Marc's Digital Workflow

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by t._duane_jones, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Hey everyone,

    Awhile back I remember reading a thread outlining Marc Williams'
    digital wedding workflow. I've been reading through the threads, but
    I can't find it. Does anyone happen to remember where it is? I had
    printed it out, but of course it has gotten lost in the shuffle. I
    am transitioning from film to digital, and am looking for advice on
    workflow. I appreciate everyone's help.

    Duane
     
  2. I don't know about Marc, but I've developed a pretty good workflow for my weddings/events, see if it is of any use.
    1)Copy all CF cards to a folder named after the client in a sub folder called 'RAW'
    2)Check that the files are in order and batch rename to a 3 digit number.
    3)Viewing the files in 'custom view' in CS browser, cull the files by moving all unwanted files (closed eyes, blurred, etc) to a subfolder called 'duds'. Batch Rename the files again.
    4)Batch apply a basic set of changes to all the RAW files.

    This includes contrast(58)/shadows(4)/saturation(14)/viewing sharpness(85). This is to give me a ballpark set of values to work from. Please note that those values are for my 10D and for the way I shoot, they will differ drastically for different cameras.
    5)Open, tweak and update all the files in ACR. The aim is to do as much work as possible in ACR so that any changes in CS can be done via an action while I eat supper.
    6)Apply an action to all the RAW files. The action consists of: Opening, applying Auto Contrast, Shadow/highlights (highlights=2 contrast=3 for better facial tones), Lab Color, Sharpen (USM 220,1,0), RGB color, save as JPG highest quality.
    7)For 7X5" proofs I will then apply an action which crops the file (manually, time consuming but gives you control) and resizes the files to 7X5" 300DPI.
    At that point I have two files, a full size JPG and a cropped sized JPG for printing. If my exposures were 'on' and I don't need much tweaking in ACR then I can do about 80-100 pics an hour using this method from CF card to JPG's. Of course if I want to be fancy with B&W or soft focus then it will take longer, however if you keep most of the work to ACR (not CS), and use actions, then you can process events pretty quickly.
     
  3. That's a good list. I also make a back-up CD of everything right away in case there's a computer problem so I have a set of all unprocessed images outside the file.
     
  4. Ben, what is ACR?

    Duane, work flow is quite personal IMO. I depends on how obsessive you are about quality
    levels. Do you want every image to be perfect (one of my obsessions unfortunately)? Or
    do you want it close enough, and finalize it after print selections are made?

    I start in the camera by resetting the continuous counter ... so it'll start at 001. I have PS
    set to organize by file name, so as I work they all stay in order from one CF card to the
    next, even if you load them out of order.

    I always shoot RAW, and dump all the cards into one folder on my desk-top, then copy
    that to a separate hard-drive as an untouched back-up.

    Open desk-top RAW file in PS Browser window... trash the obvious junk ... open first file in
    the RAW developer and make corrections, hold down the option key and click on "update"
    in top right corner of the browser window.

    Now, go through all similar images and flag them. Go to "Edit" in file browser menu (top
    left) and click on "Select all flagged" ... then to "Automate", scroll to and click on "Apply
    previous correction". and click on "Update" in the window that opens while holding down
    the Option key again. All the corrections you did to the first "Updated" file will be applied
    to all the flagged ones WITHOUT having to open any of them. Give it a minute to work it's
    magic.

    Un-flag those files, and repeat process with another set of images until done.

    A "Contact Sheet II" can be made right from the updated RAW files for client review ...
    "Automate" in the file bowser menu top left is where it can be found.
     
  5. Marc> Adobe Camera Raw I'm guessing.
     
  6. Marc,
    I was reading a book on photoshop, and it said that if you make changes in photoshop in the browser, you need to export the cache when you burn them to a cd or other forlder, hard drive etc... If you don't, the changes you made will be lost on the copy you made. When you exprot the cache, it ataches a seperate file containing the information of changes, so when you open the file in photoshop, those changes will be seen. I asked at my lab, and they said they do not open the images in photoshop, therefore those changes will not be recognized on their machines. (I've never tried it, I've been afraid to.) What do you do about this? It sounds like you make changes in the browser, do you have a problem with this?
     
