Monday, January 24, 2011

Photo Workflow

I get asked a lot about my workflow.  My workflow is completely different from the other half's workflow, neither is right and neither is wrong.  It's just what works best for each of us.

First off I take my card and battery out of my camera.  The card goes into my computer and the battery goes into the charger.  Key thing to remember here is put both back into your camera when you finish.  I learned the hard way. lol

I use Adobe Lightroom to import my photos.  This does three things at once for me, it copies the photos from the card and puts them in my RAW folder, it organizes the files by date, and it puts them into Lightroom for me. I use Lightroom for my basic developing.  It works better for me than Photoshop.  I would have had a cool screen shot for you but I forgot to make one. :(

Now when I started with Lightroom, I was totally lost.  I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  So what did I do?  I took an online class with Nathan Holritz from Photographer's Edit.  It's called "HOW TO PROCESS A PORTRAIT SESSION IN AN HOUR OR LESS! "  It's worth the hour in front of the computer.  Then go find the podcasts for Killer Lightroom Tips from Scott Kelby.  Now it's time to get to work!

Today we are going to be working on a photo of a hot air balloon.  So what does it look like?

Not great is it?  Kind of flat, nothing special at all.  But this is what a RAW file looks like.  Now it's time to develop it.  That's even what this section of Lightroom is called.  So we are going to adjust the settings and get it looking fairly well.

So now the balloon is looking pretty good, the grass is nice and green, but the sky is totally without color.  Now I have a choice to make, do I dodge and burn in Lightroom or in Photoshop.  For this photo I'm going to move over to Photoshop.  I don't always do this but for this one I've got some other things I want to do.  Follow Scott Kelby's tips on how to do this, he, in my opinion, is the expert.

So here we are, one thing to double check before getting started is that you are in 8 bits not 16 bits mode.  Now I'm going to burn the sky.  

The sky looks better but this might be as good as it gets due to where the sun was when I took the photo.  At least there is some color in it now. I think I'll add a little blur to the sky.  I'm going to use the quick select tool, select the sky, do a layer mask, then add just a little gaussian blur.  Then I'll click save and it will send it back to Lightroom.  From there I'll export it to the folder that I want it to be in, and then I'll upload it here for you to see. 

Not a bad ending if I do say so myself.

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