Sunday, August 10, 2008

Editing kids, shooting wine

Sunday morning and a good time to spend editing pics of sweet li'l kids.

It's a time-consuming but quite therapeutic activity, sifting through pics, deleting, cropping, resizing. Clients often don't understand the value of this part of the job, and feel that it's not something one should be able to bill for.

But it's digital ... it's so easy! Just take better photos and you won't need to work on them afterwards, they say.

They often insist on being given the unedited pics, saying that their designers will sort it out. This kind of arrangement seldom ends well. Usually the designer has just too much to do, like designing, for example, to spend any decent amount of time with the pics. The buck is passed to the typesetter who is kind of busy, errm ... typesetting. He or she can't take the time to open and tweak each pic. Of course the images should go to the repro house straight from the photographer. That way there'll be no tears later. But with budgets being what they are, the pics are passed from one person to the next, and eventually end up in print looking less professional than they should and someone's in trouble. And that someone is usually not the designer or the typesetter.

The editing process is an integral part of photography. You may not enjoy computers much, and may want to be out taking pics instead, but if you want to be able to present your work, it's going to need a bit of nurturing before you put it out there.

After sweet li'l kids, it was time to pack up and head to the studio to photograph some wine bottles.

It's just as well that I love being there, as one can while away a great deal of time trying to light a wine bottle. Flash lights aimed at the wall behind, bouncing back to create some backlighting. A softbox on the one side, polyboards all round. Nope. Not working quite as I want it. Okay, flash beneath. Nope ... that's not quite it either. Okay, black polyboards. Hmm ... maybe ... nope. Okay, let's shift the lights again. This can go on for hours. Just because you've photographed wine bottles before doesn't mean that you have the formula sorted.
Photographing red wine is different to shooting white wine, and one white is different to another. Likewise the red.
Before you know it, a pile of other work has gone undone, and must still be cobbled together before bedtime. Mornings are too wild for catch-up jobs. Oh ... hang on ... can't do the other work before bedtime. The wine bottles must be edited first, and emailed. And then there are Friday's function pics, cds to burn and print, cd covers to make ... another long night!

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