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I'm going to try to increase my number and size of Alamy submissions. At the moment I'm taking all my pictures in Nikon RAW and processing them with Nikon Capture and Photoshop and I'm not sure how I can simplify this workflow model to achieve new high levels of productivity. 

I would be thankful for any suggestions

Tim

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Here follows a heresy.

Shoot JPEG and use Lightroom.

Edited by spacecadet
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Here follows a heresy.
Shoot JPEG and use Lightroom.

 

 

It is heresy, even blasphemy, but you may have found a convert here. I've always shot RAW. However, I've been shooting RAW+JPEG lately, and the the JPEGs out of my camera tend to look better than the processed RAW files. Alamy suggests saving the JPEGs as TIFs before tweaking them, which I've been doing (16 bit). This adds an extra step. Still, shooting JPEG certainly does simplify things. Now, time to run for cover...

Edited by John Mitchell

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I shoot RAW occasionally if the light is poor, but if it is good I tend to use JPEG and then if a shot needs a bit extra tlc I will open it as a RAW in Photoshop.

 

May not suit everyone but it works for me and speeds up the process considerably.

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No need to TIFF them first if you only do the resaving once, on export from Lightroom.

That advice is just to stop you doing multiple saves, and might be a bit old-fashioned now.

BTW, John, you spelt 'shot' with an A. I've heard of photographers bleeding developer when you cut them, but that's ridiculous.

Edited by spacecadet
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No need to TIFF them first if you only do the resaving once, on export from Lightroom.

That advice is just to stop you doing multiple saves, and might be a bit old-fashioned now.

BTW, John, you spelt 'shot' with an A. I've heard of photographers bleeding developer when you cut them, but that's ridiculous.

Whoops! A Freudian slip. That line at the top was supposed to have been deleted. Pretty funny, though. I realize the reasons -- avoiding multiple JPEG saves, data loss, etc. -- for converting to TIFF format. Works out well for me because I'm old-fashioned and still use PS to tweak the TIFs. 

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I have always shot in RAW and followed a process through Lightroom with a final check in PS. This doesn't actually take very long per picture. However, a lot of photographers seem to be using out of camera JPEGS more and more with minor tweaks. The Fuji X series cameras seem to enjoy a very good OOC JPEG reputation, and as I have both X100 and X Pro 1, I think I might look into this.

 

At the end of the day, I guess its what works for you, and, more importantly, what gets you through QC that counts!

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For stock I only shoot Raw and the conversion time (C1 Pro) is only a few minutes (time for a quick stretch) - applying adjustments etc is the same time. I shoot JPG+RAW for news but recently inadvertently tweaked the jpg rather than the RAW and it shocked me just how much more information there was in the RAW. From RAW I was able to open up shadows that were completely blocked up in JPGS. I was working with a Fuji X-E1 and its excellent out of camera jpgs. To the extent that I was embarrassed by the jpgs I had sent  directly from the event. In future I will only be using OOC jpgs when timeliness is absolutely critical.

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For what it's worth, I follow the conventional pattern of shooting RAW, processing in Lightroom, then exporting  to JPEG.

 

As far as workflow goes the best advice I keep giving myself is not to shoot in poor light and then spend ages trying to get the image to look acceptable - I've spent many a long hour pushing and pulling at Lightroom settings, only to end up with a dull and probably unsellable picture at the end of it all. My approach is shoot on days with good light and process and keyword on all the rest; living in England this means I shoot occasionally and keyword a lot!

 

I spend easily as much time on the picture research and the keywording of an image as I do processing the actual picture. I am keen to ensure I describe and keyword the picture accurately and in as much detail as may be useful (Google, the Ordnance Survey and Wikipedia are my best friends).

 

My approach is  to aim for quality in every respect rather than strive for quantity. I don't have a massive track record of sales to back up the validity of this approach, but I think it's the right thing to do in the long run.

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If you're shooting RAW...and you're using Lightroom, then you can effectively "shoot in jpg" by going to the develop tab, going to the "camera calibration section" and change the profile from Adobe Standard

 

11171mt.jpg

 

to whatever preset picture style you use in camera (I shoot Canon so my picture styles are different than yours)

 

11wbkm1.jpg

 

Then use the Sync... feature to synchronize your photos from the shoot.  This essentially changes the color of your RAW file to reflect what it would look like as a JPG.  No need to shoot both RAW and JPG and it saves space on your memory cards.

 

***NOTE: This process does not work with Fuji cameras.  Adobe doesn't support this for the Fuji sensor so I shoot RAW and JPG with my Fuji cameras (and often stack the jpg over the RAW if I use the jpg right out of the camera).

 

From there, you can make the small adjustments and cropping necessary to make your images usable.

 

From a keywording perspective, I start off entering the base keywords of the images in a Microsoft Word document (so my spelling errors are caught), then I copy and past them into all images from the shoot and I synchronize keywords...then, I fine tune keywords for each photo.

 

I've found this especially useful for editorial/newsworthy events where time is of the essence when it comes to uploading.  In fact, I've been known to keyword in the document before the event so I can think of other keywords while at the event.

