Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bushwalking Photography Workflow Pt 2 | Using iPhoto to Select, Rank and Sort

Ever come back from a bushwalk with a huge number of photos to select, rank, sort and show? The traditional way is to set up a series of folders to which you then drag those you like, to produce a slideshow. Not any more.......there are much more efficient workflows and great software such as iPhoto to help.

The first task with any collection of digital photos is to delete those that are out-of-focus, taken by error or poorly centered on the subject. Next you will want to select the best of the multiple shots you have taken of each scene and decide which you are going to incorporate into your slideshow. You will probably want to remove any movies you have made as they can make the production of the slideshow more difficult. Finally you will want to crop some and perhaps change contrast, exposure, sharpness.

Traditionally this has been done by deleting unusable photos and then dragging the images you want to keep into folders. There are more efficient workflows today that use readily available photo software to allow easier sorting and ranking and which make any changes instantly reversible. The key to an efficient workflow is to assign "keywords" to groups of photos and then rank each using a "star" system or some equivalent. The final step is to establish "smart" albums, which automatically group your selections by searching according to set criteria, rather than requiring that you drag and drop photos, which can easily lead to errors.

The workflow that follows applies to iPhoto, which is available at low cost for iPhone, iPad and Apple computers but there are many alternatives both for Apple computers and those running Windows. The workflow is easily adaptable to any software, including online storage.

WORKFLOW

STEP 1 IMPORT

Import your photos from your camera card into a single album which you have named by location, and date. The fastest way is to use a card reader connected or inserted into you computer.

STEP 2 INITIAL RANKING


Add rankings

Give each photo a single star (*) ranking by selecting all, and then pressing cmd-1  [Photo on left]. Your software may require a different key action.

STEP 3 ASSIGN KEYWORDS

Select groups of photos and assign keywords according to topic or location. iPhoto allows you to manage your keywords so the a single key press will allocate a keyword(s) to the photo or group you have selected.

Suitable keywords might be the location, birds, flowers, people, photographer, camera, date, person's name etc.

You can assign keywords to indicate the type of editing that needs to be done eg crop, enhance, sharpen.  I crop all my photos to the 16:9 format for showing on a HD digital TV, but you can save some effort  and card space by doing this automatically in advance using your camera settings.

Once you have assigned keywords you can then create a smart album to dynamically group all photos with a particular keyword.

STEP 4 ESTABLISH SMART ALBUMS

Set up "smart albums" which will automatically group your photos according to multiple keyword(s) and  star ranking.

STEP 4 DELETE UNWANTED FROM ALBUM

Remove photos and movies from the smart albums by removing the single star ranking (cmd-0) but they will still remain in your original album even when they have no star. (See above diagram)

STEP 5 SELECT SLIDESHOW PHOTOS

Go back to your first album and assign ** to each of the photos you wish to include in your slideshow. Set up a "Best of..." album which includes all your two star or higher photos.
Set up smart album

The advantage of smart albums is that they are dynamic with a simple change to a keyword or rating automatically and instantly reflected in the smart album.

NB I have chosen iPhoto as my software of preference; not too expensive, not too complex and usable cross platform (iOS 5, OS X) with both Apple computers, iPhones and iPads.

See also:

Bushwalking Photography Workflow Pt 1| Share the Best of a Group's Photos Using iPhoto

  Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post with some really good ideas. Thanks for putting this together. I have a big bicycle tour coming up so your ideas will be handy for managing the photos.

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