Tag Archives: workflow

How Photo Mechanic saved me from hours of image review in Lightroom

Green honeycreeper, Trinidad, West Indies. When photographing birds, judging sharpness of the eye is the first step in deciding whether to keep or reject an image.
Green honeycreeper, Trinidad, West Indies. When photographing birds, judging sharpness of the eye is the first step in deciding whether to keep or reject an image.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has a lot of image management strengths, not the least of which is its catalog database. However, there are some things that Lightroom doesn’t do quickly, and one of those things is previewing images at 100%. To view images at 100% in Lightroom, you need to render 1:1 previews from the RAW files, and that takes serious time. When you’re trying to judge images for critical sharpness, you need to view them quickly, make a yes or no decision, and move on. That’s exactly where a browser like Photo Mechanic can help out and save you serious time.

I had to review over 2500 images from a recent birding trip to Trinidad.
I had to review over 2500 images from a recent birding trip to Trinidad.

I came back from a bird photography trip to Trinidad with over 2500 captures. That’s a lot of shots to review, especially when you have to judge sharpness at 100% quickly.

Continue reading How Photo Mechanic saved me from hours of image review in Lightroom

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Convert NEFs with Lightroom 4

If you can adjust your image to deliver the quality you want, does it matter what software you use?
If you can adjust your image to deliver the quality you want, does it matter what software you use?

If you’ve followed my or my photography over the years, you probably know that I’m a huge fan of Nikon cameras and also Capture NX2 editing software. You’ve probably also noticed that I’ve been experimenting with Lightroom 4 recently, and I started teaching classes on it.

I made the move to digital photography from film in 2005. At that time, there were raging battles between Nikon and Adobe over things like “encrypted White Balance” and such. At that time, converting NEFs (Nikon RAW format) images with software other than Nikon Capture 4 (or later, Capture NX) was potentially risky. Early versions of Adobe Camera RAW and other programs sometimes created artifacts and rendered colors differently than what Nikon’s converter did.

The beauty of processing RAW files is that every setting is plastic and reversible. However, the initial conversion parameters set the baseline for exposure, contrast, and color rendition and differ with each RAW converter application. One thing that Nikon photographers point out is that they like their default (starting point) conversion to match the “as-shot” look (as viewed on the back of their camera) as closely as possible. This makes sense. If you like the look of Nikon’s Picture Control “Standard,” then it’s very convenient to see the initial image rendered this way when you open the RAW file. After that initial conversion, you can do whatever you want to process your image. Continue reading How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Convert NEFs with Lightroom 4

Workflow Thoughts: RAW+JPEG Revisited for Travel Photography

If you’re on vacation and want to travel light, consider capturing RAW+JPEG with your camera to let you play with the JPEGs on a tablet and leave the laptop at home.

A long time ago (as in 2005, when I got my first DSLR), I routinely shot RAW+JPEG when I traveled. The big reason for this was because at the time, most laptop computers were just not capable of rendering RAW previews fast enough to make browsing lots of images feasible. Since then, computers got faster, and software got better, and a RAW-only workflow became a viable option for travel.

Fast forward to today, and I find myself considering circumstances where RAW+JPEG might not be a bad idea when traveling. The proliferation of tablets and smart phones and their on-board editing apps creates a situation where you might consider shooting RAW+JPEG combined. (Continued after the jump) Continue reading Workflow Thoughts: RAW+JPEG Revisited for Travel Photography