Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Workflowing Over the Falls

waterfall radnor
Water Fall at Radnor Lake
(processed with Topaz Labs Adjust)

Here we are four days into the new year, and I can't tell a bit of difference. Everyone is blogging, facebook updating, and watercooler talking about a fresh new start and how things will be different from here on out, but I'm not feeling it yet.

There is a good bit of "new" in my life in January with my classes, my one word project, and some other exciting ideas brewing on the back burner. But, this tired, overwhelmed, underslept, being pulled in a million directions at once feeling...well, it didn't magically leave when 2011 walked out the door.

There were no resolutions for me per se. I chose my word, set my agenda, and decided on a few new projects and goals. There's just not enough time to do it all AND sleep. I read somewhere that Martha Stewart slept only four hours a night. She certainly seems to get a lot done, but I'd be a raving lunatic within 48 hours if I don't get at least six two nights in a row. Ten would be better. Eight works ok.

The only way to make all of this work well is to be organized, develop a system, create a routine (and oh, yea, stick to it). Again, not necessarily a strong suit of creative types, but oh so important.

In photography workflow is one of the most important aspects of productivity.

I'm horrible at it.

There are a million little steps to processing even a single photograph. Good habits, like deleting obviously bad images from your camera before offloading them to your computer, organizing your folders and utilizing consistent file naming conventions so you can find said images later makes everything flow much better - if I would do it.

Then there are all those basic digital dark room processing steps BEFORE you get to the fun stuff like textures and artistic effects that I need to learn and apply. Let's not forget storage and backups either.

My workflow is improving a little, but mostly it consists of these steps:

  • Take 300 pictures.

  • Run home and download them all to my computer as soon as humanly possible, while telling myself it will just take a minute to scroll through and see what I have.

  • Scroll through all the pictures five or six times until I come across one that makes me sit up straight (at least two or three times as I do my scroll through). Scroll through again. And again.

  • Pick one, process it, throw all kinds of textures at it until I find one that makes me sit up straight again.

  • Process it to the point of overprocessing it, and slowly back it down realizing the original image was pretty good with just a few adjustments here and there.

  • Remember I need to exercise, bathe, and/or eat, and I'm probably going to be late for work if I don't step. away. from. the. computer. right. now. Right now. RIGHT NOW! Seriously. RIGHT NOW! OK, as soon as I upload it to flickr, share it on facebook and just jot a quick rough draft of a blog post about it.

Someone please tell me this is their workflow, too. Better yet, if you have some tried and true workflow tips to share, I'd love to hear them.

In the interest of sharing and sharing alike, I came across this little tutorial regarding a photoshop workflow that seems interesting. It also seems like a lot of steps. I'll have to study it later myself. But, for now I must step. away. from. the. computer. NOW!

Today's Linkups

52 Photos Project


  1. Awesome photo! It is definitely a ''keeper' ~ Happy New Year ~ namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor) and linked with 52 Photos

  2. Oh, do I so identify with what you said here about workflow! Yes! Here I sit at my computer at home...I have to be ready to go to lunch at 11am with my husband and then to my part time job at noon...and I've been messing with photos all morning...taking photos here at home...messing with Lightroom. Didn't sleep much last night for who knows WHY...and I still need to change clothes. Oh, and the furnace hasn't been working right, so we have a repairman coming. And I'd really like a nap, please.

    Is there hope for us?

  3. Haha...have you been spying on me and my camera routine???? :)


  4. Its good to know I'm not the only one!

  5. I know where you are coming from. I now have close to 19,000 photos on my BIG iMac and need to probably dump all that are not family and start from scratch. Where do I begin? It is more thanI can wrap my mind around. I think you are right. Dump before uploading to computer. A GREAT RESOLUTION if I will just do it. Your waterfall developing technique is awesome. Absolutely beautiful. It is a real keeper.genie

  6. I LOVE this photo!

    OMG - such an apt description of me that it sent shivers down my spine and brought tears to my eyes! I AM normal (whatever THAT might be! *lol*)
    I wonder, do you have the same 'issues' that I have with the mishmashed storage of those photos afterwards???

  7. I think you tapped into many a creative's process LeAnne. How is it you read my mind and so effortlessly write my thoughts. Just because January 1 turned the page of the calendar doesn't mean (for me either) that things magically change. Right now I have the luxury of spending all day in playing with pictures, surfing blogs, writing blogs--well sort of, as I really should be looking for work. Some days I get so involved in this process I forget to get my shower and get dressed until mid-afternoon!! Well, when I get that workflow down I'll make sure you're the first to know and I'll make my millions!! ;->

  8. PS I upload all my photos first and delete after I can see the photo in a larger format. Sometimes on the small camera screen I can't tell which photos are really best. And of course, there is the step of adding the metadata, which I forget about every other time. I am getting better at remembering that though.

  9. LeAnne, I'm really grateful you are going to try to squeeze the 'monthly mosaic' in. It will be great to have you be a part of it. I loved reading your post & the other comments here & to feel that I am not alone in the craziness of the photog process. One of my words for 2012 is focus, I feel like I need to focus on alot of things but one is to focus more clearly on what & how I want to capture something before I overdose on shots of it, hopefully this will save me some processing time & help to develop my skills a little further, I don't think it will be easy !


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