  7. Capture One makes RAW workflow much easier and quicker, although it takes a little longer to describe it.

    Here's my digital workflow:

    1. Download cards to ACDSee, where they are initially sequenced by date/time. I then renumber all in that sequence.

    2. Burn two DVDs of the unedited RAW files and set them aside.

    3. Open RAW files in Capture One, where I edit, delete the losers, and apply corrections as needed to the keepers, using mostly the keyboard controls. The keyboard controls really enable me to fly, and the magnifying focus control makes it possible to eliminate immediately the ones that aren't sharp enough. When finished, I move the contents of the trash file to another folder. They will be permanently deleted when I finish with everything else.

    4. As I edit in C1, I frequently highlight the edited files, click on Workflow> Selected Capture Settings> Save. I try to do this every 10 or 15 files, because C1 3.6 will crash without warning.

    5. In ACDSee, I fine-tune the sequence, make final deletions, and renumber the selects. Everything is still RAW at this point; nothing has been developed.

    6. Back to Capture One, where the selects are processed, 100 at a time because I have SE 3.6. The pro version would allow me to process them all at once. When I'm finished, both RAW files and jpegs have the same numbers.

    7. Edited RAW files and jpegs are copied to an external hard drive.

    8. Edited RAW files and jpegs are copied to DVDs. One set stays here, and one set goes to my assistant's house.
     
  8. You guys are nothing less than fantastic! I appreciate everyone's advice on this. I've been shooting portraits and some reception with the DSLR's, so I've got my exposure and technique pretty much nailed down. I just haven't arrived at the studio with 4-500 wedding images to work with yet. One other question: If I'm shooting 2 cameras, and I want to put the images in one folder and then put them in chronological order, how can I do that? Once again, thanks.

    Duane
     
  9. Wow >> Threads like this keep me thinking "Film" forever. Does digital really require all this workflow?/ And are the clients paying for all your time?? I am bidding for a digital job in April and have allocated 10 hours @ $ 125 per, for 20 hours of shooting >> maybe I will need more time , with CS ??
     
  10. C Jo,

    I am a Film 'fan' but you have to understand something.... When I shoot Film, it is mostly
    B&W. I process it myself...cut it, sleeve it, Print Contact Sheets. Then I scan the Contact
    sheets and burn them to CD (That way they can be viewed large without a Loupe).

    Then I Print, Wash, (sometimes Bleach & Tone) Dry and Touchup the Prints. Some prints
    then get scanned for mass reproduction.

    If you want to be a slacker with Digital, you can.....Shoot JPEG and drop the cards off @
    Walmart and go eat Onion Rings while they crank out a couple hundred mediocre prints.

    jmp
     
  11. T. Duane,

    If you're still following this....

    I am a big believer in the Photokit Sharpener (some of the other products are cool too, but
    the Sharpener is GREAT).

    http://www.pixelgenius.com/products.html

    Do some reading at their site about Sharpening workflow. It makes a HUGE difference in
    your output quality (Web and printing).

    jmp
     
  12. John >> Not sure if i want to be a slacker-- just expect to be compensated for the extra work; that seems to be associated with digital.

    I know my colleagues are charging $125 for digital time .. up and above the shooting fee. Just want to be sure the B&G in the future ~ don't expect the photographer to "throw-in" the PS work.

    We scan our B&W film all day -- So I still can recall the early days {1974} we started in the darkroom.
     
  13. C JO, I think the difference is that some people always controlled the entire process. I for
    one did all my own processing and printing for weddings when I shot just film. Obviously
    this was B&W mostly. When I started to scan the stuff, I found the amount of time to be
    about the same as processing digital. With film I had the lab process and proof, then
    scanned the album selects and printed them. So, processing 200 or so digital keepers
    takes about the same amount of time. Either way it's labor intense. I figure it into the
    over-all price... based on my market which is a lot less than yours. Plus, most of these
    explanations are long sounding but only take seconds to do once understood.

