Exercise 1: Your own workflow – 1

The workflow I’ve devised below is designed for projects that have a closed time-scale. When I was creating it I thought about all the times I’ve gone to take photographs with my camera and forgotten to do something beforehand.

Workflow – closed session – pdf

Theme – My iMac

For this exercise I thought I would combine it with one of the TAOP projects that I had still to complete. It involved applying the elements of design to a subject. I chose to take some photographs of my iMac and since this was a short structured session I thought it would be a good opportunity to use my new workflow (above).

The pre-shoot enabled me to prepare the type of shots I would need. Since it was one relatively small subject I used a 60mm macro lens. I made sure it was clean and battery fully charged. It also reminded me to delete the old images from my memory card so that the entire space could be dedicated to this new project. This made a big difference when it came to uploading my images to the computer, because all of the images were for the same project. I wanted to focus on the iMac so I planned the types of images I wanted to capture, based on the design criteria from TAOP Project 29. Putting more thought before the shoot enabled me to think about the type of images I wanted to produce. This included blocking out any distracting backgrounds by using a black towel.

During the shoot – my workflow acted as a useful checklist for my camera settings. I kept the ISO set to 100 and the aperture at it’s widest opening. Having prepared before the shoot everything was on hand to use, such as the black towel to block out the distracting background. Therefore I was able to carryout the shoot in just a couple of hours.

Post-shoot – after uploading the images to Aperture I deleted those images that had unwanted reflections and didn’t quite show the design features I wanted. Saving the images in one folder made it easier for me to locate them when reviewing my selects on a second viewing. Aperture uses a star rating system which I used to eliminate my unwanted images by rating my selects as 5 star and then only viewing them in the image browser. This was useful because I wasn’t deleting any images, so I could have a second look through my unrated photos just in case there were any that I changed my mind about. During the processing stage I reduced the saturation and slightly increased the contrast to show the design features. Below are my two final images.

1) The mouse – showing a curve.

2) The keyboard – showing rhythm.

Reflection – creating the workflow enabled me to concentrate on the whole process of producing a photograph. I felt that the pre-shoot phase was probably the most important part. If that wasn’t right then a lot of time could have been wasted in the other stages of the workflow, such as deleting images from memory cards, not having enough battery power, or the wrong camera settings from a previous shoot. One thing I could have added to this kind of workflow was to prepare the subject. I noticed in the image browser that some of the images were dusty which spoiled the look I was wanting to achieve. I should have done some cleaning first!

The post-shoot phase disciplined me to view and process the images as a set rather going through the process with each image individually. I could possibly have reduced the workflow stages, especially with the distribution part, but I think it offers some flexibility since photography is a creative process.

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