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I have not previously asked for such a review.

 

I have a few 'niggles' in my mind about how I'm am doing things. 

 

What I specifically mean is getting 'stuck' in a routine of processing rather than concerns about subject matter.

 

ie) I am not so interested in suggestions about what I photograph but am interested in the processing aspects of what I am doing with the pictures

 

Thanks for looking

 

 

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Posted (edited)

You have an amazing breadth and number of images. 

 

They are well lit and bright. My first two suggestions are really picky, but to me, some of the worker's clothes in the set with the Mayan ruins seem a bit too over-saturated. It's probably fine for stock and it's all a matter of taste, but I just found them a bit overbright.

 

Also, again, a matter of taste, but the blacks seem a little dark - maybe a bit too contrasty. After converting the final image from AdobeRGB to srgb, perfectly fine blacks often end up out of gamut. I didn't download any of yours to check, but if this turns out to be the case, what I do is create a levels adjustment and make the output levels 2 and 253.

 

My final suggestion, and I know with old ruins they may no longer be plumb, but even taking that into consideration, your verticals are sometimes more off kilter than necessary. I realize sometimes it's done consciously for composition, but there were a few where the verticals are just a tad off, making the image a little disorientating.  For example, the pyramid in Image ID: 2PYKDXE - I'd make the front edge as perfectly vertical as possible. It could be straighter even if, perhaps, it is no longer perfectly plumb. 

 

Another example is Image ID: 2PY5BK4. The church and palm trees being askew doesn't add to the composition, but again, it makes the image a bit disorientating. Perhaps you didn't want to crop for fear of losing the people on the right in the foreground? Personally, I think a tighter straight crop would still be better. I know I often have to remind myself when I'm trying to fit a lot in a scene that it's important when there are buildings (unless I'm composing something off kilter on purpose), to shoot more level or step back a bit more so you don't lose some of the composition later when leveling crops the image. With editorial you can't use content aware fill for the gaps, so you're bound to crop out part of the composition if you have to level it later. 

 

I cringe when I look at old images of mine and find that I missed something askew and at new ones when I get caught up and don't pay attention to my horizons, so I make these suggestions in all humility. 

 

Hope this is helpful. 

 

 

Edited by Marianne
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Posted (edited)

Thanks so much - really appreciate yor taking the time to look.

 

The thing is I do go through a lot of images and there is always time pressure.

 

I will look at the images you mention tomorrow.

 

Very grateful to you 😀

Edited by geogphotos
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I too admire your work ethic in getting out and getting all those great shots. 

Looking at some pages of your trip to Mexico, my main thought was that I would have liked to see darker skies.  In some, the sky is dark and contrasty enough to emphasize the foreground subject.  But in many cases I think the image would be more appealing if the sky was darker.

I don't know if you are a Nikon shooter and use NX Studio with control points, or use what was Nik filters in photoshop, but I would put a few control points on the blue parts of the sky at brightness -30 or so, and contrast +20.  Or the lightroom equivalent (can't help you there).  Try it on a few images with bright skies and see if you agree it makes the image more punchy.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Reimar said:

I too admire your work ethic in getting out and getting all those great shots. 

Looking at some pages of your trip to Mexico, my main thought was that I would have liked to see darker skies.  In some, the sky is dark and contrasty enough to emphasize the foreground subject.  But in many cases I think the image would be more appealing if the sky was darker.

I don't know if you are a Nikon shooter and use NX Studio with control points, or use what was Nik filters in photoshop, but I would put a few control points on the blue parts of the sky at brightness -30 or so, and contrast +20.  Or the lightroom equivalent (can't help you there).  Try it on a few images with bright skies and see if you agree it makes the image more punchy.

 

 

To be honest I don't ever think about intentionally making the sky darker.

 

I use Canon

 

Thanks for your comment

Edited by geogphotos
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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

2PYKDXE 

 

You said the vertical was off - did you mean horizontal?

 

The front vertical tilts to the left - maybe that's how it is and it can't be straighter but I thought a little rotation might help.

 

I wish I could learn to value speed in processing more. I spend way too much time agonizing over each image and often find after an hour the old version doesn't look appreciably better than the first fast edit, though sometimes it does. I'm trying to compromise with myself and process straight stock photos faster, while saving my detailed edits for images that I sell as fine art. If I valued speed more I'd have a much larger portfolio. I have yet to find the happy medium.

 

Buyers can do a little rotation and crop if they want, and I assume your sales bear that out. When I first began shooting digital for assignments, the photo editor at most magazines I shot for did the bulk of the editing, and some required the RAW photo, but as I became proficient in Photoshop, that changed. I wouldn't go crazy with old photos but maybe try the auto features in LR to straighten them out - it's fast when it works, which is 80% of the time. 

