Dumbfounded

Discussion in 'Photography' started by tony cooper, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. tony cooper

    tony cooper Guest

    In the current issue of "Shutterbug" magazine, there's a letter from a
    reader in the "Q&A For Digital Photography" column that reads:

    "I have been shooting Raw format for many years but I have an issue.
    I have yet to find a quick, easy, reliable way to process the images.
    I spend an average of an hour or more of post-processing time per
    image before I have something worth printing. That's just not
    acceptable, and it has gone a long way toward frustrating (disgusting)
    me with digital photography."

    (He goes on to ask if there's a better type of software, but does not
    state what he's using.)

    I thought it was a misprint and he mean "an hour or more of
    post-processing time per *shoot*. But, no, he meant per image.

    I am absolutely dumbfounded that anyone could spend an average of an
    hour or more on each image! I can see that there might be an image,
    once in a great while, that could require an hour's work, but *on
    average*!
     
    tony cooper, Nov 2, 2012
    #1
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  2. tony cooper

    Savageduck Guest

    There is something very wrong with that individual's workflow, or he
    has a serious case of ADD.

    While I know you don't know what software or computer and OS this
    individual is using, as somebody who uses both Lightroom 4 and
    Photoshop CS5, OS is irrelevant for both of those OSX & Windows users
    are not going to experience any significant differences. As for Linux,
    who knows. I can only address those shots requiring no major work.

    As most of you know I usually shoot RAW only. I have started to make
    all of my RAW adjustments in LR4 as that uses the new 2012 process
    engine. sometimes I am able to reach my complete and satisfactory
    result using LR4 in an average of 01:20 minutes.

    If I require some additional work in CS5, I export to edit in an
    already open CS5, make the adjustments I want in CS5 including using
    one of my frame actions and saving back to LR4. I have added the time
    to open the image in CS5 and the save back, another average of 2
    minutes.

    So for uncomplicated, non-HDR processed, and with no time consuming
    third party filters used, I can say I can process RAW image files in
    1:20 to 3:20 minutes.

    When I used Bridge to ACR, to CS5 I could probably bring that down to
    about 2:00 minutes in ideal circumstances.

    Fancier stuff can take a bit longer.
    ....but not much longer. However if I get lost in the process on certain
    images I can waste hours.

    For this individual I would suggest LR4 as he would not even be aware
    that RAW processing was taking place. but I suspect this is probably an
    individual not prepared to pay for decent software.
     
    Savageduck, Nov 2, 2012
    #2
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  3. This kind of thing smacks of the type of stories macho IT support people
    pass around to prove how stupid and useless end users are. I'm not
    interested in anything like that at all but questions like why is this
    software so hard to use and having empathy for their perspective. That said,
    I'll admit it can be hard to dial down that low at times. Not everyone can
    do it or has the patience. In the odd rare case it may be better if someone
    hired an assistant or found another hobby.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Nov 2, 2012
    #3
  4. tony cooper

    tony cooper Guest

    I've never timed my output. I don't care what type of software is
    used, the post on images just *can't* take an hour on average.
    There's not that much to do on images in general.

    Like you, I can fiddle around with a single image for a long time if
    I'm making a complex mask or making a large number of adjustments.
    But, the post on the next dozen images are going to be so basic that
    my *average* time is going to go down.

    I don't think a software suggestion is going to make any difference to
    this guy. Whatever he's using isn't the problem, and whatever he
    might change to isn't going to help.
     
    tony cooper, Nov 2, 2012
    #4
  5. tony cooper

    Savageduck Guest

    Agreed.
    I suspect his problem might lie in some sort of OCD/ADD issue.
     
    Savageduck, Nov 2, 2012
    #5
  6. tony cooper

    tony cooper Guest

    Well, my wife is re-covering the seats of some ice cream chairs that
    sit around a table on one of our porches. She went to the fabric
    store today and looked for over an hour and still didn't make a
    decision about which fabric to buy. She doesn't have any disorders.

    It'll take her longer to choose the fabric than it will for her to
    remove the old fabric, make a pattern, cut the new fabric when she
    gets it, and staple the new fabric on.

    Maybe this guy just can't make decisions about the way something is
    supposed to look.
     
    tony cooper, Nov 2, 2012
    #6
  7. Like you never get over a snotty grudge. Grow the **** up, Tony.

