Tag Archives: Photography

Perth Wedding Photography – Greer and Steve’s Reception

Greer and Steve were married a few weeks ago at the beautiful Caversham House in the Swan Valley region near Perth.    Everyone had such a good time at the reception – there was much dancing, mischief, great food and great company.  Greer and Steve are such a fun couple and definitely have real party loving friends!

I was asked to take photos only of the reception but it was a beautiful (but balmy) summer evening with a spectacular sunset – I was so excited to be part of their special day and I wish you both a wonderful journey of love together!

Here are a few shots from their reception…

Steve and Greer had some traditional Jewish wedding dances and fun at the beginning of their reception – it really broke the ice and showed the close friendships they had with many of their guests there!

How to organise thousands of digital photos

How to organise thousands of digital photos

The advent of digital photography has brought with it the problem of managing all those digital photos.

In the “old” days, it was quite simple.  People took less photos since there was a financial cost associated with every shot.  We would buy photo albums, slot in the 6×4’s, keep the negatives in the back.   And sometimes we’d make different albums for different occasions or themes – birthdays, holidays, etc.

But now we have a collection of tens of thousands of files, all floating around in virtual space.

How to keep track of them?

Let’s look at two ends of the spectrum.

Manual Photo Management

First is total manual management of your photos.  With manual management, you’ll be organising the actual JPG and RAW files on disk.  You may organise the files in folders by year, date, name of shoot, client, etc. 

The benefits of manually managing the image files yourself is that it could make it easier for you to backup files, burn files to a DVD, import into other and multiple software packages and email to others since you’ll know exactly where they are stored.  

The downsides is that it may be very hard to find a particular photo unless your folder naming scheme and organisation is very good. 

You need to be careful here.  For example, if your naming scheme is just to use a description of the event like “Wife’s Birthday”, what happens next year and the year after?  Do you put them all into the same folder?   This could be unmanageable.   Or some people might start moving JPG files based on the content like putting them in a folder of “My Dog”.  But what happens if the photo was part of photos you took at a picnic?   Would you make a copy of the photo of your dog and have it in two places?  What if you wanted to start editing that photo?  How do you keep track of where the duplicates are?

I use a folder scheme of “year/year-month-day description” to organise my photos on disk.  So my raw untouched photos of a birthday party taken today would be stored in a folder “2011/2011-02-01 My Birthday”.   I don’t make duplicates.  I don’t organise the photos on disk by content.   I leave that up to photo management software.   This way, my disk structure is extremely neat and easy to backup or burn to disc.

Automatic Photo Management

Second is what I’ll refer to as using photo management software.   Here, you will probably import your photos into software like iPhoto, Lightroom or Picasa and let the software manage everything for you.  Photo management software will likely organise your files on disk for you too, but you could get by without knowing where they are at all!

Photo management software will typically allow you to create virtual albums of photos, tag them with keywords, mark your favourite ones with a star or rating scheme, locate them on a map if they are tagged with GPS information and even scan them for faces.

The benefits are huge – you don’t need to worry about where the files are and you may be able to locate a particular photo much quicker.  Since the photo management software maintains an index, it lets you find photos very quickly and using terms that may be more meaningful to you like text tags, location, rating, etc that files on a disk using the manual scheme above won’t give you. 

The downsides is that you’re locked into that photo management software to do all extra things like emailing, backing up, etc unless you know where your actual photo files are stored on disk.

How do I do it?

I actually use a combination.  At the moment, I import all photos to disk specifying a folder scheme of “year/year-month-day”.  This way I know exactly where all my raw photos are on disk and this makes it easy to backup, archive or burn to disk.   It also makes it easy to figure out what date I’ve uploaded my photos to.

If I edit photos, I create Collections and Sets in Lightroom to organise photos by shoot and do my editing in there.  When I’m done, I export them into a totally different folder where all my edited photos for printing, emailing, exporting go.   Yep, my edited photos are in a separate location to my “raw” photos from the camera.  It’s like keeping your film negatives in one spot, but your prints in a diffferent box.  You wouldn’t want to mix them up – or worse still, accidentally overwriting the initial photos themselves.  At the moment, I also create separate Lightroom Catalogs for each year just to keep the performance up.

But this doesn’t help Wifey and the kids.  So I also import ALL the photos into iPhoto.  This lets the family take advantage of easier browsing, emailing and face tagging so that they can flip through the family photos quickly.

