You just got your DSLR, maybe a fast prime lens and you go out for your first photo safari! You shoot all day and I bet you cant wait to see what it looks like when you get home and you think “Oh no my photos! They’re flat!” So you go online only to find out about this program called Lightroom, which will fix your photos! You think to yourself, “Awesome lets get this!” Your excitement quickly turns to dismay as you find out that you now need to pay a monthly subscription for this magical software. Well what if you didn’t want to pay, or what if you use linux where its not available? Enter my free and cross platform workflow for photography, it works well enough for professional photographers and amateurs alike!
Image Editing and Post Cleanup
In any phorographers workflow, the most important tool is Adobe Lightroom. This tool allows you to fix lighting levels, saturation, cure red eye and other touch ups in post. It is MUCH easier to use than something like Photoshop and keeps the tools that photographers need front and center. This allows you to quickly page through hundreds of photos, functions as a RAW editor, and most importantly any solution must be non destructive of the original digital negatives. That means no matter what mistakes you make. Your photos are SAFE and SOUND. A good editor cant be stressed enough, it allows you to correct things that you couldn’t compensate for in the field, shooting manual is hard work after all. It also allows you to save awesome shots that would otherwise be lost. But what I love is these editors make good photos STUNNING. Take for example two of my favorite photos, taken with a 70-300 mm in less than advantageous light from a small moving sailboat. The before on the left is kinda blah and washed out, the after on the right, has the POP, has the color, it comes close to matching the vividness of the real thing. Its almost as if you could hear the woosh and feel the cool blast of air and taste the sea spray.
Uploading and Publishing to the Web
Ok so now that the pictures are done and cleaned up I want to upload them to my blog, well for a number of reasons I generally like to have my shots set up to web resolution, that makes your page load times much faster and keeps the servers load times down. On shared hosts especially you want to stay away from large files and massive server loads. So how to get my amazing shots that I want to show in all their memory sucking high definition glory? The answer is to host it off site and embed it in your page. My service of choice for many years has been Flickr. For uploading to Flickr, in linux, we have the Frogr client. It is very simple, to use just open all the photos and hit upload. You can also use this to sort, tag and group them and they will appear in flickr exactly as you configured them in your client. If you have alot of photos, I find this works better and errors out less than leaving a browser open overnight to let them upload.
Backup And Archival of Raw footage
Backing up, for all my Images, I love amazon photo, included with your prime membership, you get unlimited photo storage. Not much to really say, Create an album, open your browser and drag the photos in. It offers you photo recognition so you can see groups like various people in your photos, subjects, places, dates, and other ways to help you make sense of the no doubt massive collection that you have. It also offers easy integration with amazons print services which is handy if you want to sell or otherwise distribute your images. Who wants to collate this is the 21st century after all!