    Irony is the fifth fundamental law, etcetera.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Nov 2, 2012
    #7
  8. tony cooper

    philo Guest



    I suppose the guy might be an ultra-perfectionist
    but an hour per image seems absurd to me. I rarely spend more than five
    minutes making adjustments. Not usually more than adjusting gamma,
    brightness and color balance
     
    philo, Nov 2, 2012
    #8
  9. They could be. They also don't provide much technical context. Both could be
    playing off against each other in a destructive feedback loop. (The medical
    term for this kind of thing is co-morbidity.)

    Another thing that's lacking is information about their talents or the kinds
    of photographs they're taking. It's possible they are producing nothing
    special but they may be producing very good work where their understanding
    and level of familiarity with technology is getting in their way.

    One of the problems with technology is technology can often become the focus
    when the focus is elsewhere. Sometimes you have to learn to read behind the
    lines or, at least, develop empathy with someone.

    I knew an ex-nurse who had terrible problems with basic computer skills and
    she took an ice age to produce a wordprocessed document. The way I helped
    her was to get her to consider the underlying simplicity of her tasks one by
    one. When she grasped this all the muddle and confusion just melted away and
    within a few days she had essentially mastered her level.

    Thinking back to the person with the problem and your own comments on how
    you work I'm wondering if it's possible they don't have a similar
    understanding to what you've acquired. Perhaps if they did their problems
    with photoprocessing would disappear and they would achieve as successful
    outcome as the ex-nurse in my previous example.

    Some people don't really care about the technology nor do they necessarily
    need to. They just need to get their stuff done.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Nov 2, 2012
    #9
  10. tony cooper

    Savageduck Guest

    OK! Charles, who is this they of whom you speak?
    The protagonist (singular) in Tony's OP was an individual griping in
    the Shutterbug magazine Q&A forum
    All true, but you should have used the singular "he".
    Nice example, but a digression in the context of this discussion.
    Practice makes perfect, and for some the learning curve with some
    software can be steep.
    Then they need to learn how to navigate and use the software, not how
    it is built or its inner workings. Very much as the typists or yore
    needed a knowledge of mechanical typewriter keyboard layout and the
    function of some the various tab stops and ribbon shift leavers for
    multicolored ribbons.

    Remington and Underwood produced the essential office machine most
    bosses never mastered.
     
    Savageduck, Nov 2, 2012
    #10
  11. tony cooper

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On 11/01/2012 11:06 PM, Charles E. Hardwidge wrote:
    : > : >
    : >> I am absolutely dumbfounded that anyone could spend an average of an
    : >> hour or more on each image! I can see that there might be an image,
    : >> once in a great while, that could require an hour's work, but *on
    : >> average*!
    : >
    : > This kind of thing smacks of the type of stories macho IT support people
    : > pass around to prove how stupid and useless end users are. I'm not
    : > interested in anything like that at all but questions like why is this
    : > software so hard to use and having empathy for their perspective. That
    : > said,
    : > I'll admit it can be hard to dial down that low at times. Not everyone can
    : > do it or has the patience. In the odd rare case it may be better if
    : > someone hired an assistant or found another hobby.
    : >
    :
    :
    : I suppose the guy might be an ultra-perfectionist
    : but an hour per image seems absurd to me. I rarely spend more than five
    : minutes making adjustments. Not usually more than adjusting gamma,
    : brightness and color balance

    No cropping? Aspect ratio selection? Rotational correction? Red-eye removal?
    Deciding which of several shots has the best composition or the fewest people
    with their eyes closed?

    You're a better man than I am, Philo.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Nov 2, 2012
    #11
  12. tony cooper

    philo  Guest

    Some people need to follow instructions to the letter
    and there is no understanding of the basics...just a set of instructions.

    I prefer to just blinder through everything until I learn what I need to
    do. Maybe not efficient and maybe my way of learning isn't fast...but
    once I learn something, I am not likely to forget it
     
    philo , Nov 2, 2012
    #12
  13. tony cooper

    dadiOH Guest

    Either he is *very* picky or a complete duffer.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    Winters getting colder? Tired of the rat race?
    Maybe just ready for a change? Check it out...
    http://www.floridaloghouse.net
     
    dadiOH, Nov 2, 2012
    #13
  14. tony cooper

    tony cooper Guest

    Hmmm. I'm wondering how a "grudge" fits in here. The Duck and I get
    along just fine.

    Really, I don't see that software is the problem. It might be a
    problem if the guy is learning to use PS or LR, and just hasn't
    figured it out, but that doesn't seem to be the case. He says he's
    been shooting RAW for many years and doesn't mention learning a new
    processing technique.
     
    tony cooper, Nov 2, 2012
    #14
  15. tony cooper

    philo  Guest


    No, I am not better than you...

