Why You May Need to have a More Efficient Post-Production Workflow

November 2012 3:48 PM 3 Comments

Back in the days when shooting with film was the only option, one of the bigger challenges that photographers faced was that they only had a finite amount of film exposures at any given photoshoot. Shooting a thousand images in the course of one day was not something that the typical film photographer would do. Each frame mattered and photographers had to be more careful in their shots selection.

Today, our digital cameras and memory cards can shoot and store an absurd number of images effortlessly. This also means that when it comes to post-processing all of these images, we usually end up spending more time in front of the computer culling and editing our images than we do in front of our camera shooting them.

The Lightroom 4 Workflow DVD

Having an efficient post-production workflow is an important factor in creating a better work-life balance. That is why SLR Lounge created the Lightroom 4 Workflow DVD, to help you dramatically improve your workflow efficiency so you can spend less time post-producing your images, and more time shooting, growing your business and being with your family and friends. The Workflow System DVD is available individually, or within the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection box set. Both of which are available in the SLR Lounge Store.

The Story behind Post-Production Pye and the Need for a Highly Efficient Workflow

When Justin, Chris, and I started Lin and Jirsa Photography several years ago, I was the partner responsible for developing the photographic and post-production style for the studio. At that time the studio shot around 100 weddings per year, and each partner would shoot 1/3 of them. That meant that in the beginning, not only was I shooting around 30-35 weddings per year, but I also post-produced all of the studios images.

In fact, I produced over 500,000 images within the first year, and surpassed 1 million images early on in the second year.

The sheer volume of images that we shoot on a yearly basis demands a highly efficient post-production workflow. For our studio, just shaving a few seconds off the production time for each image can translate to a saving hundreds of hours per year.

Today, I can cull and edit around 1,500 – 1,800 images/hour. We now have a post-production staff for our studio, and each staff member is required to be able to cull and edit roughly 1,000 images/hour.

In contrast, when we conducted an SLR Lounge poll on efficiency, we discovered that the average photographer culls and edits at an average speed of 100 images/hour. That is why we believe that the Lightroom 4 Workflow DVD can help just about any photographer improve his or her pace.

Even if you can improve your post-production speed to 500 images/hour, which is half of our staff’s pace, you would already be spending a fraction of the amount currently spent in front of your computer. What would you do with all of that extra time?

A Sample of Quick Tips from the Workflow DVD Time Trial

Here is just a small taste of some of the tips that you will be learning from the Workflow DVD, as seen on the Time Trial video below.

THE FIRST CULLING PASS
1. First reject all images, then simply flag the keepers to reduce number of keystrokes
2. Try to filter out similar images to avoid “diluting” your final product
3. Cull in the Library Module for greater image to image speed
4. Load only the Lightroom modules that you need, as explained in this SLR Lounge article

THE PROCESSING PASS
1. A good post-production begins with proper production (shooting)
2. Render 1:1 previews prior to processing to save render time from image to image
3. Consistent exposures from scene to scene allows for more batch processing
4. Be careful not to sync crops and local area adjustments from one image to the next

Summary

As your photography business grows, the amount of images that passes from your camera to your computer will grow as well. Having an efficient workflow for culling and editing means that you can spend less time in front of your computer, and more time growing your business and enjoying your personal life.

We will be releasing each video from our Workflow DVD on a regular basis. If you are interested in having all of the tutorials, we suggest looking into purchasing the Lightroom 4 Workflow System DVD.

In our next Workflow tutorial, we will be covering some workflow considerations. Until then!

Pye

About

Pye (AKA Post Production Pye) is a founder and the Managing Editor for SLR Lounge. Pye is also a Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, an Orange County based wedding, engagement and portrait photography studio. Connect with him on Google Plus

3 Comments

  1. Carl Bertossi

    LR 4.3 Any new engine supporting Mercury Graphics Engine, OpenGL, OpenCL or CUDA ?

    • Pye
      Pye

      Nope, doubtful that will happen with LR4. Maybe we can dream of some sort of acceleration in LR5. 

  2. Melkiades

    PYE,

    LR4 is horribly slow in some situations even though I have a beats of a machine and run all my pics from an SSD drive. I have tried LR5 and it is unusable. To me, Adobe is a horrible company, because they have thousands of programmers and engineers and they aren’t able to produce a software that is lightning fast. Why has LR become such bloatware? Can you tell us what’s happening here and why they have rendered this software completely useless?

    regards,
    Melkiades

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