EXERCISE: Your own Workflow 2

The aim and structure of this exercise is, as for the previous one, devising a particular workflow for a specific shooting assignment.  The difference, however, is that this assignment should be unstructured and open-ended.  A possible subject might be street photography, or recording a weekend trip or part of a holiday.  The key elements of this for the workflow are:

  • The number of images is unpredictable, but probably many.
  • It lasts a sufficient amount of time that you want to consider reviewing and at least partially editing the image during the shoot, rather than waiting until the end.

As before, plan and write the workflow in advance, then assess it later.  How well did you anticipate the needs of the various stages, from photography to downloading to selection, saving and editing?  Did the practice of undertaking the assignment lead you to any new conclusions about workflow?

As for the previous exercise, combine this with another exercise if this is more convenient for you.  Note your experiences in your learning log.

Wednesday 30th January 2013

I feel much more at ease about this exercise, in fact I am looking forward to getting out with my camera and just taking photographs!

I would like to try something a little different with my photography during this exercise and introduce some filters to my images, but I am not sure how that will work as I am not used to using them and do not know what to expect from their introduction, but if I do this during the practical side of this exercise, it will enable me to check my images as the day progresses, so I should be able to meet all of the exercise objectives.

As before, before heading off on my day I have devised three workflows surrounding my thought process for this exercise, the results are below:

READ & GRASP EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS

Possible locations

RIVER WALK

EARLY MORNING STREET WALK

MOUNTAIN HIKE

EVENING WALK

Have used location before Commuters Veh.Pedest. Done many times Not used to twilight photography
Change route? Street cleaners Not much to see due to season Camera settings?
Not much to see due to the season Early morning vendors Transportation to location Not much to see in local area
Food stalls Personal safety Time constraints

WEATHER CONDITIONS TO CONSIDER

Looking at the forecast for the coming days, my best option is to conduct an early morning street walk

Pre-Shoot Workflow pt.1

 My original thinking behind this workflow can be found in my sketchbook.

 PRE-SHOOT WORKFLOW

Workflow Exercise II pt1

 My original thinking behind this workflow can be found in my sketchbook.

As before, I have sat and thought about what location would be best for this exercise and through a process of elimination, which has been documented above, I have decided to conduct some street photography.  I have also thought about what I would like to achieve from my day out, as not only am I looking to satisfy the needs of our second workflow exercise, but I also want to try and use some of the filters I got for Christmas, and also try out a fisheye extension a friend has lent me.

The next part of my workflow concentrates on the equipment I plan to take with me and use on the day.  This procedure is very similar to the one used during the time limited portrait shoot and only the actual equipment has changed.

Workflow Exercise II pt2

My original thinking behind this workflow can be found in my sketchbook.

The workflow above is actually what I do every time I am heading off on a photography exhibition (I think I mentioned that before), so this is something I find easy to complete.

And as before, the final part of the workflow concentrates on post-processing, and is, at this time identical to the workflow used previously.

POST-PROCESSING WORKFLOW

Workflow Exercise II pt3

My original thinking behind this workflow can be found in my sketchbook.

So, there we have it, my thought process have been turned into workflows, my equipment has been cleaned and my bag packed, I certainly like the process of workflows, and I am going to adopt it for all of the photo shoots I conduct in the future.  Now I await my day of photography.

Thursday 31st January 2013

To say that the day got off to a bad start is an understatement as we slept through our alarm clock, and the morning rose dull and dreary (so much for me bragging in an earlier post that the weather is never an issue here in Korea!).  So, that was the first part of my workflow out of the window, as I would not make it out onto the streets of Ulsan as early as I would have liked and with limited sun to assist with light and lighting effects, this could have end up being a very short, uneventful day, in fact I even contemplated leaving the shoot until Friday, but then remembered that we had lots of rain forecast for the coming days, so it really was now or never, and to be honest I was glad that I made the effort as I had a blast.