    First off, I may take as many as 500 shots on a single photo-shoot
    and end up just printing one or two. I just print the very few that
    I think are really great. I bet if you took 500 shots you'd have a few
    at least that were great just the way they are.

    As far as red eye...I almost never use a flash...I am a great believer
    in ambient light. My own philosophy dictates that the photographer do as
    little as possible to disturb the naturalness of the scene.


    As far as cropping goes. I have to admit that I surprise myself at how
    well I instinctively frame things. I have been doing photography for
    over 50 years and have considered myself a serious photographer for 40
    of those years. Perhaps within the last five years can I say that I am
    starting to get the hang of things.
    I try to really look hard at the entire frame before I shoot...and of
    course to help me there I use a zoom lens.

    Aspect ratio and rotational correction? I tend to mostly take shots
    where that factor does not come into play...or if it does...I just say:
    The heck with it.

    Also: as far as group shots ...I don't take then that often...
    but again...I've found that if I take a lot of them I am bound to get a
    good one. I tend to start snapping at once...before people have time to
    pose. By the time everyone is in position and expects me to start
    shooting...I'm usually done.
     
    philo , Nov 2, 2012
    #15
  16. tony cooper

    tony cooper Guest

    An average of five minutes per image over, say, 50 images would
    include what you mention, Bob. I probably spend as much time
    assessing 50 images to decide which ones to process as I do on the
    actual processing. Since I usually shoot multiple shots of the same
    scene, time goes into going through the similar shots, culling them
    down to a few, and then split-screen viewing each against the others.

    I crop almost all shots, but usually crop to 4 x 6 on all family
    shots. I'll move the crop frame around on the image, but that's not
    time consuming. For a family outing (8 people in the immediate
    family group), I'll process the group shot before cropping, save-as,
    and then do a 4 x 6 crop on one save-as and an 8 x 10 on another
    save-as. "Art" shots crop by content.

    Fewest people with their eyes closed is one of those multiple shot
    choices, and sometimes ends up as a long processing time with head
    switching via PS, but there's usually just one group shot per batch.

    Remember, this guy in the column is talking about one hour per shot.
    Every shot.

    The guy doesn't say what kind of photography he does, but he doesn't
    give any indication that he's shooting for someone else. If he did
    all PR shots involving groups of people, his processing time could
    take longer-per-shot. If he does "glamour" shots, that could really
    run up the time. That would mean he's a pro, though, and you would
    think a pro would have figured out a better system by now.
     
    tony cooper, Nov 2, 2012
    #16
  17. tony cooper

    philo Guest



    Here is a photo montage a friend of mine did

    http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/49137_100000820413956_5184_n.jpg


    He does not release any hi-res images so the details do not come out
    very well...but he uses hundreds of individual images to form the entire
    montage. The guy spends hundreds of hours on the monatges
     
    philo, Nov 2, 2012
    #17
  18. tony cooper

    Savageduck Guest

    The truly silly thing with the "Shutterbug" RAW complainer is he is
    complaining about the time he spends on processing RAW files. For those
    of us who have developed a RAW workflow, the RAW processing can take
    seconds. We are adding elements of processing such as cropping and
    other adjustments which would have been used if all we were working on
    were JPEGs.
    Certainly one can do much of that adjustment, including cropping,
    red-eye fixing, adding gradients, spot removal, etc in ACR, and all of
    that could add minutes to the RAW process, but if he was working with
    JPEG only he would be faced with the same work load.

    So my two part question would be: Just how much time does he actually
    spend on processing limited to preparing RAW files for further
    adjustment and editing, and what time does he spend working on JPEGs
    and/or the processed RAW files?

    So, my conclusion is this is a guy bitching over RAW for the sake of
    bitching, when RAW processing is never going to add a significant load
    to the truly time consuming part of the workflow which even the JPEG
    only shooter is going have to deal with.
    ....and that includes selection.

    So if he were using LR which can provide a contact sheet, and
    side-by-side view to aid selection, and blends RAW & JPEG processing to
    the point that it is seamless and quite transparent. This makes the
    burden of RAW processing unnoticeable.
     
