Week 1: Work Flow

Introduction:

It’s important that we set up our cameras correctly and have a set out workflow in place in order to create the best final product we can, in a quick and efficient way. There are a few things that we can do in camera and on the PC that will allow us to achieve this.

In Camera:

Firstly let’s start off by looking at what we can do in camera that will make life easier for us, to start with let’s take a look at our shooting settings. Starting off with the basics, we should make sure that our camera is set to Shoot Adobe RGB, as opposed to any other available settings. It’s important that our camera is set to Adobe RGB as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the programs that we’ll be using to process our images on, so it makes sense to have the camera working to the same colour space as the software.

Secondly we should ensure that our cameras are set to produce RAW files. It’s important that we do this as RAW files contain a much higher level of detail than JPEG files do and allow us to go further in our processing, editing things like white balance and highlights.

Thirdly, we should look at entering our own custom file names and copyright information if we can. Not all cameras support this function, but if thy do it makes sense to take advantage of the option and embedding your name into your files right from the start. This could help with lost and unidentified files in the future or help out in a case of image theft.

Computer:

The first thing to do before opening up any software on the computer after importing your files from the camera is to create a file naming system and a folder archiving system.  Create a new folder, title the folder with the name of the subject and the date, ensure that you know from the title exactly what is in that folder from a quick glance. For example, the folder could be called ‘Class Portraits 07.03.15’. Now create a file name, most cameras will export images with a code similar to this DSC0001.NEF, this is no good for the purpose of archiving. To make your file more unique to you and more easily identifiable you should give each batch of files a unique name, a good code to use is the following; Use the initials of your first and last name, three initials from the location of the shoot and then a four digit number signifying the file number. For Example, a picture I’d taken in York would be named like so, MR (First and last name initial) YOR (For York) 0001 (For file number one). Again creating a file name like this will not only help with archiving and locating the file in future searches, but it could also help identify your file in a case of image theft or misidentification. It’s important to ensure that you make your work as easy to trace back to you as possible as there is now the orphan works system, in which after a process of 1-7 steps the original photographer cannot be located or tracked down then the image can be passed for use without the photographers consent.

Once the camera has been set up correctly and you have devised an appropriate file naming and filing system then its time to begin editing. Firstly open the RAW file in Lightroom or Photoshop’s RAW Processor, from here you should do as much editing as possible. It’s best to edit the file whilst its RAW as the files in it’s most mailable state whilst RAW. Major edits such as sharpening, highlight adjustments, white balance edits etc, should all be dealt with at this stage to ensure as little work as possible need be undertaken on the exported file. Exported files are more prone to loosing detail and quality when worked on. When your image is edited to your desire in the RAW stage it’s time to think about exporting your image, before you do though, save a file of your RAW edited file, incase you need to re-visit it later on. When exporting ensure that you export to these settings unless instructed otherwise by your client. Export your file as a TIFF at 16bit, a TIFF file is usually up to three times larger than your RAW file, that means a 24megapixel RAW file will be boosted to 72megapixels file as a TIFF. It’s quite simple to see just why  exporting as a TIFF is important from that comparison alone, a TIFF is going to really maximise the potential of your image. Unless instructed to do otherwise, ensure that this image is also exported at a resolution of 300 DPI. If the image is to be used online, it’s ok to export as Adobe RGB still, however if you’re creating the image with the intention to print, then remember to export your image in the CMYK colour space, which is the colour space recognised by most printers. Now save two files, a .PSD (Photoshop) file in case you need to re-visit the image at this stage later on, and a .TIFF which is the completed image, ready for use, you may also wish t save a smaller .JPEG file of the completed TIFF for use in E-Mail and quick sharing.

When completed you should create a folder with the name of the image (Example being MRYOR0001) in this folder you should copy in the files created in the above process, an unedited RAW file, a .PSD file and a completed .TIFF and perhaps a JPEG too if you decided to create one. This way you have quick navigation and access to each stage of development of your image, should you need to re-visit a certain stage of editing, this saves time and increases the efficiency of your work flow.

 

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Week 1: Work Flow

FOOD TASK

Introduction

Photographing food is something that is totally new to me, as a photographer it’s something that until now I have had absolutely no experience of whatsoever. So when the brief came that 5 of our 50 images should be of food, I was naturally quite concerned. The cause of my concern was more from a compositional and theoretical point of view rather than a technical one. I simply had no idea how to go about taking images of food that would stand out and mean something more than simply just a plate of food. On top of this, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be best trying to prepare a photoshoot at home, or in a public space like a restaurant or Café.

After some deliberation, I decided that I’d be best preparing a photoshoot in my own home. My reasons been that in my own home I’d be able to take full control of things such as lighting, positioning of food. I’d also be able to give myself plenty of space and time to use a tripod and take advantage of using small apertures and long exposures to keep film speeds low and create large depth of field.