 

I didn't notice the skies, but you can just filter for the sky in LR and make necessary adjustments. And you can add additional pinpoints with radial filters (much like the Nik control points  @Reimar though not quite as nice - but close enough) and also refine your selection with brushes - all in combination. The best and most efficient part of all this is that with the AI in LR, if you have a bunch of images shot in similar conditions, you can fix one sky and then sync that change to the rest of the batch and the AI will go through and first find each sky and make the changes accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Marianne
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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

I wish I could learn to value speed in processing more. I spend way too much time agonizing over each image and often find after an hour the old version doesn't look appreciably better than the first fast edit, though sometimes it does. I'm trying to compromise with myself and process straight stock photos faster, while saving my detailed edits for images that I sell as fine art. If I valued speed more I'd have a much larger portfolio. I have yet to find the happy medium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am editing/processing around 4000 images taken in Mexico.  The most RAWS I have procesed in a day is around 100, then of course there is the keywording for another day. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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The recent Mexico images look great to me. There are a few taken in non-ideal lighting (backlit or dull day) that could perhaps be lifted a bit. If you're using LR or PS to process your RAWs and are after speed have you tried hitting the Auto button in the Tone panel first and then tweaking from there if needed? If you like what Auto does you can even set it up in a preset so Auto is automatically applied to all images on opening/import. I tried Auto on the downloaded preview of 2PYKDXE and prefer the result.

 

Mark

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22 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

The recent Mexico images look great to me. There are a few taken in non-ideal lighting (backlit or dull day) that could perhaps be lifted a bit. If you're using LR or PS to process your RAWs and are after speed have you tried hitting the Auto button in the Tone panel first and then tweaking from there if needed? If you like what Auto does you can even set it up in a preset so Auto is automatically applied to all images on opening/import. I tried Auto on the downloaded preview of 2PYKDXE and prefer the result.

 

Mark

 

 

Thanks for looking and the comments mark. Yes, I do use that 'Auto' option and see what it produces - more often than not it gives a good starting point. 

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Hi Ian,

Just want to add at the start, it blows my mind how many images you've managed to get up! I'll avoid praising the images generally and just get into it:

 

people-sitting-on-woooden-jetty-pier-by-

The skin tones look a bit too orange. Just guessing that maybe increasing the saturation of the wood may have picked up the skin tones at the same time.

 

 

spanish-colonial-fortification-fort-de-s

White balance looks a bit too far to the red end - grass tone looks a bit strange (too red). I would also have selected the sky as a mask in LR and reduced the exposure.

 

cabana-thatched-cabin-on-wooden-jetty-la

Might have added a mask to the water in front of the hut and increased the saturation. Would also reduce the exposure of the sky, at least on the right hand side, and increase the saturation of the sky overall, and perhaps its contrast too, depending on how it looked.

 

sailing-boat-on-clear-turquoise-water-la

Sky is underexposed.

 

early-morning-people-sitting-on-jetty-pi

Really like this image, looks almost painterly. I might have increased the saturation of the sky, but not really a critique.

 

early-morning-dawn-landscape-wooden-jett

Shadows could be lifted on the pier. Structure in the background works great as a silhouette, no need to change. Would have reduced the highlights a bit around the sun, and maybe lifted the luminance of the blue sky, particularly on the right hand side. With the sky, I would play with the sliders tbh, but the blue colour looks almost a bit dirty/too dark at the moment.

Steve

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> editing/processing around 4000 images taken in Mexico
 
4000 pre edit or keepers?  Made over how many days?
As to saturation, I drop all colors -10 if any color(s)
look saturated -- no time to do individual colors...
Its about boosting salability, not winning POTM,
I also drop -10 if skin looks orange-ish...
4000 keepers is amazing for, say, 2-wk itinerary.
😱__ 😱__ 😱__ 😱
I might take 3000 in that time & keep 1700...
Consider reducing obvious similars if one is better, IMO.
(saves processing-tagging time, preserves CTR)
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg said:
> editing/processing around 4000 images taken in Mexico
 
4000 pre edit or keepers?  Made over how many days?
As to saturation, I drop all colors -10 if any color(s)
look saturated -- no time to do individual colors...
Its about boosting salability, not winning POTM,
I also drop -10 if skin looks orange-ish...
4000 keepers is amazing for, say, 2-wk itinerary.
😱__ 😱__ 😱__ 😱
I might take 3000 in that time & keep 1700...
Consider reducing obvious similars if one is better, IMO.
(saves processing-tagging time, preserves CTR)

 

Just under 7 weeks trip ( a week was family wedding, family commitments). 3100 RAWS but estimate 2800 excluding ones taken just to record information, museum captions, complete duds

 

The proportion of 'keepers' is variable - good and poor patches.

 

I've done around 1200 with Merida to complete and a large folder of Mexico City not yet started.

 

I'm doing upto around 100 RAWS-JPEGS  on a good day ( sometimes a few more) but that is pushing it in terms ot time sitting at the computer. I then upload to my Photoshelter account and do the metadata in batches. Then FTP to Alamy and when ready Quick Send to editor at ***. (L usually takes 40-50% approx)

 

Edited by geogphotos
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Posted (edited)

One observation from looking at Editorial images from a photojournalist/agency - and I see this at Alamy and the same work at G and S Editorial. The observation is this - there seems to be no post processing at all. Presumably editorial clients are perfectly prepared to do work on these images and don't expect to download the finished item?