    The Cache' info is VERY interesting. I will investigate that immediately. I think you have to
    go to File: Export Cache in the Browser menu to add it to a file of updated RAW images
    before burning to a DVD

    As to mixing cameras: yes this could be a problem if you use multiple cameras frequently
    during a wedding and select "File Name" under Sort in the Browser menu. BUT it isn't a
    problem really. Just drop all the CF card shots into one folder regardless of camera used.
    Open that whole file in the PSCS Browser. Then go to "Sort" in the Browser menu and select
    "Date Created", (It is important to do this before you work on any images). That's what I
    just did with a wedding I shot recently using a Canon 1DsMKII and a Epson RD-1
    interchangeably throughout the day. When I clicked "Date Created", the sequence of
    images was exactly as shot, in the order they were shot regardless of camera used. Be sure
    your clocks are set correctly in all cameras.

    BTW, I do not renumber my images in a batch action because I like to know which camera
    was used indicated by the prefix to the actual number itself without resorting to File Info.
     
  14. Can I use ACR with my D70's NEFF files? (when I upgrade my PS7 to CS)

    I would rather pay an equivalent sum to upgrade from PS7 to CS than pay Nikon almost the same sum to purchase Nikon Capture release (whatever it is now).
     
  15. Once again, thanks for all the information. Trevor, yes, ACR will open an NEF file in CS, but you have to download the latest update; then you will have no problems. I had been using Nikon View to process raw files, but it's no comparison to ACR. Best of luck,

    Duane
     
  16. " I was reading a book on photoshop, and it said that if you make changes in photoshop in the browser, you need to export the cache when you burn them to a cd or other forlder, hard drive etc... If you don't, the changes you made will be lost on the copy you made. "

    VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!

    My computer crashed heavily, I had all the RAW files on an external HD so I formated the drive and reloaded all the progs, I've lost the changes to every RAW file I ever took!

    Since then I save the RAW changes to a .xmp file (preferences) and save that to CD with the files.

    Marc, I find that selecting the RAW files and left clicking for 'apply raw changes' is quicker than flagging.
     
  17. CJ- getting good captures is the best way to speed up the work flow.

    Using fill flash is the easiest way to get better captures.

    Using an incident meter to establish your base exposure is a good idea when possible.

    Test until you know how to get that histogram bumping up against the right side.
     
  18. Ben, when you flag you can jump all over the browser and select as many files as you want
    that are similar to the one you corrected. So selecting 50 files and updating them all at
    once is pretty fast. Maybe I don't fully understand what you are saying. Explain in
    sequence for me please.
     
  19. Oooohhh....

    "Flagging"...I HAVE To get CS (I'm still on 7)

    jmp
     
  20. Marc, when you mention "Raw developer" are you referencing the adobe camera raw converter?
     
  21. what I do is select the files I want to change, (shift/ctrl and click) and then left click and 'apply camera raw settings', as I see it, a slightly faster way of applying a set of changes to multiple RAW files in the same folder. The RAW changes will be applied to your selected files only, and you don't need to flag files first. I use this method very often for updating RAW files where the lighting is a constant such as group portraits.

    I actually apply a set of changes to all the files before I start, to get the pics in ballpark and speed up changes. Usually when I get to individual RAW files I'm changing the white balance and brightness, the other settings are usually at a constant set at the beginning which speeds up the process.
     
  22. Sorry Ben, but that doesn't work. For example, if you select image # 10 and then shift/
    control select similar image # 20 all the images in between are also selected. However, if
    you flag all the similar images you can select them out of sequence: #10, 15,16,18 and
    20. .. or 60 different pics if you want... and update them all at once.

