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Photographing in public places – street photography and more…

I like to read a lot about how other photographers go about post-processing their work. So I thought I’d share my post-processing workflow with you guys.

Import

Image Capture

Image Capture

After having spend a couple of hours taking photos, I’ll import them to my computer. I don’t have any special requirements for importing photos, other than that I want to import the originals from the camera without any tampering by the import software. Since I’m using a Mac, I use the software that comes bundled with every Mac: Image Capture. It doesn’t do anything other than importing photos which is the way I like it. No bells, no whistles. It just works.
I just plug in my SD-card into my Mac and Image Capture will import them for me to my Imports-folder.

Rename

XnView

XnView

The first thing I do after import is renaming all the filenames of the photos. For that I use the batch rename function of XnView. The new filenames will contain the following information:

  • The date and time the photo was taken in the following format: YYYY-mm-dd H.M.S, taken from the exif-data
  • The name of the location or event
  • My own name (so much for modesty… 😎 )
  • The original filename from the camera.

File naming structure

I always retain the original filename set by the camera. Once in a while knowing the original filename comes in very handy. Typically when I’ve done something very, very stupid. 😳

Delete, delete, delete…

Next is the hardest part of the process: deleting all of the bad and mediocre photos. This typically leaves me with 1 or 2 keepers. The rest goes directly to the trash 🚮. Again, XnView comes in very handy. It lets you assess your photos by displaying them nice and big on your screen.

Sometimes I wait a couple of days before I begin deleting photos. I often have good memories tied to a photo that’s only so-so. Waiting a couple of days helps seeing things in perspective.

Convert to DNG

DNG

DNG

The remaining photos I then convert to DNG (digital negative) with Adobe DNG Converter, a free application.

As you might know, there is a lot of disagreement between photographers about whether or not one should convert RAW-files to DNG. There are good arguments in favor of both sides, but for me the the most important reason is that converting to DNG assures me that I will be able to use my files well into the future. I have RAW-files from Nikon, Canon and Olympus cameras and in the future I might buy a camera from a lesser known brand. While RAW-file support for Nikon and Canon will likely be available for a long time, I’m not so sure about the support for Olympus and – for example – Ricoh* cameras.

So for me converting to DNG is all about being future proof and apart from that, I have good experiences with using DNG.

I do keep the original RAW-files, though.

Organize

I then organize my photos by moving the files to my photography folder and placing them in sub-folders organized by location. When the photos are shot in The Netherlands, I file them by town or city, but when the photos are taken abroad, I file them by country.

RawTherapee

RawTherapee

RawTherapee

Finally it’s time for the real fun stuff: post-processing. For post-processing I use RawTherapee. I did use Lightroom in the past, but I got fed up by its sluggishness.
I don’t own the newest computer, but it’s still pretty fast compared to what’s put on the market today. Lightroom is too slow for my taste and it has always been slow for me, even when my computer was one of the fastest around.
Apart from the sluggishness, I really didn’t like Lightroom’s cataloging system. I really like to handle my files myself.

RawTherapee is a very, very powerful RAW-image processing application and it’s completely free to use. You can install it on your computer whether you’re using Windows, MacOS, or Linux.

RawTherapee in Action

RawTherapee in Action

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Fokko Muller

Fokko Muller

Last weekend I travelled to Rotterdam to take part in a street photography workshop lead by the famous Dutch street photographer Fokko Muller*.

I took part in two of his ‘Street Photography Fundamental’ workshops a couple of years ago, but this time I upped the game and decided to register for Fokko’s ‘Advanced’ workshop. Unfortunately, all of his Advanced workshops were fully booked, so I asked to be put on the waiting list.

I never expected to be invited, but to my surprise I received a message from Fokko a couple of days before the event, asking me if I was still interested to join his workshop. Yes off course I was!!!

The day before, I gathered all my gear, charged all my camera batteries and packed my bag. The weather forecast was looking good, so I packed light.

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First of all, I’ll start off this post wishing you all a happy new year! I hope your wishes will come true in 2018.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, let me go on with my blog post.

Sint-Janhuismolen

Sint-Janhuismolen, Kruisvest, Belgium

Last year I’ve become increasingly unhappy with my street photography hobby. This was partly due to problems I had with my knee. Walking – even for short distances – was extremely troublesome. As a result, I was unable to do street photography most of the time. But there was another reason. (more…)