Edited by Ed Endicott
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Bridge for me, old habits die hard.

 

Terry.

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I also have a RAW/Lightroom and then for retouching Photoshop workflow.

 

For the small amount of additional time dropping RAW files onto the HD, and importing them into Lightroom takes I'd rather have the flexibility and latitude that RAW gives me. The longest part of my stock submission workflow (bar images which need complex retouching) is always key-wording and file format has no impact on that !!

 

Certainly using some custom pre-sets to achieve my preferred look, and some of the sync features to make corrections across a set in LR would make some difference to the speed in which you can get your RAWs to final quality faster than you could in Nikon Capture.

 

It is also worth pointing out that RAW format gives you some improvements over time as well. I have recently been back into my archive from 2004/5 for some images taken in RAW and originally processed in Lightroom 1, re-processing those with the latest profile pulls significantly more detail and quality out of the images than the RAW processing engine in LR1 and any of the other software at the time...taking JPEGs in camera would have fixed all of that back in 2004.

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If you're shooting RAW...and you're using Lightroom, then you can effectively "shoot in jpg" by going to the develop tab, going to the "camera calibration section" and change the profile from Adobe Standard

 

11171mt.jpg

 

to whatever preset picture style you use in camera (I shoot Canon so my picture styles are different than yours)

 

11wbkm1.jpg

 

Then use the Sync... feature to synchronize your photos from the shoot.  This essentially changes the color of your RAW file to reflect what it would look like as a JPG.  No need to shoot both RAW and JPG and it saves space on your memory cards.

 

***NOTE: This process does not work with Fuji cameras.  Adobe doesn't support this for the Fuji sensor so I shoot RAW and JPG with my Fuji cameras (and often stack the jpg over the RAW if I use the jpg right out of the camera).

 

From there, you can make the small adjustments and cropping necessary to make your images usable.

 

From a keywording perspective, I start off entering the base keywords of the images in a Microsoft Word document (so my spelling errors are caught), then I copy and past them into all images from the shoot and I synchronize keywords...then, I fine tune keywords for each photo.

 

I've found this especially useful for editorial/newsworthy events where time is of the essence when it comes to uploading.  In fact, I've been known to keyword in the document before the event so I can think of other keywords while at the event.

 

Just to add a rider too this excellent advice - the Lightroom Camera Calibration profiles are approximations to what Nikon, Canon et al use for their profiles. They're not the actual colour profiles that you get from the camera makers. Adobe's engineers have just had a crack at tweaking the default curves to almost-but-not-quite match the "true" colour profiles.

 

If you want to change or tweak the *exact* colour profile in post, it'll require the extra step of opening the raw file in the manufacturer's proprietary image processor e.g. the free ViewNX2 for Nikon (and I'm guessing DPP for Canon can do the same).

 

This is one of the strengths of Nikon - their Picture Control system is extremely usable, useful and tweakable. Probably not something to have in your workflow for every image but it can rescue you on occasions when you want a certain "look" but can't quite get there.

Edited by Russell Watkins

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I also have a RAW/Lightroom and then for retouching Photoshop workflow.

 

For the small amount of additional time dropping RAW files onto the HD, and importing them into Lightroom takes I'd rather have the flexibility and latitude that RAW gives me. The longest part of my stock submission workflow (bar images which need complex retouching) is always key-wording and file format has no impact on that !!

 

Certainly using some custom pre-sets to achieve my preferred look, and some of the sync features to make corrections across a set in LR would make some difference to the speed in which you can get your RAWs to final quality faster than you could in Nikon Capture.

 

It is also worth pointing out that RAW format gives you some improvements over time as well. I have recently been back into my archive from 2004/5 for some images taken in RAW and originally processed in Lightroom 1, re-processing those with the latest profile pulls significantly more detail and quality out of the images than the RAW processing engine in LR1 and any of the other software at the time...taking JPEGs in camera would have fixed all of that back in 2004.

 

 

This is an excellent point and also an argument for archiving all raw images, even ones you think are beyond redemption because one day, just maybe, raw processors will be able to rescue the abysmally exposed shot that would otherwise work compositionally.

Edited by Russell Watkins

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I'm not bang on the money enough to just use the out of camera jpegs. I think the more experience you have the more you can trust this method. RAW offers a get out of jail card for folk who didn't quite hit the exposure, maybe blew a few highlights out, and set the wrong WB. I don't mean any disrespect to folk who shoot RAW, I do it myself (RAW + JPG), however, I do genuinely believe that shooting RAW has it's uses, but, I bet the best of photogs are shooting jpg only. Nailing the in camera settings and knowing when to change it at a moments notice is really what separates the men from the boys. 

 

Sure you can mess about with a jpg in photoshop and to a limited extent in LR, but I doubt many of the bigger players on Alamy are actually doing that either. There's more importance to getting it right in camera when shooting jpg only, than in RAW. 

 

Just my opinion of course. 

