Like many photographers, Tania is regularly reviewing her studio’s workflow, looking for quicker ways to produce a better result. After a family portrait session of 300 to 500 frames, she needs a workflow to produce the best 30 or so for viewing.
“We’ve done a full circle from shooting raw and JPEGs simultaneously (before Lightroom was available) to shooting raw only (then processing the JPEGs in Lightroom), and now we’re back to shooting both raw and JPEGs.
“After a shoot, files are copied from the camera’s memory card onto our Drobo and two sets of copies are burnt onto DVDs, one of which goes off site.”
If Tania’s studio were to be damaged or robbed, this means there is still a safe copy of the files somewhere else.
“Files are kept on our Drobo system which we work from and then when the job is completed, we archive the high-res, layered TIFFs and the ProSelect file, along with a few other documents.
“To save time processing when we are really busy, we put all the original JPEGs directly into ProSelect and then quickly edit the shoot, choosing the best 30 images. We’ll also use the JPEGs to quickly do head swaps or retouch bruises. ProSelect is really fast for enlarging sequences of images when you’re wanting to find the ones with the best expressions and focus. I can zoom in and really quickly see which shots are best. We like to add adjustment layers so we can quickly darken, lighten or brighten areas of the images (we can literally do these within a few seconds). We have these changes pre-set as actions, such as ‘Multiply’ to darken, ‘Screen’ to lighten and ‘Soft light’ to add contrast.
“Then for the final order, we will go back to the raw files and start again, processing each image intentionally quite flat with lots of detail. We then bring out more detail and vibrancy in Photoshop, again using adjustment layers, but with more complexity.”
Tania’s commercial workflow is quite different because they often use studio lighting in more controlled situations, and so are therefore able to colour correct very quickly using Lightroom using the raw files.
TANIA NIWA GM.Photog. Tania shoots family portraiture (60%) and commercial work (30%), with the balance of her business coming from tuition and workshops. She works on the Northern Beaches in Sydneyand is Master of Photography and an AIPP Mentor. www.tanianiwa.com.au