“… For a lot of us, we download the images to a computer and edit a handful that catch our eye, and then… well, there are more photo shoots to pursue. Maybe we’ll apply some keywords, perhaps mark a few favorites, but too often the photos we worked so hard to create are just dumped onto a hard disk and forgotten. We know we should do better, but who has the time?
Professional photographers, that’s who….”
Getty Images and Associated Press contributing photographer Brian Ach shoots a range of subjects and genres, often under the stress of tight deadlines, poor artificial lighting and the need to get every shot right or if not then the ability to rapidly reduce his selects to a manageable collection for submission, distribution and publication.
That is a far cry from the more leisurely paces and demands of shooting documentary or photojournalism projects over longer time periods, or portraits and photoessays for weekly or monthly magazine feature articles.
I took on a mix of projects during my magazine and newspaper colour supplement days, and came to prefer weekly or monthly magazine projects over daily newspaper assignments for the chance to really get one’s teeth into the subject.
Daily newspaper work had its satisfactions, though, especially in the challenge of producing engaging, informative and sometimes emotive environmental and close-up portraits in no more than fifteen minutes per subject, three to five such assignments per day, in locations throughout the city and suburbs, while carting lights, cameras, stands and tripods about.
That was during the analog era when the time and the stress of processing, proofing and printing after each assignment had to be factored into the equation and before the joys of tethered shooting, editing, processing, tagging, uploading and traveling on to the next job existed as we know them now.
If I were to go back to that world as a freelancer I would have to come up with a whole new workflow all by myself, or learn successful workflows from others, so articles like this come in handy.
So much so that I went straight to the Camera Bits website to download Photo Mechanic to try out, and from a so-far fairly cursory try-out under anything but professional conditions am seriously considering adding it to my software collection.
And I am now crossing my fingers for a similar feature set to appear in the library functionality that is appearing in raw processing and image editing applications that once used to be editing-only.
There is another advantage to having an application dedicated only to selecting, trashing, tagging and organizing – none of the distractions of doing it within a product that also offers deep image-editing features where one can easily be tempted into diving down the rabbit hole of a thousand and one different possible interpretations.
Sometimes, oftentimes, simpler and sharply focused is better.
Now to get to grips with that massive backlog.
- Brian Ach
- Camera Bits – Photo Mechanic
- DPReview – DPReview: Secrets of a professional photographer’s workflow: Brian Ach
- DPReview – Purple Reign: Photographer Brian Ach shares his experiences of working with Prince