Exercise 2: Your own workflow part 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 would want to consider reviewing and at least partially editing the images during the shoot, rather than waiting until the end.

Personally I prefer a less rigid workflow when it comes to street photography as you can take your time, move locations, observe people and places without feeling you have to be photographing them and can wait for the ‘money shot’

Again my night before ritual is the same as in exercise 1:

  • The night before I charge both my primary and secondary battery, and format my memory card.
  • I also pack my bag with all the equipment necessary (there’s nothing worse than carrying around a heavy pack pack full of bits I don’t need for a particular shoot.)
  • If needs be I research the type of style I want to create, or poses I want to incorporate.

Then my workflow relaxes somewhat:

  • Observe my surrounding until something takes my eye.
  • Shoot
  • Review shots on LCD screen and make technical adjustments. Also adjust angles and possibly re position myself.
  • Take several shots in quick concession in a hope that one of them will be ‘the shot’
  • Move around, change location, alter my height (sit down perhaps, climb some steps etc)
  • Play around with aperture and shutter speed to create artistic shots, perhaps a blurred motion shot.
  • Look for unusual angles or subjects.
  • Study people’s behaviours

Post shoot workflow is aslo the same as in Ex 1:

Post shoot:

  • Upload all images to a labelled folder on my mac. (sometimes a client name, or location and date)
  • Delete any horrors!
  • Upload file to Dropbox so I have a cyber copy (I learnt the hard way and lost everything in the previous module)
  • Format memory card
  • Select the favourites, name them, and add data info in photoshop.
  • Open files for editing, colour correction etc.

I was hoping to do a street shoot for this exercise but changed my mind and  decided to merge this exercise with a side project I just completed called Fruit, Colours & Bubbles for this project I set up a studio shoot of fruit submerged in fizzy water. I had no time limit whatsoever and setting up me equipment took the best part of an hour and a half. I used a tripod, multiple lenses, flashes, off camera flashes, reflectors and of course the subject.

I found it fairly easy to stick to the workflow mentioned above, and I think this was largely because I was working in a enclosed environment. There were many consistencies such as lighting, focal range and exposure. I did alter the shutter speed at times to capture the bubbles moving and also stationary. I changed the backdrops to add colour variety, and used several different fruits.

The above meant that I took well over 300 photos. When it came to filtering the good from the bad this was pretty obvious. Some shots worked while others didn’t at all – wrong shutter speed, a part of the vase was showing, the fruit moved around or floated to the top or I needed to add more fizzy water as it had gone flat. Once I had sifted through the good and bad I was left with a strong (ish) 100. I would say out of this number 25 had the strongest potential. These were the pictures I decided to use for my final edit.

I made a substantial amour of alterations during the shoot, largely based around camera positing. I was able to this from referring back to the LCD screen and really examining the composition. Had i been working to a time limit this would not have been possible. I had the opportunity to really tweak each arrangement and at some stages improvise.

You can see a selection of the final images using the link above.



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