This is the beginning of that thing I have been waiting to do ever since my wonderful wife whisked me off to Santorini for a birthday treat to die for – a photographic trip to Santorini no less.
I know – how lucky am I?
I wrote about this back in April, check out this blog post from 20th April.
This is the nuts and blots of the article that I wrote on April 20th on my photography blog.
Firstly, here is the list of things that I wrote out when sat waiting for the sun to appear on the second morning in Santorini.
The first morning was taken up with the excitement of the clouds down below – more on that in a later post.
Here is the list, as typed into my iPhone 7 Plus sat on a hill.
- Memory cards
- Back up
- Image capture
- Gear didn't use
- Gear used all the time
- Leases *typo – should be lenses)
- Not take obvious
- 5 am
- Warmer clothes
- Top 20 images
- 20 images one by one
- iPhone 7plus
- Video stabilisation
- You Tube
- Polarising sunglasses.”
This is the actual list I made. I wanted to capture my thoughts in a place where I had the time to do so.
OK. Just needed to get that out of the way.
I have written about this before, but here I am going to summarise everything into this single introductory post. Forgive me for repeating myself but it has been such a long time and now I am finally ready to begin.
I have been waiting to write this first post ever since I went to Santorini in April. Work has got in the way though. I always feel like December is a good time to take stock and reflect, and I am going to do that and give myself time to enjoy my pictures of Santorini, whilst developing various parts of my photography business.
This will provide a blueprint for me for future trips, as well as trips I have already been on.
The key to this though is to take my time with this process, and I have allowed myself all of December 2017 and January 2018 to do all the things I want to do, which are as follows.
I know – before I go on, I have missed a week already, this being the 7th December. No problem – I will add a week in February.
Here are the things I will be working on, writing about and spending time doing.
1 – Talk about what I wanted to get out of my first dedicated photography trip. This is this post.
2 – Sort the images. This will be the next post with text.
I have decided that I am going to do some quick edits of images I like just because I can. Then I will get into the serious stuff. I have been working very hard recently and need some enjoyable image editing work.
And then I will get into the detail of the process of sorting out the images. I want my blog to be helpful to photographers, and for the images to be of interest to everyone. I will explain the entire process from import to having a set of images to edit. I will talk in this post about rating and rejecting images, and what I do with rejected images.
I have the time to do this in an organised and structured way – and that is the point of this exercise. To give myself time to work on the images from a special trip.
In sorting out the images I will explain the entire process, including the very boring subject of metadata, and specifically the following fields I will be populating in Lightroom.
- File name – yes even the file name is important.
An extension of the metadata is the research that is needed to identify the metadata that will help me not only sell my images, but also will give me the maximum SEO benefits of these images on my website, photography blog and I guess in social media outputs.
3 – Editing the images.
Once I have selected images of interest, I am going to process them as I usually do in Lightroom and Photoshop. When I say as I usually do I mean using the latest refinements of my digital image processing. This is the processing that I would do for portfolio images or images for commercial clients.
At this point I do not know how many images I will be editing. I have said before that if I get 20 images that are good enough to publish I will be happy. I will talk about this more in the post about sorting the images, but need to make the point that I am going to be selling these images as stock images, so I am not just producing portfolio images, so the number of images I edit will be higher.
There is an important point here – when you are selecting images you need to know what you want them for. If I was looking for 1 or 2 portfolio images out of this set of over 2000 images I would be looking for very specific things. As however I am looking for images that are going to be for sale in stock libraries the criteria for selecting images is much more different – basically I am choosing images that I think have a commercial value.
One additional note here that has just come to me – alternative crops.
I am going to look at alternative crops of images to see what I can come up with. I am thinking here of extracting a point of detail, like a picture of a single church amongst the cliffs of Santorini – I guess you can call these intimate landscape images.
This is something I really enjoy doing but to be completely honest I often forget to do – this is the time to do this and work this into my workflow for the future. Thankfully the resolution of my Canon 6D allows me to take quite a small area of a picture and produce perfectly viable commercial images. I am writing this with a particular image of a white church in mind, having just taken a sneak look at the first of my Santorini photographs.
This will really finish off my editing work and I am delighted that this particular image has prompted this thought.
And black and white images. I must not forget them.
4 - Editing the images with other software.
As well as doing my conventional editing with Lightroom and Photoshop I will also be trying other photo editing software.
Luminosity Masks using Raya Pro – bought last year but I have never had the time to experiment properly.
Luminar software – the windows beta was released in July which I am looking forward to trialling.
Aurora HDR – if it has been released on Windows by the time I have had a proper go with Luminar.
Amd a new one to my list.
Lumenzia – another luminosity masking programme.
And, software on my iPad Pro.
I am going to spend the time to learn how to use these different methods of processing images, and decide which if any of these I want to use going forwards, or if I am happy to stay as I am with Photoshop and Lightroom Classic. I might process just a selection using these different photo editing software products – let’s wait and see. I do need to give each of the software products proper time to learn them though, to inform me about which I will be using in the future.
