Monday, October 24, 2011
My Digital Workflow
A few people have asked me since I've started my blog about my digital workflow. Digital Workflow is how each person takes their photos from their camera and then places them onto their computer, and the workflow to post-process those photos and potentially share them via email or on the web on through Flickr or Blogger.
For starters, I have a Canon 7D SLR camera with a Sigma 150-500mm OS lens. I have a nice medium range zoom lens that offers a nice F2.8 aperture through the range of its zoom. With this camera, I have 2 8GB memory cards.
When I get home after birding, I typically apologize to my wife for being late, then place my 8GB Compact Flash card into a USB card-reader. I have a great program called Google Picasa (see screen shot above) that not only edits my photos but also imports and manages my collection of photos. The one thing I really love about Picasa is that it 'runs light'. It opens up quick, does what you want to do, and you're done.
Here is a link to Google Picasa's Official site: http://picasa.google.com/ This Wonderful Image Editor/manager is free software!!! The video below is 5 minutes and well worth watching if you are even mildly interested in photography.
An incredible feature in this software is non-destructive editing, so if you crop, brighten, darken photos, you can always revert back to your original no matter how much you change the original.
You can "tag" your images so if you need to find pictures of a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, you can simply search for it and if you tagged it earlier, it will be found as you type each letter or the item you are looking for (Lexicographically).
You can "Star" your images so that even if you only have 20 out of 200 that are really keepers, you can hide your unstarred photos so you can see the best of your work, without deleting the many others you may want 'just in case'.
Finally, one final feature that I love is the Export feature.
You chose a single photo that you might want to email to a friend or post on a blog, so you simply click File | Export then set the settings in the export dialog box. The screenshot above shows what that looks like. One cool thing I like to do is label my photos with a 'watermark' stating the bird, the location, and the month/year and a final stamp, ~DM that lets you know that you are truly looking at a Dwaynejava original, a photographic work of art (lol... I'm not that good).
To further describe how export works, think of your large, original files in "My Documents/My Photos". When you export, you make a second (smaller) version of that file. I like to export my files to a folder on my desktop, say "Desktop/Exported Photos". When I export a file, they show up in that desktop folder. So its that smaller, water-marked, cropped, brightened, post-processed photo that I upload to my blog.
I still can't understand how this software is free. Thank you Google for making great, simple image editing software and then giving it to the people!