To understand this article you need to understand my approach to photography, and what I am aiming to achieve. I have little doubt that everyone has different objectives, priorities, reasons and more importantly outputs for their photography, and depending on what they are will determine which applications that you use most regularly.
I take photographs to satisfy two objectives:
- To support the blogs that I publish
- To satisfy a personal desire to get better
I would say that at the moment 80% of the photos are to support one blog or another, and 20% are for personal desire. I need to increase this %, but as I also need to increase the amount of photos I produce for the blogs I either have to find a way of taking a lot more photos or of combining the two objectives – or in reality both!
Truth be told I feel that I have put myself under pressure with the purchase of all the equipment recently as now whenever I look on the shelf and see it all I feel really guilty that am not out using it. I never felt that way with the old Sony.
One other thing before I actually start this article properly. Distribution. Probably a topic for a whole different post but I currently use so many different means to show the photos that I can’t really justify including just one in this list. To give you an example of how complicated this is at the moment:
Flickr: I have three Pro accounts! One associated to this blog, one to the Almerimar Life blog, and a personal one. Since I moved this blog from MyAppleStuff to Chris Marshall I have combined the personal and the account for this blog, so going forwward I will only have two Pro accounts. I use Flickr for bulk distribution. Basically everything and anything is the plan with this – they get very little editing, and get dumped into sets and tagged but that is about it.
iPhoto: I put every picture that I take into iPhoto, but without any Watermarks. I actually have the means to show these on a couple of the TV’s in the apartment, through the AppleTv etc, but the main use is to transfer them to my iPhone. Sad I know but showing photos to friends is just not something that we do – basically because we hardly ever have anybody round socially. I use iPhoto to show pictures to potential clients, sponsors etc basically because it is so easy. I love the Web Gallery in iPhoto when used with .mac and use that as another means of sharing certain favourites from certain smart albums.
Blogs: Both blogs have a Photo Gallery that I need to use more, and the plan remains to use these for the ‘special’ photos. The ones that I have gone out to take specifically, or that I have edited in a certain way. Longer term my goal is to offer people Christmas Cards, Birthday Cards, Downloads from the Almerimar Life site as part of the ongoing process of earning money through blogging.
SmugMug: I love this and had great hopes for 4framesofmind, but it has sort of drifted and been replaced by the above (especially the Gallery on the blogs). I wont be renewing this in March, but maybe one day will return to it.
As you can see complicated and confusing! Hopefully will be able to streamline in the future, but for now necessary and useful for you in the context of my Top 5.
Without exception every photograph that I take starts off imported into Lightroom. From here I determine what is going to happen to it, where it will end up, what I want to do with it etc. Where possible I do some tidying up and maybe add a preset or two, before exporting. I keep a back up on hard drive and DVD of every photograph that gets imported into Lightroom. I don’t use it to show photos (except maybe when doing some ‘client’ work), and although I could add a watermark I don’t (see below). I use it very much as my production management application, and spend hours in front of it each week, often with Sands going through stuff for Almerimar Life.
Second position goes to iWatermark which may be a surprise but as every picture that goes up on Flickr or a Blog has (or should have!) a Watermark I find this so unbelievably easy and useful. As I said above I could use Lightroom but that is tougher and provides slightly boring and more formal options, where as iWatermark spans the professional to fun spectrum really well.
Third up is Automator, which isn’t an application as such, but it the third most frequent thing that I use in my photography and image management. Blog pictures need to be a certain size dependent on blog. When I am posting on other blogs that I work for their sizes vary as well. Sometimes I want a full size picture, other times a smaller size in an article. I use the Scale Image option as a ‘right click’ option all the time. If you factored in the paid blogging that I do this must be one of the most frequently used ‘things’ that I do on the Mac.
Fourth up, just, is Picturesque, which I don’t use as much as I used to (the novelty of curves, shadows and reflections has warn off), but from time to time Automator wont resize an image, or I want a ‘quick fix’ to bring some life to a picture. To be honest this is a bit of a cheat – it makes it look like you have done more work than you actually have but it is useful and easy to use.
And in Fifth place ………………….. well that has to be Photoshop, although it very nearly wasn’t! Without doubt it is the ultimate in photo managemnt applications, that is without question in my opinion, but do I use it all the time? No. I know I should, and I wish I could but the reality is that too often it is too time consuming (and distracting) to open it up. On the special project photos I use it for sure, and can spend hours on one picture, but that is and always will be for the forseeable future the minority of my photography, so for me it isn’t something that I use that much.
Anyway as ever – let me know what you use and why.
Where To View My Photos
Please feel free to leave links to your photos below.