Exercise 1: YOUR OWN WORKFLOW 1

Timing for this exercise could not have been better. I have recently purchased a Drobo back up system and was anyway planning to fine-tune my workflow. I guess this exercise will help me to streamline the process.

To demonstrate the workflow I would like to use my Singapore skyline photographs, which I had taken just 10 days back. I am going to divide the process into 3 different stages.

1. Pre photo-shoot
2. During the photo-shoot
3. After the photo-shoot

1. Pre photo-shoot

The graphical representation below explains the routine I normally try to follow before any Photo-shoot. Depending on the situation I tend to interchanged point number 5, 6, and 7 a bit.

Pre-shoot

The model was complete amateur and  very shy in front of the camera. I know her personally, that made her feel slightly more comfortable and thankfully she took my directions quite nicely.

2. During the photo-shoot

The workflow I followed during the shoot is given below.

Ex1-during-shoot-wf

I already had the location, some idea and certain lighting expectations for the photograph I wanted. Initially I started with full frame photos and then we progressed to three quarters, followed by shoulder and head shots. During the shoot I realized  that model’s features were best presented in three quarters or head shots.

Image 1: In the following screen shot one can see how small changes made during the photo-shoot improved the final image drastically.

Screen-Shot-landscape

When we started with this series, initially the background and the foreground were very cluttered. To tackle this I had to ask the model to step forward a bit and also zoomed in a little. This helped me to separate the subject from the background. Increased the ISO to 500 (4th image above). Finally used reflector to add some light on the subject and that did the trick, also notice the gradual shift in the pose (from very rigid to casual).

Image 2:
I realized the model wasn’t confident with the camera and posing, hence I just asked her to lean on the railing. This worked for her.

Screen-Shot-portrait

In the picture above the main credit goes to the reflector for improving the picture quality. Next time I would also like to use 50mm lens to blur out the background even more.

Luckily this photo-shoot had progressed as per my plans, but things can vary.  At times there can be some obstacles while shooting. If required I am quite prepared to make on-the-spot changes in my workflow to ensure the best quality results.

3. After the shoot

1. Transfer the images

img-trans

2. Import the images to LR3

Folder-nesting

3. Selection process

  • Select and flag the images “Rejected” if they have obvious technical fault or are aesthetically off.
  • Select the remaining images and flag them,this way it is easy to use filtering and get organized.
  • I started started with total of 28 images. After the initial selection process I narrowed the selection to 9 images.
  • Did parallel comparison in LR and selected the image which was best technically and aesthetically.
4. Sort the images by assigning 1, 2 or 3 stars
  • 1 star – revisit the images for second review
  • 2 stars – potentially good images
  • 3 stars – very good images

Immediately I was left with 3 images with

5. Edit the images (starting with the 3 stars first)

6. Final selection, and assigning 4 and 5 stars to the selected images.

7. Rename the images.

8. Upload the image to the web. While uploading I also choose the option “Sharpen the image for the screen”

8. Market the images through social media

Final Images:

Ex1 workflow

Ex1 workflow-1

I have been taking photographs for few years now, so I have a steady workflow. However I am constantly working on improving it by doing the following.

  • I revisit my workflow on regular interval. This is especially important as technology changes very fast nowadays and there are better ways of managing your digital workflows.
  • Managing time, planning the resources in advance, thinking through the difficulties, ensuring comfort and safety and many more factors play a big role in your physical and digital workflows. Many times I try to take a break from the routine and think about these aspects.
  • I use forums and try to implement suitable tips to fine-tune my existing system.
  •  I constantly read books to improve my skills. In my free time I also like watching video tutorials that are available on the Internet.
  • I talk to the experts and veterans of the field to see their approach. This is where I learn the most.

Conclusion

Before this exercise I did not pay too much attention to the star system. Now I realized that by using the star system I can actually make the process quite logical and easy to navigate. I would also like to add that I was quite satisfied with the workflow I have been following, though I would be looking forward to my tutor’s feedback on this.

Note: I have realized that I do not have enough experience on preparing the images for print media. I am looking forward to learning about it during the degree course.

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