Tag Archives: photography

The Photographer’s Workflow by Gavin Gough

The Photographer’s Workflow by Gavin Gough

I read this 130 page 10-step guide from ebook cover to ebook cover. Over the last few years I’ve read everything I could get my hands on – and there’s quite a lot to get your hands on – concerning Lightroom. I can easily say that this latest ebook, The Photographer’s Workflow by Gavin Gough is the best, in my opinion, by far. He writes in a very personal style; you have the feeling that he’s right there with you, telling you all he knows, as simply as possible, not holding anything back, and eager to pass on his knowledge.

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He’s actually a wonderful photographer and teacher. Not just that, his background as a Systems Analyst, well versed in computers, enables him to explain just enough of the technical side that is necessary to know what you’re doing and why and fortunately not get bogged down with unnecessary detail.

Lightroom is a masterful program and Gavin goes through each step in the process extremely comprehensively and clearly. He leaves no stone unturned. It’s so easy to take hundreds, even thousands, of photographs a week, actually a day, even an hour, that we quickly become overwhelmed. It’s vital to have a well thought-out logical system that can be applied to every photograph from beginning to end. That’s what this book is about, and it’s not just the theory. Gavin generously explains his own personal workflow, honed over a decade of taking photographs for the likes of Lonely Planet and Getty Images, and gives us his own presets for each step, so that we can do exactly as he does. Whether we can take as good photographs at the outset is, of course, another matter. As he says, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

In addition to the text, there are clear video tutorials and photographic examples. The ebook is more or less divided into two parts – the first part deals with data management, the vital need to back up everything, and why, the naming of files and folders, Lightroom’s system of flags, ratings and labels, and colour management. He recommends software that helps – some of which is free. And he explains how to configure Lightroom so that it gives the best service. He describes his own gear and what he takes on an assignment – with a lot of helpful tips, such as carrying superglue and elastic hair bands. He even advises on which way up to  pack your camera.

Then he gets into what to do with the images once they have been taken, importing them into Lightroom, easing the chore of metadata, explaining smart collections (which I’ve never really understood properly and am looking forward to putting into practice), and, to me the best part, actually developing the images. Gavin has some very helpful – and wise – advice concerning lens corrections, perspective corrections and cropping before explaining the controls for exposure, white balance, contrast, hue, saturation, luminance, vignettes, tone curves, sharpening and noise reduction. He kindly provides presets for all of these, as well as several brush presets. Brush presets are used when you just want to alter part of the image and not the whole.

Finally, there is a chapter on exporting the image – which could be to a hard disk, CD, DVD, blog, Facebook, email, or web site. He explains what the appropriate image size and resolution should be.

I have no doubt that whether you are starting out with Lightroom or an experienced professional you will find this ebook highly useful. I wish it had been available when I started out myself using Lightroom. You will enjoy the really clear explanations and diagrams. At less than the price of a pub lunch, a mere US$30, it’s an incredible bargain. And who could not warm to a man who writes,  The time has come to get into the nitty gritty of data management, you lucky sausage.

To buy the ebook The Photographer’s Workflow by Gavin Gough and be reading it in under a minute:    Click here to visit Gavin Gough.

Bali Photography Tours

Bali Photography Tours

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We’ve been talking to David about the possibility of offering Bali Photography Tours to guests of Murni’s Houses for over a decade and now it’s finally happened. It was worth the wait!

 

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He’s providing Half Day and Full Day tours – there are four different themes to choose from.

 

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I was lucky enough to be able to join three guests on the first Bali Photography Tours and the theme was Rural Traditional Balinese Life and attending Balinese Ceremonies. They keep the number of guests small – minimum two, but it can even be one, with a small additional fee.

It quickly became apparent that no two tours are alike and they adapt the day to what is happening on the ground, and in Bali what is happening on the ground is totally unpredictable and full of delicious surprises.

 

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They picked us up at Murni’s Houses at 5.30 am. Full marks for the early start as early light is the best light. Photography is really about painting with light and harsh midday sun makes for harsh photos. It is also delightfully cool.

We drove a short distance, about half an hour, to a nearby place in the countryside where there was the most dramatic view of Mount Agung, the largest volcano in Bali. It was still dark but the early morning rays were just beginning to peek out. Those of us who had tripods set them up.

David and his assistant Nyoman immediately started to guide us through the settings in our cameras. David is an expert on Nikons and Nyoman on Canons, but they can explain the settings on any camera. They encouraged us to get away from using AUTO and taught us how to create the shot that we saw in our heads.

 

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Then we wandered down the road, ricefields and trees on either side, which provided more photo opportunities, with people starting to go about their business.

 

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Very shortly we were down some steps at this amazing river. David had seen it before but hadn’t been down the steps. There was the most amazing light that any of us had seen.

 

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The first rays of the sun

The Photographer’s Post-Production Lightroom Video Tutorials

The Photographer’s Post-Production Lightroom Video Tutorials

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I am very pleased to report that Gavin Gough has just released a fantastic series of video tutorials on how to use the development capabilities of Lightroom. It is called The Photographer’s Post-Production Lightroom Video Tutorials and concentrates on developing images in the Develop module.

I really cannot praise the approach and content highly enough. I am reveling in putting it into practice. It is a great successor to the Photographer’s Workflow (see review below). To have both at one’s fingertips is a great benefit to any photographer. In fact, I would say they are indispensable.

There are 5 sections, Your Workspace, Colour, Tone, Atmosphere and Final Steps, which are subdivided into 20 short videos (ranging from 5.30 minutes to 15.42 minutes).

In each video Gavin presents a number of his own photographs and discusses how to use Lightroom to achieve the desired effects.

The first section Your Workspace deals with initial preparations before the real developing starts – he refers to a number of useful shortcuts, how to correct lens distortions, cropping and straightening.

Then the fun starts with the second section dealing with Colour. He shows how to ensure that as much detail as possible is retained in the image and remove chromatic aberration which can happen in cases of high contrast and how to decide on white balance, hue, saturation and luminance and finally how to work on split toning to achieve the right atmosphere. As an aside he explains how to create sepia and selenium images.

The third section deals with Tone, namely exposure, explaining how histograms work, tone curves and vignettes. He also teaches you how to create and store your own presets.

Section 4 deals with Atmosphere by explaining clarity and vibrance and a number of useful techniques for portraits, and those tools which can focus in on particular parts of the picture, rather than alter the whole thing. These are the gradient filter, radial filter and local adjustment brushes. In this section he also deals with processing black and white photos and looks at Lightroom’s black and white presets.

The final Section 5 is called Final Steps and deals with sharpening, which I always find difficult, removing dust spots, noise reduction caused by using high ISOs, and finally exporting the image.

To accompany the tutorials there is an ebook, which contains a summary of the final decisions Gavin made to his own photos, fifteen of which you can download yourself and work on and compare the results of your own work to his.

It’s a treasure trove. The Photographer’s Post-Production Lightroom Video Tutorials is at a very reasonable US$69 and can be obtained from http://www.gavingough.com/photo-postproduction