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Workflow (Part II), a Deal Alert and another poll

DEAL ALERT: 

Ben Hendel forwarded me a link on twitter to a Groupon for Canvas Prints……..a pretty good deal that you can combine with coupon code GREEN25 for an extra 25% off.  If you’ve been thinking about printing on Canvas, don’t let this deal pass you up.

 

WORKFLOW, Part II

Last Wednesday I wrote a quick article about Workflow and covered what I do with photos when I’m on a vacation.  In today’s post I’ll finish that discussion up with what I do with the photos once I get home.  Make sure you get all the way to the bottom of the article because we are running another poll.

I will be the first one to admit it that I’m a horder when it comes to holding on to digital photographers.  So please, don’t take what I’m writing as some kind of gospel.  I know there have been many, many discussions on the topic of getting rid of the bad photos in your catalog of images.  I know that it eats up hard drive space and makes backing things up more time consuming.  But I just can’t seem to find the heart / courage to delete large swaths of photos from my hard drive.

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All the photos from this post are from Hong Kong Disneyland.  I know the sky isn’t much to write home about here…..but you have to understand the Smog does not allow for big puffy white cloud and brilliant blue skies like Florida can.

So when I come home from a trip, I take the photos and copy them over to my computer.  In my photos directory on my PC – I have a directory for every year and then a photo for each month of the year – then folders for each day of that month that I actually take photos.  I can hear all of  the Lightroom users out there screaming at me through the internet as I type this post about how I’m doing this the most time consuming and manual way process.  To be honest with you, I didn’t have Lightroom until a year ago and old habits die hard so I haven’t made the switch to catalogs.

I shoot Raw+JPG – I want the JPGs there so I can quickly grab a photo and distribute them to other family members on the trip without having to edit things but I want the RAW for when I want to do the edits.  And I let both files exist in the same folder on my computer – filed by year, month and date.

I will then just use the slideshow viewer built into Windows (or Preview on my Mac if I’m doing work on that machine) to get a quick glimpse of the JPG versions (interestingly enough, Windows 10 can actually preview the RAW files too in that slide show application).  I’ll make notes in my notebook for any particular photos that I want to grab for later editing and I keep a little star list going in my notebook so I know which ones I like the best.

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I’ll bring those photos into Lightroom and Photoshop for further editing.   Remember I’m a horder.  So I’ll save the PSD of the edits as well as the original image in case I want to go back and re-process the shot.  As I learn more about Photoshop & Lightroom I find that I can make better edits and surprisingly you can go back into older photos and give them new life with a fresh round of processing.

So what is your workflow?  Go ahead and leave a comment below (click Read More) and let me know how I’m doing it wrong (lol).

Contributor Alan Rappaport was running a poll on Twitter last week and I thought I would borrow his idea and see if we can get him more data.  If you happen to have already voted in his poll on Twitter, please don’t vote again here.

Since you started shooting digital photos....how many cameras have you purchased

View Results

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Also, if you are going to be ordering from Amazon.com anyway, please consider following this link.  It doesn’t cost you anything but we earn a very small commission and it helps support the site.

Workflow

Blog Reader Chris Shane posted in the comments the other day, asking what our workflow was like with our photos.  What did we do with them when we took them off the card, how do we organize them, do we store them in the “good” folder or the “bad” folder, do we save the original image or just the processed image.  This was a great question and honestly we could probably devote several posts to the matter over the next several months with each of us taking a turn to talk about our workflow.  Since I was looking for some inspiration on what to talk about in my next blog post when the comment came in, I thought I would tackle it here.
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My workflow starts before I even head into the parks for a trip.  You might think it’s crazy but with memory cards being so cheap these days, I have lots of SD cards for my camera.  But before I take a trip, I make sure that I have one card for each day of the trip and that they are all blank and formatted in the camera.  Yup, one card for each day of the trip but more on that later.  I store my memory cards in this handy-dandy JJC SDMSD24.  To be honest, I’ve never checked out the water resistant nature of the case so your mileage may vary.  The rubber gaskets around the edges make me think thought that it just might be water resistant like the description claims.  It’s a hard case, so I don’t have to worry about the cards getting smashed.

Each day of the trip I pull out the next two blank memory cards from the case.  One goes into the camera and the other goes into pouch in my Kata camera strap, which is no longer available.  Even with the 8 gig cards, I can still fit 209 RAW+ JPG images on each card.  I tend to shoot a lot (and my ratio of keepers to trash is quite low) but even I’m hard pressed to burn through 2 8 gig cards in a day.


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When I get back to the hotel room, the last thing I do before I go to bed is fire up the laptop and transfer the images from the card to there and an external backup drive that I bring with me.  I create a folder on the laptop and external drive named for the trip and create sub-folders underneath for each memory card.  Then I copy that card into the appropriate sub-folder.  I then put the day’s card (or cards if I shot over a card) back into the hard case and load up the camera for the next letter of the alphabet and the next card after that goes into the camera strap.  I told you in my Backup Strategies post I’m pretty worried about losing data.  That’s why I keep everything on the card until I get back home, I have the copy on my laptop, and I have the backup hard drive (and yes, I keep the hard drive in a separate bag from the laptop and the memory cards so in theory I’m covered in case I lose a bag).

In subsequent posts I’ll talk about what I do once I get the images home.  But that’s for a later post.

So what do you all do when you are on a trip?  I know in theory you could upload copies to Dropbox, or Backblaze, or Google Drive……but the Internet connection in the Disney hotels isn’t exactly the best.  It would drive me insane unless I was only uploading the “good ones” up to the cloud.   Hit the read more button and leave a note for what you do with your photos on a trip.

