorrow afternoon, alternative workflows. Everyone of these little segments could be its own two day class, we're gonna go as deep as we possibly can, and some things we'll go deeper than others, but we'll see how far we get into that. There's definitely lots of Creative Live classes that Jim can recommend, and I'll recommend a few along the way, that go much deeper into certain topics than we have time for here. Who's this class for? This is class is for basically anybody who's a photographer. I'm an adventure sports photographer, who shoots a lot for Red Bull, and Nikon, and Adobe, and Apple, big clients like that. But, reality is, it doesn't matter if your a pro or an amateur, digital workflow is digital workflow, and you can probably pick up a few tips here and there that'll help you out. If you're just starting out in photography, as long as you know how to use your camera and download images, you can probably find quite a bit of useful stuff in here. If you're a working pro photographer, you may know 90% of this stuff, but you might just pick up a few things here and there. It's just little tricks, and you know, I've been using this workflow for more than a decade, probably 15 years now, so I've kinda perfected my workflow to a certain degree, to make everything run really smooth. I think the class is pretty much for every photographer, and when I do other classes, I tell the photographers in the class, maybe 60 to 70% of them could become a better photographer, just by learning how to work up their images better. That seems to be a spot where a lot of people could improve. What this class is not. This is not the end all, be all digital workflow, because we'd have to be here for years to do that. It's gonna give you the basis for a really solid digital workflow, especially the color management section. If you're watching this morning, this is gonna be the key to everything else we're gonna do in this class. I'm gonna show you some things you've probably never heard about in color management. It's not just calibrating your monitor. We won't be able to cover everything sadly, in extreme detail. Next little slide here, is just talking about, I'm on a Mac or an Apple computer, if you're on a PC, here's the translations, you're probably used to this if you're on a PC or on a Mac, to translate, you know, Command is Control, Option is Alt, you get the idea here. Keep that in mind if you're on a PC, I'll try and call out the different things, 'cause they actually say Alt Option on the Mac here as well. Just so everybody's with us. My history with digital workflow started, well I didn't switch to digital till about 2003, 2004. In the outdoor industry, it was a little bit behind the news and the photojournalists out there, because we waited for the resolution to get a little higher. And also, because most of my clients didn't know how to deal with it. One of the first big jobs I had with digital, was actually shooting for Adobe Lightroom, before the first version of Adobe came out. It was actually my first giant commercial job I ever did in my career. I was super excited, it came about in a pretty crazy way, that I got in touch with the guys at Adobe and they saw some of my mountain biking images. This is in Moab. Some of these guys are jumping off 30, 40 foot cliffs here. We shot for a day and a half, and then I had to have the engineers at Adobe show me how to use the software, because nobody had ever seen Lightroom before. And so, I thought this is pretty rare that I'm getting taught how to use software by the people that designed the software. I should write this down. And so, in 2006 I came out with the first edition of my workflow eBook. At that time it was like 128 pages, now it's 500 pages long. This eBook, which you can buy at my website, at the link down there, is the basis for this class. This is the sixth edition, or seventh edition of the eBook, I'm not even sure which edition it is. I've been selling it on my website for like 12 years now. Adobe used to have this eBook on their website, one of three books you could buy to use the software, when you bought Lightroom. It's been around a long time, thousands of photographers have purchased this eBook, and used it. Many very famous photographers, kind of shocking to me, I was like, wow, okay. It's become kind of a standard in the workflow industry. As I've updated each edition of the book, I've perfected my skills as well, 'cause I've pushed myself farther and father. A, to have something to write about and B, because in that period between the editions, I was actually learning stuff continually to figure out what was going on. Reiterate, we're gonna cover, or try to cover as much as we possibly can from the book. Obviously, 500 pages, we can't do that in two days, but the fun thing about here, is I'm gonna get to comment on stuff that you won't get in the book. There's gonna be a lot of value in this class, and I think just working up the images, seeing me clean that sensor here, live, on Creative Live, there's some things that I couldn't do in the book that we can do here. It's very exciting to be presenting this material to you live, and to you out on the internet.

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

Class Introduction
Shooting Workflow: Set-up The Camera
Shooting Workflow: Histograms and Exposure
Shooting Workflow: Sensor Cleaning
Overview of Color Management
Color Management: Monitor
Color Management: Workspace
Color Management: Monitor Calibration
Color Management: Do I Need This?
Introduction to Lightroom®
Download & Import Images With Lightroom®
Lightroom® Preferences
Six Ways to Speed-up Lightroom®
To DNG or Not to DNG?
A Logical Editing Process in Lightroom®
File & Folder Naming in Lightroom®
Batch Renaming in Lightroom®
Entering Metadata in Lightroom®
Managing Images in Lightroom®
Introduction to the Develop Module in Lightroom®
Lightroom® Develop Module
Sharpening, Chromatic Aberration & Vignetting in Lightroom®
Graduated Filters & Spot Tool in Lightroom®
Converting images to Black & White in Lightroom®
Creating Panoramas in Lightroom
Creating HDR Images in Lightroom®
Lightroom® to Photoshop® Workflow
Export Images to Photoshop®
Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Basic Adjustments
Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Retouching
Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Saving Master Files
Make Fine Art Prints: The Cost
Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Printers
Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Papers
Make Fine Art Prints: Understand ICC Profiles
Make Fine Art Prints: Sharpen Image
Printing From Photoshop®
Printing From Lightroom®
Compare Monitor to Physical Prints
Printing Black & White Image
Extended Workflow: Back Up Images
Extended Workflow: Storage Options
Extended Workflow: Archiving Images
Submitting images to Clients
Prepping Images for Social Media
Alternative Workflows
Final Q&A
 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • 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!
  • 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.
  • A fantastic course to give you a complete view of the full process of photography. Michael is an awesome instructor, very organized! A clear mind, and an approachable instructor always willing to answer your questions! A must for all photographers!