Aperture 3 Workflow Digital Photography Lesson on MacBook Pro St. Petersburg Florida

Bill learning my Aperture 3 workflow right from my desk also getting emotional support from Kiki!Last week Bill came over to my apartment for a digital photography workflow lesson based on Aperture 3.  This was my sixth time meeting up with Bill, but the first to focus on the part of digital photography that happens after you return from shooting, which is just as important as learning how to shoot out in the field.  Once you start taking 200, 300, 400+ photos on any given outing with your DSLR then workflow and photo management becomes critical in making sure you showcase your best images and can find them one year down the road.  

After Kiki gave Bill an enthusiastic greeting, we opened up our MacBook Pros at my desk and I went step-by-step with Bill first getting my preferred Aperture 3 settings into his version, and then showing him what you do once you insert a memory card into the SD slot on the side.  Upon photo import in Aperture 3 you can imprint a lot of very useful metadata, as well as rename the files (so all your shots are not _DCC457) and put them into a new project to start off your workflow with good orginization.

Bill had photos from his daughter's prom night pre-dance getogether at his own home for us to use.  I showed him my culling process for picking the best shot out of 3-4 similar shots.  This involves a star-rating system and then a side-by-side full-screen comparison of shots.  We finished the lesson with using some of the handy sliders and brushes in Aperture 3 to make the first round of edits on a given digital photograph.  

DSLR Photography Editing & Workflow Lesson with Kamila in St. Petersburg

This afternoon I visited Kamila at her very nice new home for another DSLR Photography Lesson focusing on workflow, editing and also getting the exposure right for very specific shooting conditions.  As you can see, Bob the Yorkshire Terrier was an integral part of the lesson as well!  Kamila had a list of questions ready (good idea), the first of which was deciphering what all the symbols and buttons on the back of her Nikon SB-700 Speedlight mean.  This piece of Nikon gear is not very intuitive at all, not that really any speedlights are.  Although there are way more dedicated buttons on the back of the SB-700 compared to the SB-600 model it replaces, the SB-700 actually seems more difficult to use, at least at first.

Once the mysteries of the speedlight were solved we moved on to DoF (depth of field) issues, specifically making sure both father and baby are in focus during a tightly framed portrait using a 35mm f/1.8 lens.  After checking the photo in question's exif data, and seeing the aperture of f/3.2, it was easy to diagnose the problem as being the result of too large of an aperture.  I advised Kamila to use f/8 or even f/11 to insure the in focus plane is large enough for both sets of eyes.  We practiced this by using two stuffed animals on her sofa to produce an image with no DoF problems.

We concluded the lesson discussing what computer hardware and software would help improve her workflow, which now is rather disjointed and definitely not as efficient as it could be.  She mentioned maybe getting a new Mac soon, which I said was a great idea because then she could use the excellent Aperture 3 to process, organize and edit all her RAW images (once she makes the switch to shooting in RAW).

I look forward to our next lesson which will be about using off camera flash, possibly even two speedlights, and of course to seeing Bob again too!

New desk layout & photographs on the wall

An organized desktop for 2010 with more work space and new photographs on the wall.

I do not like to have a messy desk, in fact I cannot stand it.  Finally this afternoon I moved everything off my desktop and only put back a fraction of the stuff.  This gave me a lot of open space on the left to work on when I work off of my Mac (I am left-handed).  I bought the black magazine holder you see in the corner to get Rangefinder and Professional Photographer off the desktop itself.  I put up my new 2010 lighthouse calendar.  Then the finishing touch was hanging some of my haikyo photographs from Japan to give the area a proper photographer's workstation feel.  As you can see I have a good amount of remaining wall space that I will fill up with some Florida prints soon.

Now it's time to get to work!