 

You can see what I mean by searching for editorial and 'Celestun' which is a small fishing settlement which also attracts tourists to see flamingoes. Anyway, you will see a large number of images which seem to be straight out of the camera. I think that the photographer is well-known and successful. 

 

Scroll down past the Zuma ones of flamingoes to the fish processing ones.

Edited by geogphotos
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11 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

One observation from looking at Editorial images from a photojournalist/agency - and I see this at Alamy and the same work at G and S Editorial. The observation is this - there seems to be no post processing at all. Presumably editorial clients are perfectly prepared to do work on these images and don't expect to download the finished item?

 

You can see what I mean by searching for editorial and 'Celestun' which is a small fishing settlement which also attracts tourists to see flamingoes. Anyway, you will see a large number of images which seem to be straight out of the camera. I think that the photographer is well-known and successful. 

 

Scroll down past the Zuma ones of flamingoes to the fish processing ones.

 

My experience from finding Alamy photos in U.S. publications, is that most do little to the photos other than maybe doing a cut-out or crop.  The only magazine, I see, that often does a lot processing to Alamy images, is National Geographic History....very often improving color, contrast and tone of the images.

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6 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

My experience from finding Alamy photos in U.S. publications, is that most do little to the photos other than maybe doing a cut-out or crop.  The only magazine, I see, that often does a lot processing to Alamy images, is National Geographic History....very often improving color, contrast and tone of the images.

 

It is such a shame that we can't discuss other agencies. But at that other place I often see that mine stand out in Editorial searches because they are about the only ones that have been processed! 

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20 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

My experience from finding Alamy photos in U.S. publications, is that most do little to the photos other than maybe doing a cut-out or crop.  The only magazine, I see, that often does a lot processing to Alamy images, is National Geographic History....very often improving color, contrast and tone of the images.

 

This has been my experience as well, especially when I was illustrating my own travel articles written for print publications. That said, I wish I wasn't so post-processing challenged. However, with my interest in stock photography declining for various reasons, I'll probably remain this way, although I am constantly trying to improve my skills in the PP department.  Just as an aside, the owner of a small specialist stock photo library that I contributed to for many years told me to fiddle with images as little as possible. For instance, increasing saturation was a real no-no.

 

Regarding photographing on the Caribbean coast of Mexico (the so-called Riviera Maya or Mayan Riviera), the light is very bright and it's tough to get decent looking skies. Exposure can be really challenging as well.

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8 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

This has been my experience as well, especially when I was illustrating my own travel articles written for print publications. That said, I wish I wasn't so post-processing challenged. However, with my interest in stock photography declining for various reasons, I'll probably remain this way, although I am constantly trying to improve my skills in the PP department.  Just as an aside, the owner of a small specialist stock photo library that I contributed to for many years told me to fiddle with images as little as possible. For instance, increasing saturation was a real no-no.

 

Regarding photographing on the Caribbean coast of Mexico (the so-called Riviera Maya or Mayan Riviera), the light is very bright and it's tough to get decent looking skies. Exposure can be really challenging as well.

 

 

Interesting points John. 

 

I see a big difference between using PP to CREATE an image - layers, masks, filters, importing sky, and all that toolbox of skills which I have to admit is beyond me - and my 'numbers game' editorial content that aims to simply tidy up obvious errors and defects and present the image much as it is.

 

With one of the washed out sky pics I did consider cropping to a panorama shape - then thought I'd leave the space and keep the options open. I don't tend to touch saturation much but do use the Vibrancy slider sparingly.

 

 

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11 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

For instance, increasing saturation was a real no-no.

 

Interesting to hear John. Are we talking about film or digital here? Raw files look to be less saturated than real life often, if you get my meaning.

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Posted (edited)

I'd agree with Steve, the 'look' of a RAW file depends upon which software you use to open it in. I don't think John uses Lightroom but with LR and other similar software the profile that you use as the default (Adobe Standard, Adobe Neutral etc.) will change that look, and you can make your own as well. Because I use Fuji then I go for their Fuji Provia profile most of the time, the Adobe version of 'Velvia' is way too lurid for me, but then I will often tweak that. These obviously echo the colours of their famous films that took a lot of the market away from Kodak back in the day.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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10 minutes ago, Mr Standfast said:

 

Hello, Ian. I've had a look, it would be rude not to.

 

Nothing's broken. Carry on carrying on.

 

🦔

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for looking. 😀

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 14/05/2023 at 14:08, geogphotos said:

Just under 7 weeks trip...

😮 OH WOWSIE, THOSE YOOKERS KNOW HOW TO VAY-CAY
🙄 45 DAYS THAT'S INSANE
🤔 WAIT.  YOOKER?  OR UKKER?
😨 ME AND THE WIFEY ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON 22-DAY SE US ROAM-AROUND
😱 AND YOU HAD TO PROMISE TO RETURN HOME PRONTO AT ANY POINT IF DEMANDED...
😟 THE WIFEY PULLS THE HOMESICK CARD IF WE DON'T BEHAVE...
Edited by Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg
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