Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Workflow for Weddings

Workflow for Weddings

(Excerpted from post on Capture One Pro) - on user request

Bottom line - My workflow:
1) Shoot RAW+JPG. RAW to Card 1 JPG to Card 2.  I can always hand off the JPG card to anyone for them to use immediately if necessary.
2) IMPORT : Photo Mechanic
3) EDIT :  Capture One Pro 8
Use Sessions so that I can edit in original directories and not have a huge catalog. Also, if I really need to use Photoshop or another plugin because I have a solution that I have used in the past I can.
4) SEND Proofs: Smugmug
5) PRINT: Imageprint
to my Epson 3880. To really get good proofs and understand printing you need to use a good printer. To not waste time figuring out print profiles (because you are in the photography and not the printing business) let Imageprint figure out the perfect color, paper, and ink settings for you.

Don't use Catalogs!:
Use Sessions
But - leave the files right where they are when you import. Don't import files into Capture one. Just access them in the file browser.

Lightroom, iPhoto, and Aperature use a Catalog. Capture One Pro 8 can use catalogs as well. But - even better, with Adobe Bridge or Capture One Pro you can just look in a directory at the files. There is absolutely no need to import your photos into some ridiculously huge, slow and unstable catalog. I have always edited files in the directory, avoiding catalogs. I usually import my photos with Photo Mechanic the worlds fastest import and file viewer. I set up a hierarchy of directories for my files starting with date. (2014_09_17 Mary and John Smith Wedding) I can then cull down my photos to only the selects that I can then edit. I used to use Photoshop through Bridge and Adobe Camera RAW. (Now all of that has gone creative cloud and is far too unwieldy, slow and expensive.) A full 8 hour plus wedding set on the D4s and D810 takes only 1 hour to cull, and at most 3 hours to edit in post for the proof prints. (No. I am not kidding. Just ask Emily Karcher of Emily Karcher Photography if you need a real person that can attest to this. (Don't buy into something that you only see or hear online. A lot of what you see is staged (models for "Wedding Shoots") and for advertising.))

How is it so fast. Two things:
1) Cull down your photos into selects first
2) Do not import into a Catalog - Use the files in a directory where they are.

Cull down your photos into selects first. Select the photo's you like, rate them etc in Photo Mechanic.(2014_09_17 Mary and John Smith Wedding) Then move them or copy them into a Selects directory under that main directory. (2014_09_17 Mary and John Smith Wedding/Selects) Open the Selects directory in Capture One Pro and do your editing and corrections. Then export your photos to the Send directory. (2014_09_17 Mary and John Smith Wedding/Send)If I still need to do some crazy edits in Photoshop I can do that on the Selects or Send files.

If you shoot a monster like the Nikon D810, Canon 5D Mark III, or any medium format camera you know how big those files are. If you cull down your files first and then don't use catalogs, you will only have the photos that you need to edit in memory or in your sorted directory. This is so much faster than asking your computer to look at a 40GB directory fill of 40MB files. (Or worse - One giant 200GB Catalog containing not only this shoot, but several of the last ones. Keep in mind that anything over 4GB in size is a royal pain for a computer. Just try to copy a giant video file some time.) I do my editing on a 2008 Macbook Pro with 8GB of RAM. (I needed the RAM for 3D graphics and rendering.)  

Do not import into a Catalog - Use the files in a directory where they are.
Using the files in the directory where they are you can edit your selects with whatever external editor or plugin that you want.Using a Catalog forces you to waste time, importing and exporting with no added benefit. Also archiving is easy. Just grab the entire directory (2014_09_17 Mary and John Smith Wedding), back it up to both of your spare backup drives (BOTH!) and then delete the 40 GB monster (2014_09_17 Mary and John Smith Wedding) from your computer's hard drive. A Catalog keeps growing and growing and becomes overly cumbersome.  (Plugins are quickly becoming stand alone apps now that don't require Photoshop. Awesome! Now you can process files with your favorite settings automatically in batches without the $700 purchase of Photoshop with Bridge.)

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