    Savageduck, Nov 2, 2012
    #18
  19. tony cooper

    Robert Coe Guest

    : The truly silly thing with the "Shutterbug" RAW complainer is he is
    : complaining about the time he spends on processing RAW files. For those
    : of us who have developed a RAW workflow, the RAW processing can take
    : seconds. We are adding elements of processing such as cropping and
    : other adjustments which would have been used if all we were working on
    : were JPEGs.
    : Certainly one can do much of that adjustment, including cropping,
    : red-eye fixing, adding gradients, spot removal, etc in ACR, and all of
    : that could add minutes to the RAW process, but if he was working with
    : JPEG only he would be faced with the same work load.
    :
    : So my two part question would be: Just how much time does he actually
    : spend on processing limited to preparing RAW files for further
    : adjustment and editing, and what time does he spend working on JPEGs
    : and/or the processed RAW files?
    :
    : So, my conclusion is this is a guy bitching over RAW for the sake of
    : bitching, when RAW processing is never going to add a significant load
    : to the truly time consuming part of the workflow which even the JPEG
    : only shooter is going have to deal with.
    : ...and that includes selection.
    :
    : So if he were using LR which can provide a contact sheet, and
    : side-by-side view to aid selection, and blends RAW & JPEG processing to
    : the point that it is seamless and quite transparent. This makes the
    : burden of RAW processing unnoticeable.

    Where is it written that if you shoot in RAW, you have to immediately convert
    your images to JPEG and do all your post-processing there? At the risk of
    embarrassing myself before the vast Photoshop/Lightroom cohort, I hereby admit
    that I've shot only in RAW for more than five years and almost never edit a
    JPEG file. The only significant exception is redeye correction, because the
    photo editor I use, Digital Photo Professional, doesn't support it. But even
    that may change, because I discovered the other day that I can do about as
    good a job of redeye correction using DPP's "stamp" tool as other editors at
    my disposal do with their native capability.

    I recognize the considerable power of Photoshop, but have concluded that DPP
    fits my workflow preferences better. I edit photos on three or four different
    computers; and if I had to buy Photoshop for all of them, I'd go broke. And
    DPP maintains all changes in the single RAW file, making images eminently
    portable, with no dependence on editor-imposed databases. So I maintain all my
    images as RAW files and convert them to JPEGs of a suitable resolution only
    when they have to go out into the real world. I guess that's unusual, but it
    works for me.

    Maybe the guy in the magazine is using the wrong editor or using the editor
    wrong. But it's quite a reach to suggest that his problems, whatever they are,
    stem from not converting to JPEG soon enough.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Nov 2, 2012
    #19
  20. tony cooper

    Savageduck Guest

    There is no such rule.
    Personally I only convert to JPEG if I am going to share the processed
    image, either online or for friends & family. I don't convert to JPEG
    for printing unless the converted JPEG is print ready.
    I have shot RAW only since 2005, and I have always use a version of ACR
    + Photoshop for processing. ACR does not convert the RAW file to JPEG
    for PS processing. It processes/adjusts the RAW file so it can be
    converted to a state PS can edit the RAW processed product which
    remains a NEF, CR2, RAF, DNG, and is saved as a 16-bit PSD or TIFF.
    Only then do I consider whether or not I need a JPEG version of the
    completed image file. That "save as" process includes changing from
    16-bit to 8-bit mode, and to change the color space from ProPhoto RGB
    to sRGB, and compress to taste.
    Currently red-eye adjustment can be made in ACR and LR.
    ....but that is you adapting the capabilities of your software by
    employing your experience with that software.
    Well Photoshop permits installation on two computers.
    I believe it is his mindset that is wrong, not his choice of software,
    though with software such as Lightroom the entire process is seamless,
    transparent, and efficient.

    I didn't say anything about converting to JPEG soon enough. What I did
    say was that though there are some extra steps in processing a RAW file
    they do not add significant time to the workflow than making
    adjustments and editing to a JPEG. The only difference between
    processing a RAW file in ACR+PS, and working on a JPEG in PS, are the
    ACR adjustments and opening the adjusted RAW file in PS.

    My typical basic ACR adjustments include most of, but not necessarily
    all of the following, depending on need.:
    1: Camera Calibration
    2: Lens Correction CR removal(by enabling the Lens Profile)
    3: Check WB & exposure tweaks
    4: Check sharpening & Noise

    Optional:
    5: Add gradient if needed.
    6: Spot removal, if needed.
    7: Red-eye adjustment, if needed.
    8: Straightening &/or cropping (which can also be done in PS)

    All of which can be made in 45 seconds to 2 minutes before opening, as
    a RAW, ProPhoto RGB, 16-Bit 360 ppi file in CS5.

    Those are the steps the JPEG only photographer using PS would avoid in
    ACR, but would still have to deal with most of, in his JPEG workflow.
     
    Savageduck, Nov 2, 2012
    #20
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