Time Photographing vs Time Post Processing.

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Sanford, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. I'm around 40:60 shooting to processing and administrative work.. I shoot wildlife, so when I've had a really good shoot, I'll have a couple of thousand images to cull and pick "winners", which are typically 5% or less. I'm looking at eye-light, tack-sharp focus, best head-angle, etc., etc. I use Photo Mechanic to view up to 32-images at once and can often jump page by page, but when the action gets interesting, then it's image by image. Once I've narrowed down to 20 to 50, the processing is about 1-minute per image. I'll adjust lighting on whole groups that have similar lighting, then set the crop on each, individually. Shadows and Highlights may or may not require individual attention. Only 1 in 1000 ends up in Photoshop, to clone out a distraction that ruining an otherwise top grade shot. Uploading and tagging usually takes another 30-minutes, total, which is the best of the best only.

    Uploading to Getty is another painful chore. Even with some batch tagging, it seems like it's 5-minutes per image. I only do this once every other month, but it seems to take hours, doing batches of 50.

    I allocate a couple of days per quarter to chase down infringers and consult with my attorney. It's frustrating, but it leads to my biggest paydays. Still, it's easily 16-20 hours per quarter.

    All-in, it's around 24-hours per week, with 10-hours shooting and 10-hours processing and 4-hours administrative work. Oh, I forgot, bulk Registering my stuff with the US Copyright Office is another 2-hours per quarter, but that's included in my averages.

    I have a full-time job as a risk consultant to banks and play trumpet in a couple of bands, so my days are full. The work element of my photography is sizeable, but I still enjoy it it. Similarly, playing trumpet requires an investment in practice, rehearsal and maintenance of my chops. I play trumpet to enjoy the performances, but the practice and rehearsal time vs. performance is more like 90:10 preparation vs. performance. In that light, photography doesn't seem so bad.
  2. David, I can relate. I play the piano and often find myself fantasizing that practicing scales IS a performance. It gives my scale-playing renewed vitality which I believe actually does find its way into the music eventually. I've tended to view all my creative endeavors in a holistic rather than compartmentalized light. It works for me.
  3. I agree, part of my practice has long been to evaluate each note as if it were a performance. I try to make all practice musical. I too see my hobbies, music and photography, as a holistic one. When I find one side not getting its fair share of my attention, I adjust my schedule to attempt to get back in balance.
  4. Fred, I know. Denis has done 20+ Kennedy weddings, Chelsea Clinton, John Kerry's daughter. Joe Bussink charges about the same in Hollywood.
  5. I do the best I can to get the shot the closest I can to what I have visualized, while shooting. But I feel no shame in spending time in post-processing, doing the best I can to make the final image the closest I can get to what I visualize as the (always elusive) ideal.

    Ansel Adams often spent more time in processing an image than he did shooting it, I don't think I'm better at photography than he was. And when people sneer about spending time working on a shot in post, I'm willing to bet none of them is better at it than he was, either.
    Norma Desmond likes this.
  6. At the first meeting of the Photo Trek tour of India, When one of the "Mentors" was teaching how to (p)reset your picture style to get a "finished" image, he asked how many people like to spend time in Photoshop massaging their images -- I was the only person to put up their hand.

    So I'm guessing that even accomplished amateurs are intimidated by their RAW images and ACR.
  7. lol, :) 1/30sec...no time counted on looking for the shot or at the shooting location or thinking about what you want to do, of course you are a pro so it may all be instinct by now and that is the time you take...well to be fair then, you should only count the amount of time during a mouse click or slide a slider in Lightroom and not the time thinking about what you want to do. Of course with the use of custom presets in Lightroom, you may be able to trim that post time down to a couple seconds.
  8. Depends.
    Sometimes I spend a LOT of time post.
    • This includes renaming files. When I shoot tennis or volleyball, I prefix the file name with their play order (S1 for 1st singles, D1 for 1st doubles) or jersey number. This is so I can "try" to balance the number of shots per player, and so the parents can find the pix of their kid easier.
    • When I shoot RAW, just the RAW to JPG conversion takes extra time, compared to shooting JPG. My old version of PS Elements cannot read the RAW file from my D7200, so I have to run it through the Nikon software for the initial edit and conversion to JPG, then do the final edit in PS Elements. Yes, I have to update my PS Elements.
    • If I shoot a party or event, I will likely tweek/adjust/crop most of the pix in some way.
      • The worst one was at a wedding. There was a gal in a "look at me ORANGE" dress, that seems to have gotten herself into MANY of the pix. I had to mask out that orange dress to make it BLACK, so that it would not distract from the bride and groom. Man what a time consuming pain.
    BTW when I shot b&w film, I would shoot for an hour and spend several hours developing then printing. So post processing (developing and printing) was generally significantly longer than the shoot itself.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017

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