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I only shoot in RAW and load from Nikon as DNG files. I then synch all the basic adjustments, lens, white balance, tint etc, in one hit - takes minutes. After that it is just minor tweaking. It helps if you fix the ISO at the relevant Kelvin for consistancy. That way you can synch the WB and tint in one hit.

 

dov

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I don't mean any disrespect to folk who shoot RAW, I do it myself (RAW + JPG), however, I do genuinely believe that shooting RAW has it's uses, but, I bet the best of photogs are shooting jpg only. Nailing the in camera settings and knowing when to change it at a moments notice is really what separates the men from the boys.....

 

.....Just my opinion of course. 

 

Paul,

 

No disrespect taken but I'd love to know what you are basing that on.

 

I have listened to many of the worlds top wedding and portrait photographers, UK wildlife photographers, and editorial photographers like Joe McNally speak over the last 10 years. With some notable exceptions, most of which were back in the early days of digital when cards were smaller and software tools not as sophisticated, RAW is their preferred option... unless:

 

- they are under pressure to deliver images very quickly (read: breaking news/for live display at a seminar)

- taking 100s of images in short succession where the buffer becomes a consideration (read: high volume sports events like 10k/marathon/sportives)

- under extremely controlled and known circumstances (read: studio)

 

Not only does it give you the most flexibility to alter settings, and the opportunity to future process your file with updated processing engines but it also gives you a > 8-bit file (14-bit in Nikon for example, 16-bit from a Hasselblad) giving you a significantly high quality of tonal transition and at basic level the number of possible colours. Whilst you might end up presenting that as an 8-bit JPEG any manipulation and retouching you do, particularly on skin is going to benefit from that additional information.

 

There is no big hi-five amongst JPEG shooters because they are nailing the settings in camera - the most important thing to do is to get a compelling image in the frame with the best composition, lighting, and storytelling possible and in the right amount of focus (sharpness and depth) for what you are trying to portray. That is what separates the men from the boys photographically. You can't fix that in the computer - and file format has no input or differentiator when you are making images with those priorities in mind.

 

Yes you try to get the exposure correct, ideally to save some time you'd want as accurate a white balance as possible, but it is easy to get lost in RAW vs JPEG, Canon vs Nikon, Mac vs PC and forget that being able to use a camera isn't the same as being a great photographer.

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- they are under pressure to deliver images very quickly (read: breaking news/for live display at a seminar)

- taking 100s of images in short succession where the buffer becomes a consideration (read: high volume sports events like 10k/marathon/sportives)

- under extremely controlled and known circumstances (read: studio)

 

Exactly these reasons Mike, even more so with regards to photojournalism. Maybe also basing it on the more successful folk on here who are regular event/news shooters. 

Also a few folk I look up to in photography too who do the same. 

 

I wouldn't swap what I do for anything. RAW is the only way I would work, but my thinking is that it's not everyone's cup of tea, especially with time constraints. Maybe I personally give a high five to those folk who can just use a jpg out the camera and make it look like it was processed well. :) 

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I shoot for 90% directly in JPG. Saturation, white balance, contrast and brightness i do in camera before making the shot. Electronic viewfinder makes it possible. Afterwarts i only check for sharpness and eventually cleaning spots. Works very good for me...high acceptance rate on most agencies. The noise reducing of my camera is so optimal that i could not do it better. Raw 1600 ISO i can not make a clear image of it. JPEG in camera noise control in 1600 ISO no problem..... concert images all over the place on different agencies.

 

But it is depending on camera and situation of course and your comfort. I am shooting in raw since 4 years and know all the details of how a digital photo is made. I only let the camera do most of my work now since i trust it :).

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I shoot RAW and jpeg at the same time. I know I could not salvage blown highlights or make skin tones look good under weird light using jpeg.

In some cases jpeg will look better than the RAW but I prefer the raw for more data to salvage the misgivings of overly bright and contrasty days or available light at night.

 

L

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Just spent a couple of hours looking over and revising recent key wording and making considerable edits. Alongside that, the processing time is not a major issue. It's not like I'm shelling peas. :)

 

If I spend time and energy and money travelling to a location, I want the best possible outcome, and that is generally through the use of raw, processing in LR to produce a TIFF with further editing in PS. Most shots get some adjustment in levels, generally using two or more adjustment layers, with further tweaking also usually applied. I have tried the brush tool in LR but find that it tends to increase the noise overmuch, and find I get better results from PS.

 

Never say never, but I would normally only shoot JPG if in a considerable hurry, or, with the camera on auto when I have a tad too much to drink.......

Edited by Bryan
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I shoot RAW and jpeg at the same time, although only work with RAW files. Maybe in some years there will be a even better Camera Raw that just pressing the auto will provide a wonderful image without the need to retouch even further.

 

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" I bet the best of photogs are shooting jpg only"

 

no

 

 

km

+ 1

 

 

Why would anyone want to only shoot in JPG?   A quick look shows I have done so only a handful of times in recent years, and in most instances wish I had not done so - it did not save that much time, but did lose masses of editing ability.

 

If you are serious about photography then it must be RAW to produce your JPG?

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