Also, if you are going to be ordering from Amazon.com anyway, please consider following this link.  It doesn’t cost you anything but we earn a very small commission and it helps support the site.

 

Low Angles at Epcot

Happy Monday! Let me apologize up front for the lack of good text in this post. With the Super Bowl happening over the weekend, there wasn’t a ton of time. But, I wanted to make sure to put something up here to kick off the week!

Sometimes, when I go to the park, I select a theme for my shooting. Sometimes it will be including sunbursts into the photo, sometimes it will be shooting only wide open, and so on and so forth. Over the weekend, when I was in Epcot, I decided to try to capture a bunch of shots where I took a lower angle. Many times, this included adding elements like flowers into the foreground, or also getting into slightly uncomfortable positions where people would look at me oddly.

Well, here are a few of the shots I came away with:

For this one, I got into the bushes to add the layer of green into the foreground.

For this one, I got into the bushes to add the layer of green into the foreground.

I uncomfortably leaned over the stair rail in Japan to capture this leading line to the Torii Gate.

I uncomfortably leaned over the stair rail in Japan to capture this leading line to the Torii Gate.

This one was less awkward than the first two, but I love the flowers in the American Adventure here.

This one was less awkward than the first two, but I love the flowers in the American Adventure here.

Getting low for this angle didn't incorporate any elements or lines, but it allowed me to get the entire building for Mission: Space into the background.

Getting low for this angle didn’t incorporate any elements or lines, but it allowed me to get the entire building for Mission: Space into the background.

Well, that does it for today’s article. Have you ever done a themed day with your compositions or settings in the parks? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

For those curious, everything in this article was photographed with the Sony a7 and the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens, both of which are available over at our Amazon link, which if you click and then purchase something helps us maintain the site at no extra cost to you! Thanks for reading!

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Editor’s Note:

Hello Disney Photography Blog fans………a few weeks ago, I asked if any of our readers wanted to contribute an article and I got a couple of responses.  Today’s post is the first article from reader Mark Giglio about photographing Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I want to thank Mark for taking the time to write this article for us and I love the perspective he brings.  We often head back to the Disney Parks to try and get a shot that we’ve been working on over multiple trips and this is a story just like that.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge first opened in April 2001 and from my first visit in 2003 I’ve held the belief that it is one of, if not the most, visually impressive resorts on property.  The thatched roof lodge is decorated in wood and earth tones and has a vast six story lobby with a glass walled centerpiece.

Like many things at Disney the Animal Kingdom Lodge is spectacular, but incredibly difficult to photograph.  A combination of factors lead to this common conundrum: grandness of scale, populated areas, and limited photographic angles.  I got my first DLSR in 2007, just 22 days before going to Disney with my family, and perhaps Disney was that extra motivation to pull the trigger on a DSLR with a college student’s budget.  While I didn’t stay at the lodge in 2007, dinning at Boma provides a great excuse to walk around the grounds and take a few pictures.

The first thing you see when you walk into the lobby is the floor to ceiling glass wall covered in vines, and capturing an image of that has been my goal.  The very first image I captured of this wall was from inside looking out and featured the ostrich lights.  Unfortunately patience and care was not with me (and probably still isn’t).  I didn’t wait for the staircase to be clear, and I wasn’t standing centered.  There is also a giant bright eyesore in the bottom left corner that instantly draws your eye to it.

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There are some merits to this photograph, which make me want go back to get a better version.  First the single tall tree in the middle is a nice visual element.  Secondly the multiple reflections of the Ostridge lights intrigue me.  And last is the time of day, the lighting inside and out are nicely balanced.  Next visit I’ll probably use a wider angle lens to provide some gap between the center tree and the lights while simultaneously capturing more the wall.  As always a good tripod and some careful framing would help substantially.

My first outdoor shot focuses on the Christmas tree (but chops the top off) and shows a narrow portion of the wall.  Both of these attempts were with at 50mm f1.4 at 1.6 and 1.4 respectively, shot handheld at ISO 1600.  The narrow depth of field is apparent, and ISO 1600 shows the limit of earlier cameras, both in terms of noise and dynamic range.

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My next try at photographing the feature wall of the lodge came in 2014, this time armed with a tripod and wide angle lens I tried to capture the grandness of the whole wall, producing the photograph below.  I must have walked around for 10 minutes trying different angles, trying not to chop the tree, lights and chandeliers too much.  I’m quite pleased with this shot, a notable improvement over the last two.

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My latest attempt, again thanks to a Boma reservation, came in 2015.    That’s the photo at the top of the post.  This time I was more conscious about the balance of outdoor light to indoor light, and I wanted to capture even more of the lodge.  The last photo is my personal favorite.  Is it perfect, well no, but I like the wider capture, the fact there is details in the clouds and shadows and the slightly off center framing.

One of the wonderful things about being in a Disney family is that you get to go back to the places you love, often times getting many opportunities to get a photograph just right.  The other side to that is Disney often changes things giving us new opportunities.  Do you have any places you’ve photographed multiple times, or are they any places you wish you had another chance to photograph before Disney upgraded an area?

 

Editor’s Note:

Thanks again Mark for the great post.  Everyone, please consider leaving a comment below (you have to hit Read More) to bring up the comment link.  Also, if you are going to be ordering from Amazon.com anyway, please consider following this link.  It doesn’t cost you anything but we earn a very small commission and it helps support the site.