Here's my 7-step photography workflow that gets me
the best photo in any situation.
Use my system if it works for you or adapt it to suit yourself.
Where am I and what’s happening around me? Look around, be aware.
Every good image tells a story.
If your image doesn't tell a meaningful story, even if it's properly exposed and focused... no one will care about it. No story - no interest.
So what's the story? It might a little time to discover it...
... I sit back and watch my subject. Great when I'm photographing gardens.
I give the story all the time it needs to come to me.
But, rapidly changing situations need quick decisions! These have lots of charged emotion, like in sports. Emotion is the story.
How can I compose this image so it tells a engaging story?
I took vertical and horizontal views of both scenes. This garden's a gold mine for composition... lines, angles, curves, repeating patterns in both views.
I walk around my subject to find the best angle.
Sometimes, I sketch a picture of the scene I want on paper. At least, I always have a mental picture of what I want.
Now to set up my camera on my tripod. My photography workflow changes to a hands-on process.
Confused by exposure? Go here.
With the amazing advances in technology, it's time to stop making such a fuss over ISO…. unless you’re still using one of the original digital cameras from the last century.
On most cameras, 800 - 1600 ISO is not a big problem (if you're exposing correctly - use your histogram). And Photoshop does a good job at cleaning up most digital noise.
*** I use a tripod so I don't worry about blurry photos or noise. It's a serious tool in my photography workflow.
Can't make heads nor tails of the Exposure Triangle?
Photography means 'writing with light'. No light, no image.
Be aware of the nuances of light - it changes very quickly.
iPhone 5s dawn light. More iPhoneography here.
The cell phone cameras today are amazing at capturing the various colours and qualities of light.
You can control the exposure on your cell phone camera and get some pretty darned amazing images. Add some exposure apps and get even more control.
Just a reminder, it's the quality of the photographer that matters, not the cost of the gear.
This is an iPhone 5s, old by all present standards.
I capture all my DSLR images in RAW. Still...
Why do I care about White Balance if my images are RAW?
Because I don't have a photographic memory. The light I actually experienced at that moment .... well, I might not remember it exactly when I take the image into Lightroom or Camera Raw. The warm orange, yellow and red hues in a sunrise or the cool blue air on a winter afternoon.
I don't want to spend so much time editing, trying to reproduce the color temperature. I repeat...
... get it right in camera!
Seems like my photography workflow is complete, but...
Wait, there’s one more thing! A final sweep all around the frame. Any photo-bombers that need to be removed before I push the shutter?
No, all is well… click. Check the histogram.
fix it…. click. Check the histogram. After all the work I've done today, I make sure I got the very best exposure!
Well done - go home, relax while I load all my images to the cloud!
These are the basics that go into my photography workflow…
... and yes, you can fit in all sorts of other things, like filters for instance.
But these are the nitty-gritty and they require a whole bunch of concentration, determination and practice. Once they become automatic, you'll see for yourself how much time it saves and how much your photos improve.
If you’re happy churning out ho-hum snapshots… a photography workflow doesn't matter.
... But, if you want better pictures, like magic, adopting a consistent system will help immensely.