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June 23, 2013

Shutters Inc – episode 227

Filed under: Podcast,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 12:00

This will be the last episode of Shutters Inc for 3 weeks, as Bruce is off to Borneo.
In preparation for the trip, I contacted Julie at Materialised, in relation to buying some waterproof fabric to use as a DIY-rain-jacket for my camera. She was absolutely fantastic, and sent me a free sample! Onya, Julie! 🙂
We got some questions through the facebook page, including one from Belinda Coulson regarding how would we set up a Lightroom workflow if we were starting from scratch,
There’s David Clark’s latest poster/masterpiece, plus an explanation for the international members of our audience,
those Elinchrom lighting masterclasses in Melbourne and Sydney filled up in no time flat,
Glynn found photocircle and is quite impressed/inspired by the idea,
Erin King gave us an update on her sister’s wedding photo dramas (good to hear that there is light at the end of THAT tunnel!),
She also asked about photobook recommendations. I am really happy with the product I have received from Photobookshop, while Glynn is a big fan of Nulab.
Glynn was also amused by the Bonzart Ampel, a unique (as far as we know!) twin lens camera, where one lens is ‘normal’ while the other does tilt-shift.
Richard Annable has some thoughts on David Clark’s Lightroom import query from a couple of episodes ago,
Carl Hemmings gave us some thoughts on the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 lens,
plus I found a couple of things through the week that tickled my fancy:
One was the Konstructor, a camera you build yourself!,
and the other was a series of portraits of people with rubber bands around their heads, severely distorting their features… weird, whacky, but strangely compelling!
Talk to you in 3 weeks, when we will return to “love you long time”!

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June 16, 2013

Shutters Inc – episode 226

Filed under: Podcast,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 12:00

This week, Glynn is loving his Tamron 18-270mm zoom,
Michael Morley asked about Canon DSLR’s performing better at 160iso than at 100iso,
free Elinchrom lighting masterclasses coming up soon in Sydney and Melbourne,
Stephen Frost asked if we had any first impressions about Lightroom 5,
Bruce would like an option to upgrade ALL catalogues in one go,
Glynn is blissfully unaware of the new Mac Pro,
James McArdle’s “Retake Melbourne” project,
this week marks the 100th anniversary of Robert Capa‘s birth,
and here’s the link to the collection of old photos of New York Bruce mentioned toward the end of the podcast.

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June 9, 2013

Shutters Inc – episode 225

Filed under: Podcast,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 12:00

This week, we discuss Vivid Sydney and Glynn’s ideas on how it could be improved,
David Clark’s latest poster – the Shutters Inc Movie,
After Harry Mellos expressed an interest in the subject, Bruce discusses his approach to shooting and editing panoramas,
Glynn is intrigued by the Wise memory cards with their dual partition, RAID-like architecture,
we discuss censorship in relation to photographic exhibitions, in light of this story,
the Chicago Sun Times lays off its full compliment of 28 staff photographers,
scanning negatives using a standard flatbed scanner,
if you head all the buzz about the Magic Lantern firmware hack for your Canon DSLR but aren’t sure how to implement it, here’s a video to help out,
Bruce explains just one reason for why you’d root your Android phone,
Glynn is getting the Fuji X-Pro 1 to play with for a while,
and why being creative-on-demand doesn’t always work.

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June 2, 2013

Shutters Inc – episode 224

Filed under: Podcast,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 12:00

This week, Glynn’s computer woes,
Flickr is now offering one terabyte of data storage per account! But with ads.
Marissa Meyer’s comment re: professional photographers,
Jim Colton had some things to say about it, too, on his blog,
What is your backup plan? Do YOU have 3 copies of your image files (one on your production pc/mac, one on an external hard drive, and one in a location NOT in your house)?
Facebook trying to introduce a new graphic format to replace png and jpeg. Watch this space.
Another “War and Peace” epic e-mail from Carl Hemmings (full text at the end of these show notes),
Dave Clark’s images on the facebook page,
Turn your Instagram pics into magnets with stickygram,
Glynn alerted me to Sigma’s 35mm 1.4 lens (for Sony mount),
After my experiences from our weekend out at Trundle, Glynn reminds us that we should use our least favourite lens MORE,
Glynn was intrigued by Caleb Cole’s Other People’s Clothes (is it just me, or does Caleb remind you of Tintin?),
Glynn was also impressed with Liu Bolin’s portraits that hide the subject in plain sight,
we talk about personal projects that aim to capture one killer image, which led to me spilling the beans on a personal project that I’m currently planning along those exact lines,
Sydney’s Vivid Festival, and how to shoot it,
and how “happy mistakes” can often lead to images that we remember forever.

And here’s that e-mail from Carl Hemmings:

“Lightroom workflow Speed up”

We’ve all heard the phrase “time is money.” Well, if you’re shooting weddings or events, you need to get through your photos and get them organized as fast as possible. Then you can get on to the good stuff of editing and getting out there to shoot more photos. So to help out, I’ve compiled 5 of my favorite tips to kickstart your workflow and keep you moving through Lightroom as quickly as possible.