Next I had to decide what exactly to shoot in my house and how to set it up. I had a few ideas in the back of my mind, different coloured cheeses, a photograph of a working weeks meals. I even thought of photographing an army ration pack and the different meals that could be cooked up in the field whilst camping, but sadly it’s just not the right time of year for that and I wasn’t sure of the effectiveness the shoot would have. I was at a bit of a loose end until seeing an old Panzani advert photographed by Roland Barthes in 1964 in another lecture. Suddenly the idea of photographing a meal being prepared in this style seemed one very doable in my own kitchen and two quite effective, creating something similar to the advert as a base would put me in a good position to build on from I thought.

img_faubart_pub_panzani_image_non_coupe_e_mais_moins_bonne_qualite.jpg

I hoped that I could replicate the lighting in the above advert, creating shadows that would give a natural look to the image, but also producing highlights on the surfaces of the food itself to make the food look healthy and appetising. For the same reason I also left the stalks on the Tomatoes and left the skins on the onions and garlic cloves. I also believe that the simplicity of the background and tightness of the crop is highly important too, ensuring that the viewers attention is centred solely on the food alone.

Photography:

In order to create something similar to the above advertisement it seemed clear to me that I was going to have to treat this shoot in a similar way to how you would a still life or advertisement. I would need several different light sources, small apertures and low film speeds.

I decided that I’d use the kitchen in my house as the setting for the shoot, I decided this for a few reasons: The first being the fact that a kitchen style setup would be the natural choice for a food shoot, the second being that in the kitchen I have several light sources which could be manipulated to produce the correct feel I was wanting on the images and thirdly because of the simple yet effective tiled back drop.

Images’s where all shot at ISO 50 (the lowest film speed on my camera) to keep grain minimal, the aperture on the lens set to F16 so that the whole food set up would be sharp and in-focus. The white balance was played around with but was looking correct on auto and so was shot on auto, the shutter speed was simply shot to the amount of time required to correctly expose the image at ISO 50, F16 which. Lighting was shone from the left through a window to create the nice white highlights on the skins of the foods and bottles, the lamp on top of the cooker was switched on to light up the tops of the food, and a bright lamp (Diffused with toilet paper) shone in on a 3/4 angle from the right providing the main lighting and casting some nice shadows off to the left. It should also be noted that all images barring the last two where also shot between 40 & 50 mm, this was done so that the photographs have minimal distortion and are presented as closely as possible to how the eye would see the food in shot.

Processing:

As would be expected all images where shot in RAW on Adobe RGB, they where then edited as RAW files in Phase One for Sony editing software. In Phase one I cropped the images 35mm square in preparation for being inserted into the book. I then slightly boosted the contrast to bring out shadows and turned the white balance up a few Kelvins to create a warmer, Mediterranean feel to the images. The images where then exported as 16 BIT Tiff’s to ensure they where at their largest possible file size for further use.

Image 1:

Starting off with a photograph showing all of the ingredients out and placed in what I think is a compositionally stron setup.

_DSC1157-001.jpg

 Filename:

MERFD0001.JPG

Metadata:

Italian, Food, Mediterranean, Dish, Salad, Spaghetti, Bolognese, chequered, Mat, Wine, Homemade, Kitchen, tilled, Herbs, Utilities   

Image 2.

Here we have a close up of the salad bowl, showing close up details of the ingredients, with the addition of ground salt on the food for effect.

_DSC1173.jpg

Filename:

MERFD0002.JPG

Metadata:

Italian, Food, Mediterranean, Dish, Salad, Spaghetti, Bolognese, chequered, Mat, Wine, Homemade, Kitchen, tilled, Herbs, Utilities, Salt, Tomato, Garlic, Preparation

Image 3:

I decided to try something a little different and creative here, since the theme was Spaghetti, I decided to create an Italian flag out of the ingrediants.

_DSC1195.jpg

Filename:

MERFD0003.JPG

Metadata:

Italian, Food, Mediterranean, Dish, Salad, Spaghetti, Bolognese, chequered, Mat, Wine, Homemade, Kitchen, tilled, Herbs, Utilities, Flag, Peppers, Green, Red, Onion

Image 4:

A photograph of the completed meal.

_DSC1212.jpg

Filename:

MERFD0004.JPG

Metadata:

Italian, Food, Mediterranean, Dish, Salad, Spaghetti, Bolognese, chequered, Mat, Wine, Homemade, Kitchen, tilled, Herbs, Utilities, Presentation, Cafe, Style, Garlic, Bread

Image 5:

Finished!

_DSC1220.jpg

Filename:

MERFD0005.JPG

Metadata:

Italian, Food, Mediterranean, Dish, Salad, Spaghetti, Bolognese, chequered, Mat, Wine, Homemade, Kitchen, tilled, Herbs, Utilities, Empty, Plate, Glass, Knife, Fork

 

 

 

 

FOOD TASK