Not really sure why I chose street photography for this exercise as I find it very difficult to relax when out on the streets with my camera, and it can be especially difficult here in Korea, as people tent to stop and look at what you are doing – even if you are bending down photography a weed or blade of grass.  That said, once I get into taking photos, I do get lost in the moment so I can become unaware of this.

Another thing that I am uncomfortable with is photographing people, and that is one of the reasons why I chose this module over people & place, as I am not quiet ready to concentrate fully on photographing either!  During this outing though, I was able to get some people shots, some taken without their knowledge and others with their permission, these are the ones I like the most.

The little old ‘Ajuma’ (Korean for old lady) in the last shot was such a character and was very keen for me to take her photo, not that I particularly understood what she was saying, in fact she was quiet happy to sit and pose for me a few times, until I got the exposure exactly right!

Shutter Speed 1/80; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/80; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/125; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/125; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/60; Aperture F4.2; Focal Length 48mm; ISO 250; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/60; Aperture F4.2; Focal Length 48mm; ISO 250; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/250; Aperture F5.3; Focal Length 92mm; ISO 250; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/250; Aperture F5.3; Focal Length 92mm; ISO 250; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

My experience with the filters did not turn out quiet how I expected it too, but in hindsight I do not think I was using them under the right circumstances or perhaps conditions, and will have to remember to pack them when I have the opportunity to shoot nice big landscapes or water.  That said, it was good that I had them with me and used them during the course of the day as it allowed me to take stock of what I was doing and plan where I would head too next on my meanderings.  Below are two photos I took using my filters and I wanted to share these as I do not think they are too bad.

The first photo was taken using a Cokin P197 Graduated Orange filter.

Shutter Speed 1/1600; Aperture F3.5; Focal Length 28mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/1600; Aperture F3.5; Focal Length 28mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

I had the darker portion of the filter to the bottom here, so the buildings, roads, cars etc. are all quiet dark and moody.  I like the effect the filter has had on the tree and how the orange seems to cling to the bare branches creating a halo effect.  Of course this is not well exposed or composed, and does not represent the scene as I saw it, but it is quiet funky, with a dark mood that would suite a scary film or horror movie.

This second photo was taken using a Cokin P123s Graduated Blue filter.

Shutter Speed 1/1600; Aperture F3.8; Focal Length 34mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/1600; Aperture F3.8; Focal Length 34mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

This photo looks better than the first, the exposure is better as is the composition, and with the darker portion of the filter to the top when I took the photo, and it has really brought out the colours in the sky and clouds.  A better example of using a filter, and not really a bad job considering it was my first real attempt.

Regarding the Fisheye extension, it really did not work out well at all!  The only lens the extension would fit too was my 50mm portrait lens, which obviously was not a good match as you can see in the image below.

Shutter Speed 1/1600; Aperture F3.5; Focal Length 50mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny ~ with Fisheye Extension Attached

Shutter Speed 1/1600; Aperture F3.5; Focal Length 50mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny ~ with Fisheye Extension Attached

This was the best image of the bunch that I took, as they are mostly blurred or have a fuzzy look as if there are fingerprints on the lens (there weren’t as I cleaned everything before left), but there is quiet a retro feel about this, as if I have put an old lens on a new camera (I read an article about this some time ago), so some may like the effect.  For me, the jury is still out, although the more I look at it, the more I like it!

One thing that I have noticed, when I put my Cokin Filter holder onto my 28-300mm Telephoto lens, I get a dark ring on the very outer edges of my photos, which is more visible when I use a shorter focal length.  Obviously, the attachment must be within the field of vision of the lens, which could look good under some circumstance, but I must be aware of this as I start to use my filters more.

Finally, before completing the requirement of the exercise, I took two photos that I edited in camera whilst out walking.

I was taking photos of a beautiful crop of red plants, but was unable to make anything stand out within the frame.  So I took one photograph

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

And cropped it within camera to make another photograph.