Tip #1. Use Flags Instead of Stars
A big part of speeding up your workflow is identifying your favorite photos in some way. That way you can do something with them. Well, if you look under the photo menu you’ll see Lightroom has 3 ways of picking out your favorites. First there’s Set Flag. next, there’s Set Rating and finally there’s Set Color Label.

Here’s my thoughts. Ratings and Color Labels are really difficult to work with. Most people are familiar with the 1-5 star rating system but the main drawback is that it has too many choices. 5 stars is a keeper right? 4 stars probably means the photo is pretty good. 3 means it’s decent. 2 would be bad. and 1 star would be a reject that you throw away. Well what happens as you go through your photos and you come across something that isn’t a throw away or isn’t an absolute favorite keeper? You sit there and debate with yourself whether it’s a 2,3 or 4 star photo. Either way, it’s not your favorite so you’ll probably never do anything with it. But yet, you’re giving it too much time in the rating process. And inevitably, when something takes too long, we stop doing it.

So try this. Instead of using ratings, use the flagging system. This way, you get two choices:

Flagged means you like it.
Reject means you don’t and you want to delete it.

Go through your photos quickly and hit “P” to flag or “X” to reject. If you don’t flag it or reject it, then it stays unflagged which is that gray area that you’re just not sure about. But you don’t have to press a key to be indecisive – Lightroom just assumes you’re indecisive about the photo by leaving it unflagged. So your job becomes really easy! Flag it if you like it and think there’s a remote chance you’ll do something with it again one day. Reject it if you don’t. Then hit the right arrow key and move on.

Tip #2. Delete the Bad Stuff (and an easy way to do it)
Another way to speed things up is to keep your library as clean as possible and get rid of the bad stuff. If you followed the previous step and are using the Flag system, you should have some rejects that were marked with an X. A really simple way to delete them is to go up to the Photo menu and choose “Delete Rejected Photos.” Lightroom will delete all the rejects all at once so you don’t have to go back and get rid of them later.

Tip: When you try to delete a photo Lightroom will ask you if you want to delete it from the hard drive or just from the Lightroom library. Personally, I want me rejects gone forever so I delete them from the hard drive rather than just removing them from Lightroom.

Tip #3. Use Collections
Using Collections in Lightroom is more important than ever and probably one of the fastest and best ways for you to speed up your workflow. Photos that go into a collection are the photos that should be one click away and the photos that you’ll want to see most often.

To put it simply, think of a Collection as a photo album. Let’s say you have 2000 images from a wedding. You want to quickly show them to the bride/groom or family. Do you go through and show them all 2000 photos? No way. Instead, you’d create an album. Well that’s what a collection is. It’s a way for you to get to your favorite photos in just one click no matter where you are in Lightroom because the Collections panel is everywhere.

Typically, I’ll look at my photos in the Folders panel and go through them one by one. I’ll hit the letter P (for Pick) to flag photos as a favorite when I come across them. Then I can quickly sort to just see my picks by clicking the little flagged icon in the Filter strip just above the filmstrip:

Once I’ve figured out what my favorites are I select them all (Edit > Select All), go to the Collections panel and create a new Collection with a descriptive name (usually the last name of the bride/groom). Now, no matter what I do in the Folders panel and no matter what folder I’m looking at, I have a one-click way to get to my favorite photos from that event.

Tip #4. Use Collection Sets
Collections have an extra level of organization called Collection Sets that are key for events like weddings. Think of a Collection Set as a group of nested folders. If you put your picks from a wedding/event into a Collection, you’d have all the best photos from all parts of the wedding in one place (the Collection you created). The problem is that this Collection could be huge, so this is where Collection Sets come in.

You’d create a Collection Set (example: the top level folder with the bride/groom name) and then create Collections within the set for each part of the wedding (example: formals, church, reception, etc…).

Tip #5. Use Smart Collections for the Long View
Collections are also smart: They can organize themselves automatically as you import photos into Lightroom. One example of this could be a Smart Collection to help organize your portfolio photos. These are photos that help get you new business as you update your website, so you’ll want to keep them close, easy to get to, and – most importantly – easily updated.

For example, anytime you edit a show-worthy image, put the word “portfolio” in the image title or give it a certain color flag or label. Because Lightroom’s Smart Collections are “smart”, you can set up a rule to detect that this photo meets certain criteria and have it placed directly into a “Portfolio” collection for you.

The best part about it is that once you set up your Smart Collection, Lightroom automatically does the rest.

Bonus Smug Tip: Get Them Uploaded Safely
Once your photos are all cleaned up and ready to go, you’re just a few clicks away from uploading them safely into your SmugMug website. The publish plugin is free, gets your photos seamlessly into SmugMug, and also lets you sync, make galleries and keep your online presence as clean and organized as your Lightroom library. You can also see and adjust your customer’s Event Favorites, republish, and even proof your orders all right within the SmugMug Publish module. Get it now!

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