    ALSO, after you have selected the flagged files, you can either remove all un-flagged files
    so you can compare flagged ones together ... and once you have updated them you can
    then choose to see only the un-flagged files for further groupings to correct and update ...
    so you're only wading through the ones that need work. Makes you feel like you're
    accomplishing something.

    When you're finished, just select "Show All flagged and unflagged" and all the images
    appear on the browser again. Smart they are at Adobe.

    All those flagged options are under "View" in the Browser menu.

    Duane .. the answer is YES when you open a RAW image from the PSCS Browser. It is a
    separate window. The Browser doesn't care if it's a j-peg, tiff or a supported RAW file
    format, it shows them all.
     
  23. It works if you ctrl/click, but then you can't shift/click after that for a bunch of files on their own, so good point.
     
  24. As I'm reading this, my eyes are crossing and my knees are knocking. What the hell am I getting myself into? I just got a new D70, sold one of my F5's, and was planning on getting more and more involved with digital - but the workflow seems enormously intimidating. I was going to shoot a wedding next month with the D70, but now I'm not so sure. I suppose it's like everything new, it seems overwhelming until it becomes part of your own process, but, man, my head is really spinning. To me, at this point, it seems worth the cost to have the peace of mind of shooting film and sending it off to Pictage so they can do all that digital voodoo. Maybe I'll sell the D70 and buy a used F5. Maybe I'll become knowledgeable about all this. Maybe I'll be found in a fetal position, rocking, hugging my RZ and mumbling incoherently.
     
  25. Rich, slow down, take deep breaths!! :) I slowly began incorporating digital into my wedding/portrait business last year. I would borrow a friends D-100 and shoot a few images during the formals, and again some at the reception. In October, I bought a D-70, and found myself shooting more and more of the receptions/candids with it. In fact, since November, all of my portrait work has been with the D-70, and I'm adding another one this month before the rebate expires... along with a 17-55 2.8. I'll be a 2nd shooter at a small wedding next Saturday, shooting everything digitally, and another wedding the next weekend. The same friend that is kind enough to loan out his equipment is letting me join him.. I'll be able to shoot relaxed and at ease, knowing he is the "paid" shooter. Ease into it. Photo.net has been a wonderful learning experience for me. Best of luck to everyone, and thanks for sharing your workflow with me.

    Duane
     
  26. Breath into a paper bag Rich. And for God's sake go for the F6 if you're gonna surrender!

    Seriously, all this digital babble is just like first being introduced to concepts like: aperture
    (whadya mean smaller number means bigger?), shutter speed ( whadya mean slower
    speeds cause blur?), ASA then ISO (but they're the same?), guide numbers, film plane, filter
    factors, exposure compensation, push/pull, E6, C41, cross processing, reciprocity,
    solarization, fixer bath (a clean drug pusher?), dip and dunk (For what? Apples?), dry
    down, selenium toner ( ... is that a spa bath splash?) , reducer (latest diet craze?) , blah,
    blah, blah...
     
  27. As far as I am concerned it's the opposite -- the post-shoot workflow part is the easy, trivial, natural task.
    The hard part is getting all of the shots correctly, being creative, changing lenses quickly, not tripping, exposing them well, having the flash do its job without me having to think much, and commandeering people to congregate and pose and Have Fun while doing so.
    Back in the 1970s I made so many chemical messes processing B&W and color film and prints that I do not miss that AT ALL! Nice workflows posted here, especially from Ben R. Wow.
     
  28. Remember in the film, "The Producers," when Gene Wilder is cowering in a corner of the hallway yelling, "I'm hysterical, I'm hysterical!"
    Zero Mostel throws a glass of water into his face to calm him down. Gene Wilder pauses for a moment and then yells, "I'm hysterical...and I'm WET!!"

    Well, my eyes are still crossed, my knees are still knocking, my head is still spinning, and... my head is in a paper bag!

    Seriously, thanks for the encouragement. It's a new day and the possibilities are endless.
     

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