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

The vibrancy of these plants is very apparent that the moment, especially as there is not much colour in the foliage at this time of year.  One of my favorite types of photo is to highlight a flower or part of a plant, so that it stands alone within the frame, which is what I wanted to do, and have achieved this by making an ‘on-the-spot’ change to my image.

My second attempt at this was when I found some colourful bouquets outside a flower shop.  I was not able to position myself to get only the colour within the frame, so I took a photo the best I could, then cropped it in-camera to see what effect I could gain.  The examples are below.

Shutter Speed 1/125; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 200mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/125; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 200mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

 

Shutter Speed 1/125; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 200mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/125; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 200mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

For this exercise, I took a lot of photos; at first count there were 371 images on my card, which is a lot for even me!  Mind you, I had been out for around 4-hours and had walked nearly six miles, and this did include everything I had taken during the day including filtered shots and fisheye ones too.

My first job was to save and archive my work.  Since reading up on workflow and post-processing steps, I have thought quiet a lot about changing the way I save my work, so I now have folders that depict year, then separate subfolders to include JPEG and RAW images.  This is further broken down to assist me with finding things easier.

My new and current filing system

My new and current filing system

This, I am sure will change over time, but it is a good starting point.

So, my first run through saw me take out those images that were blurred, over exposed or just down right horrible.  This then gave me a total of 259 images.

Once I had been through the images for a second time, I was surprised to find that I had reduced my total dramatically by taking out 200 photos, leaving me with just 59 images that I was both pleased with and were interesting to look at.  Next I wanted to reduce this further to a final count of around 20 photographs, of which I would then share around 6 or 7.

Okay, so I managed to get my final batch down to 35, which out of the initial 371 seemed quiet easy!  Contact sheet of these images below.

Final Image Selection

Final Image Selection

A copy of this can be found in my sketchbook.

And from these 35 images, my favorite 8 images are…

Shutter Speed 1/60; Aperture F5.3; Focal Length 92mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Cloudy

Shutter Speed 1/60; Aperture F5.3; Focal Length 92mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Cloudy

 

Shutter Speed 1/40; Aperture F5; Focal Length 78mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/40; Aperture F5; Focal Length 78mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

 

Shutter Speed 1/40; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/40; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

 

Shutter Speed 1/250; Aperture F5.3; Focal Length 92mm; ISO 250; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/250; Aperture F5.3; Focal Length 92mm; ISO 250; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

 

Shutter Speed 1/200; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/200; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

 

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 116mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 116mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

 

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F4.2; Focal Length 48mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/400; Aperture F4.2; Focal Length 48mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

 

Shutter Speed 1/200; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Shutter Speed 1/200; Aperture F5.6; Focal Length 300mm; ISO 100; Metering Spot; WB Sunny

Conclusion:

“As before, plan and write the workflow in advance, then assess it later.  How well did you anticipate the needs of the various stages, from photography to downloading to selection, saving and editing?  Did the practice of undertaking the assignment lead you to any new conclusions about workflow?”

I think, because I have been taking photos for a while now, I have a natural workflow mapped in my mind for when I go out on any kind of photography expedition.  This exercise has been helpful, as not only have I looked at various forms of workflow, as dictated by academics, but it has also shown me where improvements can be made to my own mechanical process of taking photos.

Of course, no two photography outings will ever be the same, even if you continue to take the same kind of photo over and over again, as there are certain things that can not be predicted, as even in tightly controlled situations things can still go wrong (and they often do).  But if we think about what we want to achieve, and what could go wrong during our shoot, we will be in a better position to make changes as we go along without panicking or letting everything fall apart around us.

These exercises have shown me how important it is to have a plan to hand before heading out of the door, and even more important are the processes you follow during post-processing procedures.

The biggest thing this has taught me is that my post-processing needs to be changed and realigned to a more productive and professional than the workflow I currently follow for this.  I have already made one change and this is the way I save my images, now I just need to work out the best procedure for me to follow when uploading and editing my work.

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