Gadling, one of my favorite travel blogs, realized that people have a “nasty” habit of taking photos while traveling, probably from looking at huge amount of pictures available at their Flickr group’s public photo pool. What they may have also realized is that some of them aren’t that good, and it’s always heartbreaking to see fabulous places shown in boring photos.
Whatever the reason may be, the guys at Gadling started a new series, entitled Through the Lens, where the basics of photography are explained in a simple way, specially target for backpackers with almost no camera skills. Their latest entry is dedicated to the simple concept of exposure, or how shutter speed and aperture diameter affect the amount of light that goes inside the camera and how a funny thing called ISO allows me to take photos with low light.
PS- With the valuable lesson you may even get a Photo Of The Day.
Through the Gadling Lens: apertures and shutters and ISOs, oh my! [Gadling]
Thomas Hawk, photographer and one of the minds behind Zooomr, posted an interesting post in his blog where he explains his process of handling the hundreds of photos taken each day. While not being exactly “rocket science” it’s interesting to check the workflow of a professional, whose archive nowadays is bigger than 5 TB, and compare it to our own because, as an amateur photographer, my organizational and handling problems are about the same, but in a much smaller scale.
My workflow nowadays is built around the fact that my everyday operating system of choice for some time has been Linux, which can be cut down to this:
- Using F-Spot (recently I preferred it over Picasa because it’s a Gnome native application) I import all the photos in my memory cards to a Incoming folder in my storage device, I rarely delete photos. F-Spot already organizes those photos into folders with “year\month\day” structure, something I use to do by hand, so this keeps the bulk data roughly organized per date. I’ll do some basic tagging here also.
- Quickly browse the imported photos and develop the ones “somehow interesting” with UFRaw, (I’ve been shooting exclusively in RAW for some time). I don’t have the huge amount of photos Thomas has so I don’t use the intermediate Maybe, I just rely on the different versions created by F-Spot.
- Basic processing in Gimp, 95% of the time is things like Levels, Curves, Noise Reduction, Saturation and Unsharp Mask.
- The output of previous step goes to a Processed folder, which contains lossless JPEG files (sometimes in a slightly smaller resolution). This is the starting point for the final touch, if any (most of the times is extra processing like a fake lomo look).
- Pick some of the photos Processed folder and publish them to my Flickr and Zooomr accounts, usually the tagging and geotagging is done here.
- And that’s it!
One of the differences I’ve found whe comparing both workflows, where I feel I could improve my own, is tagging and geotagging. I mostly do this in photos I’m about to publish, most probably because I’m lazy guy, but I’m facing the fact that doing it on an earlier stage highly improves the ability to browse and search larger collections, something I’m already in need as mine is reaching a point where is becoming hard to manage.
A photography workflow evolves throughout time, adjusting to someone’s needs and preferences, mine changed a lot in the last couple of years when I decided to shoot RAW and use Linux on my desktop, and this is the current iteration of mine, which will probably evolve in the future (having a decent Lightroom in Linux would be a fine reason to change it a little).
And that’s all!
My Photography Workflow [Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection]
PS – I guess this post also could be called “Photography workflow in Linux only using with Open Source tools”
[update] Nowadays my workflow is slightly different, the geotagging of all my photos is done as soon as I import them (using Geotag) along with some basic tagging, I then rely on the info in EXIF for sites like Flickr or Zoomr to set the proper location.
Lately I’ve done most of my photo processing with Gimp, which meant no decent noise removal tool for some time (despite being a great app this is one of Gimp’s handicaps). Fortunately I stumbled upon GREYCstoration a free plugin, as in “free beer” and “free speech”, that brings top quality noise reduction to Gimp, probably the best around right after “camera profile oriented” tools like Neat Image.
Denoising with GREYCstoration [Linux Photography]
Thomas Hawk was interviewed for a Mahalo Daily episode on basic photo tips. All of them are very important and should be followed almost religiously, but one caught my eye:
#4: It’s all about the glass
This so true! Too often I find myself trying giving the same equipment advice to friends blinded by the quantity of lenses available in some DSLR kits: one good lens is better than two or three cheap lenses.
PS – Tip #9 probably is the most important: take lots and lots and lots of photos. Persistence leads to perfection and, quoting Henri Cartier-Bresson, your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
[update] This post was on my reading list today, check out item six.
…probably. How to take great photos? Definitely!
photocritic has posted great article, with a very suggestive title, that sums all the important things that make a photo, and all of thiswithout going into technical details like depth of field or exposure.
How to win a photography contest
Lately I’ve been asked to use my so called photographic expertise once or twice, it seems many of my friends are now buying, or planning to buy a digital SLR. When buying a new camera, specially for a newbie, there are a couple of misconceptions regarding lens choice:
- Two lenses are better than one, three is even better
- Lots of zoom is always better.
Fortunately I’ve been able to convince some of them that, when choosing lenses, it’s not about size or quantity, it’s all about quality.
Photocritic » You need a prime lens
Thanks to m0rph3u I became very interested in Lomo cameras and Lomography, although I still don’t have one of those (probably because m0rph3u is now a few thousand miles from me and it’s hard for him to nag me everyday to buy one ) the concept of shooting everything, eveyone, all the time is simply amazing and so different from traditional photography, and that’s probably why it’s something I try to do with in some photos (usually with my camera phone).
Another reason for it’s popularity is the amazing, almost weird, over-saturated colors caused by the character of the Lomo lens and a technique normally used by lomographers called cross processing. That feature has been the subject of many articles and tutorials around the web, most of them are simple a list of steps to get this with Photoshop but this article at swissstuff tries to explain the Lomo look in detail and, of course, the way to get it; in the end, just to make things easier, there’s the corresponding Photoshop Action to download.
This doesn’t mean to be a reason not to use Lomo cameras, but’s a cool way to lomoize photos shot with other cameras and/or not developed using the cross processe technique.
PS – Quem estiver em Lisboa pode sempre dar uma olhada na LomoLisbon.