Thoughts on Post Production

I stumbled upon this email in my inbox:

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Hmm what’s the best way to quantify this? A lot. Yes, a lot of post production. Much of which involves file prepping, before jumping into making edits via Lightroom and Photoshop. Here’s what my day looks like right after a shoot:


1. Create folders on my computer to download files into. I like organizing the, by Year > Shoot Date + Subject > Photos/Documents.

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2. Download files from the memory cards into their respective folders.

3. Double check to make sure all the files have transferred.

4. Back up the files onto a separate hard drive.

5. Open files onto Adobe Bridge.

6. Since I shoot in raw on a D800 my file size averages at 50.0 mob, which takes only forever and a year to cache. A way to skip the waiting for each preview to load drone is to zoom out to the point when Bridge can’t minimize the file icons anymore. Then scroll to the bottom of the Bridge window. This forces Bridge to cache previews for all the files at once. It’s much more efficient.

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7. Go through the footage and remove all the unpleasant outtakes that have no purpose other than to waste precious hard drive space. I’m talking about the blinks, the clearly and bluntly horrific facial expressions, the out of focus beyond repair, the duplicates (ever accidentally held burst mode down for too long?), etc.

8. Go through the footage again and then make selects.

9. Filter through selects and then narrow down the selects even further.

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10. Import selects into Adobe Lightroom. Embed metadata, copyright, and keywords.

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12. Make initial edits (color, exposure, toning, etc.) within Lightroom.

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13. Open file in Photoshop.

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14. Make more edits within Photoshop.

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Also Save frequently, in the event that Photoshop unexpectedly shuts down you’ll thank me.

15. Make even more edits (the layers will start to add up.) Since I shoot portraits in different scenarios most of my retouching is specifically customized to the photo.

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16. Save file as .PSD and .JPEG.

17. Back up files to hard drives and cloud server.

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