After the Shoot!

I had a couple of people at Sunday’s Aperture Priority Shoot ask what I do after I get the images home. So I thought I’d write up the general process I use. This is not hard and fast or the “only” way to do things. It just happens to be the process I’ve developed. Feel free to adjust to your particular situation.

The first thing I do when I get home is to get the images *off* my camera. You never know when the camera card may go bad or your camera gets lost, stolen, damaged, etc. I put all the images into a folder on the desktop of my Mac. In my case, the folder will have the date of the images and a word or two about where the shoot was. So, for this particular shoot, my folder is called “170312_Bloedel”.

The next thing I do is back *that* folder up to an external drive just in case something happens to my computer or I delete or screw up working on an image. Now I have three backups of the original 325 images – camera card, computer desktop, and external HD.

Next comes the (brutal) “Culling of the Images”. It’s ugly but it needs to be done. 🙂

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is my image editor of choice. I important all the shots into a new catalog with the same name as the desktop folder – 170312_Bloedel. I then open the first image with my finger hovering over the “X” key – that’s the delete button.

Generally, unless you are a truly incredible photographer, at least half of your images will…..let’s just say….”not be good”. Delete those immediately. DO NOT think, “Oh, maybe I’ll come back to it” or ”maybe I’ll fix it later”. Trust me – YOU WON’T. If it’s not an appealing shot at first glance – if it’s poorly composed, out of focus, or just a “bad” photo – delete it right now. Don’t get attached to it.

BUT…

Make a mental note of *why* the photo isn’t a keeper. Maybe all your shots are blurry or from too far away or have some other issue. Learn from your bad photos the reasons why they are bad photos. Then delete them.

At my first culling pass, I went from 325 images down to 125. In Lightroom, I delete those photos, not just from the catalog but from the hard drive. Poof – they’re gone (but remember, I’ve still got two full backups of them). Then I walk away from the computer for a while – usually in a depression about how many crappy photos I’ve taken!

I come back to the Lightroom catalog for the second cull. This time, I’m looking at the images more critically. Is it in focus (I zoom in to make sure)? Does it “tell a story”? Is it a pleasing image? Is it properly composed, showing what I want to show? How much work will I have to do to “fix” it? After the second pass, I was down to only 25 images. I again delete the “bad” photos not just from the catalog but from the hard drive.

(Here’s where I am (probably) different from most of you. As a “professional photographer”, I want to “show off” my images to others, usually because I want them to hire me. 🙂 So I can’t “afford” to post bad photos. I need and want to show off only my very best efforts. So I tend to be hyper-critical of my shots and delete anything that doesn’t meet my (hopefully) high standards.)

Now that I’m down to a more manageable 25 photos to edit, I go through them a third time to see what processing I need to do to make them “perfect”. If I have to spend too much time (and the photos are just for me, not a client), then I delete the photo. I define “too much time” as anything more than a couple of minutes. If they are for a client, I’ll work extra hard to get what the client is looking for.

After all of this (lasting about 45 minutes, not including the break between the first and second cull), I was left with……eight photos.

That doesn’t sound like a lot but, looking at them, they are a good representation of what I was looking for on the shoot. So I’m OK with such a low “success” rate.

Finally, I go to my backups. I replace the backup on the external HD with the folder from the desktop. That way, I know the only images on the external HD are of the eight “good ones” from Lightroom. I also export the edited images out of Lightroom – one set for the web (so they are small resolution) and one high resolution set – both are exported to a folder inside the “170312_Bloedel” and named “170312_Bloedel_LowRez” and “170312_Bloedel_HighRez”.

I then upload both the sets to Flickr so I have another backup – but this time, in the cloud that, in theory, I can access any time, anywhere I’d like.

Last but not least, I then reformat the camera’s memory card to delete all of the original images and start the next shoot with a “fresh” card.

So, I start with 10GBs and 325 photos that get cut down to a little over 1GB and eight photos.

I hope this helps some of you and, as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment here or send me an email at shawn@StartingPointPhotography.com.

Keep shooting!

Welcome!

Welcome and thanks for visiting the site! I assume you’ve come to this page because you’ve heard about me from the great team at Finisterra Travel.

I am working with Finisterra to put on an amazing trip. They’ve arranged an exciting vacation to one of the prettiest, most interesting places in Europe – Portugal! My job is to help you learn how to capture images while on your vacation that you can be proud of, show to friends and family and even print off to create artwork in your own home.

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It doesn’t matter what camera you have – I will teach you how to create better, more memorable images regardless of whether you have a camera phone, a point and shoot, a mirrorless or a DSLR. You’ll learn how cameras work, how to see a scene better, and how to set your camera up to capture what you see.

