I've described my photography workflow before. At its core is the belief that by keeping things simple, my workflow will cut short the time I spend in front of the computer and allow me to return to making images or spending more time with my family.
Fortunately, I am not alone in this line of thinking. Paul Gero, a friend and fellow photographer based in Orange County, California has published a lucid, step-by-step guide for a vast majority of photographers who have no clue about post production or who are frazzled by all the tools and options presented to them. The guide book is called Simple Photo Workflow.
With over 20 years of experience as a photographer – first at newspapers and then documenting weddings and portraits – Gero is one photographer whose words and work I trust. You may recall his excellent guest blog post on Tiffinbox – Control & Chaos: Two Genres of Photography.
Now, go on check his blog out. It's a source of weekly inspiration for me. Set aside for a moment the way Gero expresses the light and life he sees in front of him. I think he is a master at photographing the unguarded moment. However, take another look at the way the images are processed.
To my eyes, there is nothing complicated about them, yet they are brilliant. I see natural skin tones, just the right amount of grain, light vignetting that draws your eyes to the main subject of the frame and the black & white images that have both depth and drama to them. With Photoshop and other image processing tools, it's much too easy to go crazy and drop layer after layer of actions, until your vision of the final image is not only blurred, it's obliterated.
Getting back to saving time, the post production work Gero introduces us to in his new e-book, is simple, yet elegant. It won't stress you or your computer out. Gero expresses his thoughts simply as well. Chapters on exposure, editing, raw processing, using Lightroom and photo finishing (retouching) are all punctuated with exceptional examples and step-by-step instructions, so you'll never falter. As a bonus, Gero has a “cheat-sheet” at the end of the book that walks you through all of the processes he goes through when he is editing his own images! This is like looking over his shoulder and watching him work, except you'll be doing it yourself and learning from it.
If you already use Photomechanic, Lightroom and Photoshop and use them well, then this ebook isn't for you. However, if you do use these programs in your post-production work and you are just stumbling along, I urge you to . Yes, I called it an ebook before, but it's much more than that. You'll want to print it out (as I have) and use it as you edit your images. Once your post production become intuitive, then you can go in and customize the system.
Full disclosure – I received a complimentary copy of the ebook to review but I am not an affiliate and I do not make a dime off of the sale of this wonderful book. I am recommending it here solely on its merit.
Want your own copy? Use “seshu” between today and August 29 to buy it for $47 (regular price is $77). I am sure you want to save $30.