Tuesday, December 28, 2010

500 photos in Merimbula - How to process?

Three wise seagulls on the beach
We went to Merimbula for a break just before Christmas and I took my camera (of course) and spent one evening strolling around some old jetties and there was a ton of photos I took. Basically three dedicated times where I went out to take pictures and I ended up with 500 photos....The question is how do you process volumes of pictures and get the most out of them.

The Answer is Lightroom........Adobe Lightroom to be exact

I am learning so much about Lightroom (it is my new best friend - it is like a min-photoshop and lets you do a lot of basic work on a photo much quicker than photoshop and without so many bells and whistles)

OK my system for processing a lot of pictures is:-

1. Load them onto my harddrive into relevant folder

2. Rename them all and make sure they have some basic tags on them (I do this in bulk edits)
3. Then there are some you want to tweak and some you want to have whole Photoshop experience with (I seriously need to get out more)....How do you do this....

4. I Import them all into Lightroom (this can be done in Bridge) and give them all a rating of 1-5 depending on what I want to do with them and I can even add a flag too so I have two systems ready to go

5 My rating system is 1 (possible delete), 2. average (like a family snapshot), 3 means could be ok with some work (basically you know you havent got unlimited time so theses are like the "on the bench set"), 4 - IMages I really like. (I save 5 for later)...You can also add a flag using 6,7,8,9 (but I havent used that much yet.
6. I then filter them and look at the 4 star ratings and give a 5 to the best of those and they are the images I am going to work on first. I work on them in Lightroom, but can take them into Photoshop for more detailed tweaking, especially with faces and things.......Having a system is awesome instead of floundering in a zillion pictures, get organised and use star ratings to filter the pictures without deleting any.
- I ended up with about 90 "4 star" and 17 "5 star"images at the end of this process

IT is also important to have all of your RAW images (archive or unprrocessed) in a file and then a separate file to store the images you tweak, so you still have the original (as shot) image. So in this example I have a file called Merimbula and subfiles - Lightroom done and - LIghtroom smaller. The smaller ones are to put on my blog and facebook or whatever. It is easy to export from Lightroom into the folders

Even just some old pieces of wood (an old ramp maybe) are interesting on the beach

I have only worked on a few but only in lightroom. I need to make sure that the pictures I put on http://www.actionpactpix.com/ are of a really high quality so when people buy them, they are getting a really good image. I am also using some surf pictures for a new composite image I started the other day. Too many things to do.........Dont think I will be using 500 images, I take a lot of photos and experiment with camera settings and aperture and shutter speed which is a great way to learn....it is helping me.......

There are so many bits of old shellfish, not sure what these are, but they are all empty

 Anyway a couple of pictures I dd some basic editing on are included in this post. I just did some cropping and changed tones and stuff.......it is a lot of fun!
The water was very calm and the reflections look fantastic

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