While in Portugal, you’ll learn the basics of:
General travel photography tips and tricks
Specific camera tips and tricks
Street Photography
Landscape photography
Editing
Black and White shooting
Street photography
Sunrise/sunset shooting
Photo Critiques

There will be daily classes followed by hands-on shooting at various beautiful and historic locations in Portugal. And you’ll have plenty of time each day to wander around on your own (or hang out with me!) to see the sights, go shopping, visit museums, or just relax and do your own thing!

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If you are a fan of the Flipboard magazine app, check out the “Starting Point Photography In Portugal!” Flipboard magazine!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. My email address is shawn@StartingPointPhotography.com and I’m happy to answer any questions about the trip you may have.

I hope you can join us – I promise it will be a great trip full of fun and photography and you’ll come home knowing how to create better images on your next trip as well!

Our motto:

Taking pictures is easy.

Learning about photography is hard.

We want to make the latter as easy as the former.

We are Starting Point Photography.

Our mission is to help you

take better photographs with the camera you already have.

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Cruise Ships leaving Vancouver harbour, headed to Alaska

Beginner Photography Classes in Prince George, January 23rd, 2016

Eventbrite - Learn how to use that expensive DSLR!
AND
Eventbrite - “Learn how to take Better Photographs

JANUARY 23rd, 2016

 

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Hello Prince George Macintosh User Group Members!

Whether it’s an iPhone or a point and shoot or a DSLR, we’ve got easy to grasp tips, tricks and techniques we promise will make the next photograph you take better than the last one you took.

We are scheduling two classes: The first will be “Learn how to take Better Photographs“ – a repeat of our previous successful class and again at the Prince George Civic Centre. It will run from 9am to 12:30pm on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016. This class is for any camera – whether it’s the camera on your phone or a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, we’ve got easy-to-grasp tips, tricks and techniques we promise will make the next photograph you take better than the last one. We’ll cover how to take better photos with the camera you already have, what are the ways to capture the best images and what are some do’s and don’ts of great shots!

We’re adding a “Learn how to use that expensive DSLR” class as well! It will run from 1pm to 3:30pm on the same date – Saturday, January 23rd, 2016. This class will be focused on more of the details of the DSLR and its operation. We’ll talk about things like Aperture Priority, Photo Editing, Back Button Auto-Focus and lots more!

We’ve tried to cover all the bases – if you missed the previous Prince George beginner class, the Saturday morning “Learn how to take Better Photographs“ is for you. If you have a DSLR and want to learn more about how to use all those fancy buttons to get even more creative shots, the afternoon “Learn how to use that expensive DSLR” class is the one you want. You can even take both classes for a full day of learning more about taking better photos in general and DSLRs specifically!ep_Parrot

The classes will be $49.95 or 10% off if you sign up for both classes.

Eventbrite - Learn how to use that expensive DSLR!
AND
Eventbrite - “Learn how to take Better Photographs“

JANUARY 23rd, 2016

The classes will include:

  • “Photography Secrets Revealed!” – do you know the single most important element of every good photo?
  • Camera differences – what are the pros and cons of a smartphone vs a point and shoot vs a DSLR?
  • Get the most out of your DSLR – learn what the settings of your DLSR do and how they affect the photos you take
  • So much more!

We’d love for you to join us for a fun, entertaining and informative day designed to help you take better photographs no matter what camera you have! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Email Shawn at shawn@startingpointphotography.com.

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This is a seminar run by a professional photographer and a “Professional Explainer” for beginners and novices who want to learn how take better photographs. We take often confusing photographic terms and concepts and turn them into plain English so you can start making the most of your photographic opportunities to capture those special moments.

We can teach you some of the ideas, theories and techniques professional photographers know and use in every one of their images. With that knowledge, we promise your photography will get better – regardless of the kind of camera you have!

 

Shawn is a talented photographer and a “professional explainer” who has taught students around the world how to create memorable images.

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What others say:

Sandro — “I came away highly impressed, not only with the technical aspects of this kind of training and the Google Hangouts venue, but also the value of Shawn’s course to any budding photographer.”

Jason — “Shawn has some very practical tips to improve anyone’s photography. Emphasis of basics like this can’t be underestimated.”

Melonie — “We are all really impressed and pleased with all we learned…we cannot wait to take photos. We will definitely be recommending this class to our friends!”

Heather — “Shawn you are an exceptional teacher and we all learned so much. We will all be looking at, and taking, our pictures totally different now thanks to you!”

Eventbrite - Learn how to use that expensive DSLR!
AND
Eventbrite - “Learn how to take Better Photographs“

JANUARY 23rd, 2016

Images from Scott Kelby’s 8th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk on Granville Island

I was very happy to once again be a Walk Leader for the Scott Kelby 8th Annual Worldwide PhotoWalk. These events are always a lot of fun and the idea of shooting at the same (general) time as thousands of photographers around the world is very cool.

We had about 40 walkers joining me for the walk around Granville Island, one of the more photogenic areas of Vancouver.