I want software that is quick and easy to use that takes the images processed in Lightroom to another level. That or it replaces processing images in Lightroom altogether?
And now that the Nik Collection is back on the scene I might have a look at that as well.
Which reminds me – I need to choose a go to black and white software package.
5 – Editing the images with my iPad.
Is this viable? Can I go to a mobile only workflow? Apart the fact I have just spent some money on a brand-new monitor it would be interesting to see if this was viable. I don’t think this is viable but will certainly have a look. There may be some magical things that I can do with my iPad Pro that I am not aware of. It is worth exploring for sure. If I can replace the default Lightroom/ Photoshop with something more current and cutting edge this could well be of interest to me. I get the feeling that photo editing software is going to change significantly in the next couple of years.
As well as looking at a brave now mobile photography world I will of course look at how I can take some base RAW images and edit them using
And I will have a browse and see what else is out there.
I am keen to look at other ways of working here. This is why this is going to take a couple of months, but all with the same set of images.
6 – Producing images with movement.
Currently I love Plotagraph on my iPad. I will have a play with some of the selected images and see what I come up with. And see If there are other ways of getting movement into images.
7 – Writing about the image capture process.
This is very important to me – I want to write about how I approach a trip such as this, how I prepare, and the things that I did not think of such as taking some decent footwear. All I had was my Moshulu red pumps would you believe!
8 – The gear I used.
I am going to describe the gear that I took on this trip, and how it worked for me. I have lots of shots of my gear in action. When I say in action, in use is probably more realistic!
And even some pictures of me. Looking a bit bedraggled to be fair!
I am going to talk in some detail about the equipment I took, the equipment I didn’t take, what I learnt and any regrets!
9 – Videos
I took some videos on my iPhone, and will be looking at these and seeing what kind of quality I got from my phone. These videos I am going to publish on You Tube and my blog. I am also going to look at how I can improve my videography in 2018.
There are also videos I took and pictures of my camera setup and the views I was capturing. These will all be included in the posts on my photography blog.
I even took videos of my Canon 6D actually taking photos – exciting stuff eh!
10 – Stock Photography
The next thing in this process is what to do with the images I have produced.
Sell them is my plan.
This is how I am going to approach the image selection – I have not decided which edited sets are going to go for sale yet – best wait until that has been completed and I have all the image sets to compare.
I need to decide which stock sites. For that I need to read a book. But that will be a separate post. Or separate series of posts about making money from stock photography.
This is the beginning of me taking stock photography much more seriously, with the aim of producing a tangible income from stock images and stock videos. This will be the research stage, and this might run on after everything else as it is such a big subject in its own right. The pictures of Santorini are really just the beginning of this.
11 – Social media
Obviously, I am going to share all these images on social media, and I will report on how this went, which images were successful, which weren’t.
12 – My photography business in 2018
How has everything up to this point shaped my photography business going forward? I will be thinking about this every step of the way, as I strive to produce better images more efficiently and get them into the most appropriate and lucrative commercial markets.
I am also going to be looking at commercial partnerships with camera equipment manufacturers.
13 – My website
At the very least I will have 12 pictures of Santorini on my website, and 2 months of blog content. I will wait and see what other influences this process has on my website.
14 – And finally a summary of everything that I have learnt. I am not going to call this lessons learned – this sounds much too corporate!
No point doing this if I don’t record what I have learnt, and even more importantly act on these things. I will set the date now of the 15th February for a post called – lessons learnt from my trip to Santorini.
I know other things will happen along the way, but I must capture the things that this fantastic photography trip has given me, and it is important that I give myself the time to work on the images captured.
Being a travel photographer would be my dream job – that is my end game if I am completely honest!
15 - Outputs
I am allowing myself a period of two months, December 2017 and January 2018, to concentrate on these things alone, with the following outputs. Dedicating so much time means I need actual outputs.
- A selection of images from Santorini.
- A fully edited set of images using Lightroom/ Photoshop.
- Some improvements/ tweaks/ modifications to my image processing workflow. And I might even write my workflow down you never know.
- Alternative edits of the image set using Luminosity Masks.
- Alternative edits of the image set using Luminar.
- Alternative edits of the image set using Aurora HDR.
- Alternative edits of the image set using other software on my iPad. Software to be confirmed!
- An alternative black and white set of images – software to be confirmed.
- A plan and a process for stock submissions.
- A plan and a process for behind the scenes videos, and how they are uploaded to You Tube.
- A new website category called Travel Photographer, with a page with called Santorini. With 12 images and maybe some text too – not decided on that yet.
- A post on the 15th February 2018 in which I will write about all the things that I have learned from this wide and varied 2 months dedicated to my pictures of Santorini.
That should do it!
2200 images. 10 outputs. 2 months.
Time to get on with my Santorini photography.
And a last-minute change - 10 quick edits. Sorry can't wait. This I will do first and then take my time over the rest of it! 10 edits, 10 days. 10 blog posts. And that will buy me some time to get the next lump of text written and suitably polished to provide the next splendid read for all of you.
And with that it is time to edit the first image. Ooh and look what it is……..
Rick McEvoy Photography