I don’t think there’s a right and wrong scheme – you just need to decide on something up front and stick to it.

Or else you’ll end up with thousands of photos with all sorts of wierd names disorganised in one big My Photos folder and ten years later the problem will be too big to sort out.

Time spent post processing photos

How much time do you spend post processing your photos?

I just shot a wedding reception on the weekend and I’ve tried to keep track of how much time I spend in front of Lightroom this time.

So far, I’ve clocked up as many hours as the shoot itself!   And I’m nowhere near finished.   With previous dance shoots, I average at least the same amount of time post processing as the shoot itself.

Unfortunately, my time so far doesn’t even include the time spent preparing the proofs and uploading them, etc!

Many people think that the move to digital photography means less processing time and everything is instant.    Sure, it’s “easier” to press the shutter button and get a photo.  But I think many people who might have worked in a darkroom before, now are doing that post processing on a computer.   And it takes TIME!

After attending a session on landscape photography by Christian Fletcher, I suspect that landscape photographers must spend an extremely large amount of time in post production to get the image right.   The ratio of time to the number of final images must be huge!

Do you find you spend a lot of time in post production?

Excited about the Nikon D7000!

Every few weeks for the past few months, I’ve been doing a Google search for D700x or D700s, in anticipation of a new camera body from Nikon at the upcoming Photokina photography trade fair.

So I was surprised, but excited, to read that a new D7000 model is being launched at Photokina next week.

It seems to be upgrade of the D90, prosumer line, than an upgrade to the professional D700 line. 

I’m excited about these things:

Supposedly great low light (high ISO) performance

This is one thing that is really pushing me to upgrade my D80.  At ISO 1600, I get really grainy shots.  Sure I can fix it somewhat later through software, but it’s always better to get the best quality shots out of the camera first.  Initially I was thinking that the D3 family or D700 is my only route to get better low light performance because of the larger pixel sizes on the full frame sensor.  But if the D7000 can deliver as good low noise, I’ll be happy!

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a definitive review on its high ISO performance yet or a comparison to the D700, so I’ll have to wait and see.

DX format

OK, I was seriously thinking of going full frame, only because of the low noise aspect.  But the truth is, I have 2 lenses now that are DX lenses – my Tokina 12-24 and Nikon 17-55 2.8.  If I had to upgrade to full frame, it would cost me!!!   I don’t care if people think that FF is better and DX inferior – if someone has come up with a way for DX to produce exactly the same quality photos than FF, then does it really matter?

So if I get the same low light performance with DX, then I would theoretically only need to upgrade the body, and leave my entire lens collection intact!

Also, DX format means my Sigma 70-200 2.8 is actually a 105-300 2.8.  By going full frame, if I wanted that reach I’d have to buy an extender or a new longer zoom lens.


As for other things, LiveView, video recording, virtual horizon – they’re great but not something I “need”.  Sure, I’ll use them if the camera I have has them, but I’ve gotten by without those things.

Time to save up and prep the wifey 🙂

Here’s some further reading:

Sunset on the farm

Another panorama from our weekend at a friend’s farm near Gingin.

This was just around sunset.   The kids were having immense fun running through the grassy fields.   The other adults were setting up the campfire.   I was wandering around with my tripod and Cokin filters trying to get an interesting shot!   This result is a crop from a 10 image stitch – I think I ended up using about 7 images in the end.

Gingin Farm

We were extremely fortunate a few months ago to be invited to a weekend holiday at a friend’s farm near Gingin.

It was so peaceful away from the city.   Here’s a 9 image stitch of the lone tree in the paddock just after the sun dropped under the horizon.    The kids had started a campfire and we feasted on marshmallows for the rest of the night.

Size does matter

Yes size does matter!

Check out these prints that I recently processed for some clients.

Starting from the middle on the left, going clockwise, we have the following sizes – 6×4, 5×7, 8×12, 16×24 and 16×20.

Sure 6×4’s are good in a photo album, to pass between friends or in a small frame, but nothing beats the impact that a large print has.  The 16×24 print is stunning and would look fantastic framed up on a wall!

Next to it, the 8×12’s look really small – maybe nice to have framed on a table or ledge, but too small to be by itself on a wall.

Yes printing costs are more expensive and the framing costs even more – but it turns a photo into something you can make part of your home.