Sun Streaming Through the Mist

Photography Software
It is a reality these days that if we are doing photography, most of us will be using a computer to help us. As an “old school” photographer, I remember the days of a wet darkroom, chemicals and film, and I must say, using a computer to print a photo is much cleaner. However, the price we pay for this convenience is that our photos are no longer shot on a permanent medium, film, and instead exist in a kind of ethereal state until we print them. How to achieve this is key. Photography workflow is a personal thing, but I’ll outline my process, in the hope that perhaps some will find it instructive and/or interesting.
I have used Photoshop as my main photography program since the beginning of digital photography – in fact since before digital photography (I have a version of PS 1.0.1 on a very old Mac that I save as a souvenir)! As a result, I look critically at other programs, but I’ve never found one that works for me as well as Photoshop. This means that all my mages are photoshopped these days, a thing some see as a negative connotation, but again, the reality is it’s just how I get my images into my computer. I try to get the photos as perfectly as I can in the camera, and as a result, I only really use photo shop for minor tweaks and file storage.
For many, Adobe makes another program called Lightroom that does the same thing (is able to make tweaks), but it also is a photo management program – that is, Lightroom will store your images in folders called Catalogs, and you’ll have access to them by simply looking through the folders to find an image. Simple, right? The only problem is, most people don’t take the time to set the program up correctly, and it is a bit weird in that Lightroom also puts information for images in other folders, so moving the files, like say to a new computer when that day comes, often frustrates people. As a result, I don’t care for file management programs – there are others like Lightroom, Aperture (Apple’s now not supported program) and Capture One being the main alternatives, but I simply don’t need them for that. Lightroom does, however, have some neat tricks up its sleeve – like the ability to make webpages with an assortment of templates and sizes that show off your images. For that reason I do keep it on my iMac.
The alternative, and what I do, is to use a program like Photoshop to bring in the images from your camera and then manage the filing yourself. I know where every file is going, and it’s onto three different drives – onto my main computer, and then immediately to a backup drive, and when I export the photo to yet another backup drive. Thus, I have three copies minimum of every image. IN future blog entries I’ll talk about how I use Photoshop to actually process my images, but I was just pointing this workflow out this week because of a deal – you can get both Lightroom and Photoshop together from Adobe and they will run on your main computer, a laptop or a tablet and all for $9.99 a month (US, so it fluctuates for us here in Canada a bit every month). This is through Adobe’s “Photography Plan”. Take a look, it may be the best $10 a month you’ll ever spend on software for your photography.

Fishing Shed at Sunset

Leaf In a Stream

Streamside Foliage