While I didn’t shoot as much as I normally would (a large photo walk is like herding cats!), here are some shots from Saturday.

What good looking bunch of shooters!
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My favorite face of the day:
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One poor lonely shoe. There’s a small child limping around Granville Island right now.

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I love the juxtaposition of the text on the left (“participants wanted”) and the young lady on the right *not* participating. 🙂

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And this one is my favorite shot of the day!

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Scott Kelby’s Annual Worldwide Photo Walk 2014

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Scott Kelby’s Annual Worldwide Photo Walk 2014:

Taking place in cities around the world, photographers of all walks of life and skill levels gather together to socialize, share and inspire during this one-day, worldwide event.

I had a blast being a Leader on the very first “Scott Kelby’s Annual Worldwide Photo Walk” many years ago in New York City and will be doing it again this year here in Vancouver.

I decided to have a particular focus on beginning shooters this year and hopefully making the walk a place where new shooters can come and experience what a photo walk is and ask questions of the pros that will also be on the walk with us!

There are walks literally around the world so, if you’re not here in Vancouver, take a look at the web site and see if there is one in your city on October 11th.

Worldwide Photo Walk 2014 – Waterfront Beginner Shoot!

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Join me on October 11th, 2014 for the “Worldwide Photo Walk 2014 – Waterfront Beginner Shoot!”

Worldwide Photo Walk 2014:

On Saturday, October 11, 2014, the whole world will be walking again during Scott Kelby’s 7th Annual Worldwide Photowalk™. Taking place in cities around the world, photographers of all walks of life and skill levels gather together to socialize, share and inspire during this one-day, worldwide event.

There are (so far) two photo walks here in Vancouver – I’m going to focus mine on and for beginners and novices shooters and encourage them to not just shoot but to ask questions and learn to shoot better!

“The World’s Biggest Photo Walk” on September 6th!

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Fstoppers:

Next month sees the second 500px annual Global Photo Walk taking place on September 6th, promising to be the biggest photo walk of all time.

Thousands of photographers will head out from over 350 cities across the world in two weeks time, to take part in what looks set to be the biggest photo walk of it’s kind, ever.

I would dispute the claim of “World’s Biggest” if only because Scott Kelby’s “World Wide PhotoWalk” is bigger (with a claimed 900 Photo Walks and over 32,000 people last year) but that’s a quibble I don’t care about. I was a leader on the original Scott Kelby effort and enjoyed it immensely.

This time around, I’m going to be leading a group of 500px photo walkers around Vancouver, BC on Saturday, September 6th. If you’re in the area and are a member of 500px (it’s free to join), please sign up on the Facebook page. If you’re interested but not in Vancouver, 500px is arranging walks around the world at this Facebook page.

Sunrise, Sunset, Moonrise, Moonset – easily found with PhotoPills

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I’ve been using this insanely cool app for a couple of months now. It’s called “PhotoPills” (app store affiliate link) and, if you’ve ever wondered not only when sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset happen but where in the sky they happen, this is the app for you.

Every pro photographer will tell you that the “best” light is the “Golden Hour” – that time approx 30 minutes before and after a sunrise or a sunset. This app does what a lot of other apps do – it tells you what time the sun rises or sets. But PhotoPills (odd name) goes even further by showing you visually where the sun or moon is right now relative to you and in which direction those events and others are going to happen. It also does it into the future.

Here’s an example. I went to my home town of Halifax, Nova Scotia in June. I knew I’d be in a particularly scenic spot on the Friday. I was wondering where the sunset was going to be and at what time. I told the app where the location was on the map, forwarded to the date and time I was expecting to be at there and the app told me exactly what direction and angle the sun would be at. It also told me (sadly) there would be no moon that night so I didn’t have to plan that shoot.

The app does so much more. From an augmented reality view of the sky (so you can plan shots even better) to determining the best long exposure times or figuring out the field of view for any camera/lens combination. You can even save points of interest, share them and see what other shooters have bookmarked.

The only downside is…no – not the price. At $10 for a full featured app, it’s imminently reasonable (although, my eyes would like to have a native version for the iPad. It works fine on the iPad but…). The biggest downside is the learning curve.

We are so used to having our iOS apps be dead simple to use that, when we come across one that needs more effort, we tend to give it short shrift. But if you stick with the app, watch the videos on the PhotoPills web site and take in what they are trying to teach you, I promise it’s worth the effort.

For those of you who either don’t want all the power or are too cheap to spend the money, Rick Sammons has a 99 cent app called Rick Sammon’s Photo Sundial (app store affiliate link) that is a universal app similar to but not nearly as powerful as PhotoPills.

I’d recommend starting off with Photo Sundial and then, if you find it useful, moving up to join the Big Boys by using PhotPills. Neither app will dissapoint though.