Having worked through the first couple of exercises, I decided to dip into two books I purchased recently, namely The Digital SLR Handbook by Michael Freeman and The Digital Photographic Workflow Handbook by Juergen Gulbins and Uwe Steinmueller, before I went any further.
As Gulbins and Steinmueller’s 500 plus page book dedicated to the subject might suggest, the whole idea of workflow is much more involved than I had imagined with even the most basic workflow covering 6 different areas from shooting to what they refer to as ‘asset management’ which includes tagging and archiving. The book goes on to describe in detail how to manage and optimise colour, convert and edit RAW files, print and present images, manage and back up data as well as step by step guides to a variety of image management and editing software not to mention plugins. It had been my intention to work systematically through both books before going any further with the course because I felt that it would give me a good grounding and an insight into what was to come but with this one at least, that would be neither practical not helpful. It is a super book and written in language that is easy to understand but it is a handbook to be referred to as I work through the different stages of the course and of image processing.
Michael Freeman approaches workflow slightly differently and not quite as systematically as Gulbins and Steinmueller but then ‘Workflow’ is just one of the chapters in The digital SLR handbook with ‘Image Editing’ being covered in a different chapter (even though there is a fair amount of image editing covered in the workflow chapter!) The workflow chapter also includes guidance on different monitors and monitor calibration, which maybe would be better elsewhere. Certainly in terms of this course, it doesn’t really fit with the processes you go through in shooting and then producing an image in quite the same way as the Gulbins and Steinmueller books does. The other thing about this book is that you do almost need to read it from the start. Having started with the other book, I decided this time to refer to the sections I wanted rather than starting to read from the beginning but I found that other earlier chapters were referred to, for example, ….’as you’ll recall from the pages covering file formats’…. so you have to go back and read that section. It made me think though and in both cases I have picked things up that I didn’t do, such as renaming image files, backing up and archiving prior to editing and just the discipline of uploading and backing up my images as soon as possible at the end of every shoot or every day.
The digital SLR handbook, Freeman, M. (2011)
The digital photography workflow handbook. Gulbins, J. and Steinmueller, U. (2011)