Post Shoot Workflow 2

by Steve Simon

More on my post shoot workflow from my recent assignment in Mozambique for Oxfam UK.

I went through every image in each album, harnessing the editing power of Aperture, occasionally toggling from full screen to standard view to see where I was in the process (to see Projects and how many more albums there were to go), comparing, zooming, stacking and upgrading my keepers to three star from two. I had culled 4711 images to 336.

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3-Star Selection

I think that seeing a group of images in a slideshow with music can make the experience of seeing the work more compelling. I was then ready to bring my traveling partner Kate into the process. To give a taste of what was to come, I clicked on Slideshow and chose the music of artist Oliver Mutukudzi. Seeing the images dissolve into each other with the added emotion the right music track evokes can really put a positive spin on the editing to come.

Together we went through the 336 to choose a final selection of 88 4-star images that we would send to Oxfam at lo-resolution so they could get started putting together the brochures and campaign these photos are to be part of.

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4-Star Selects

Kate is not a photographer and knows nothing about Aperture, but she (and I) were both impressed with how well Aperture worked for us to edit together.

Editing in full screen mode was wonderful. The images looked great and occasionally we would view a series in compare mode, which made the best picture obvious when you see them side-by-side. On the fly, I would summon the loupe to check sharpness or details in expressions—occasionally zooming several similar images from the take to insure we chose the best possible expression in a portrait for example. Also, if something was a bit dark or needed a color temp warming, I could do so without skipping a beat by simply pressing the H key, calling up the adjustments HUD and quickly fixing the problem without slowing down the editing flow.

Maria de Christina Joaquim, 29, and her children walk through a forest in rural Manica Province, Mozambique. Photo Copyright Steve Simon

Finally, we found a wireless connection at the luxurious Holiday Inn in Maputo and FTP’d lo-resolution versions of our final 88 that I exported as small JPEGS from Aperture. Exporting from Aperture is one of it’s most powerful features allowing you to export in many pre-set sizes and file formats, but allowing you to create your own custom pre-sets.

I used a different program to create a QuickTime Movie of the slideshow with music that I also sent. (I hope the next version of Aperture allows creating these QuickTime’s of your slideshows directly from the program).

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Regina Cumbuis, 22, photographed near her home in Chibote, Moazambique. Photo Copyright Steve Simon

I burned a DVD of Hi-Resolution Images and she was off to London and I headed back home. So the moral of this story is: the longer you use Aperture, the more you learn to love it—and it’s only going to get better with future versions.