Saturday, 24 April 2010

L3 Workflow of captured images from start to finish

This is a detailed log of image capture techniques, workflow processes, outlining equipment operation and any health and safety considerations  throughout the course.

The equipment I have been using is partly my own and partly the colleges, listed and some descriptions as follows:

My stuff:
Canon 5D MKII - 21mp full frame sensor, I use this camera because as it is full fame and a high resolution of 21 megapixels I am getting the highest quality image capture, married with the L series lens this further optimised the quality.
Canon 450D - 15mp 1.6 crop sensor, my back up camera incase anything goes wrong with the main camera, as it is cropped it can also be used with a 300mm telephoto, further increasing the range to aprox 480mm.
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 IS USM L series lens, this is my main lens, I use this as it it a medium telephoto to wide angle lens which covers most of the image capture requirements I need, 24mm for location/ landscape through to 105mm which emphasises and slims a portrait.
Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime lens.
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 DG EX macro prime lens.
2 speedlites 1 580 EXII and a 430 EXII.
Sekonic Flashmate L-308S lightmeter.
Small product cube with various flock backgrounds for product shoots. I use this box to diffuse the light from any source thus minimising any reflections etc of small products placed within it.


Interfit 150w flash heads with stands, 1 flashthrough umbrella, 1 small square softbox, a snoot and barndoors both with coloured gels (perfect fro head and shoulder shots) I originally brought it as a starting point to studio flash with the main requirement being head shots and product lighting, and it is perfectly fit for this purpose, although slightly down on outtput for full length shots it does just about manage. there are a few safety issues with these units because they are floor mounted with trailing cables there is an increase risk of tripping over hurting yourself and damaging the equipment, I alway coil the cables around the stands and around the outside of the area to minimise the traffic across them. I have also purchased some radio flash triggers so that I wont have a trailing cable from my camera which was the main concern.







Lastolite Tri-Flector with gold one side and silver, Gold to warm up and silve gives a more contrasty look.
A 2.5m high by 3-5 wide background support with 2 muslin background cloths (black & white) and a white paper one which is aprox 1.7m wide.



College stuff:

Bowens ceiling mounted flash units ranging from 500w up to 1500w with a multitude of fitments ranging from snoot up to wafer softboxes, as the are ceiling mounted there is not many trip hazards, the only things you have to worry about is walking into them and hot bulbs when changing fittings.

various reflectors such as the Lastolite Tri-Flector right up to 6' x 4' aluminium reflective silver insulation panels, painted black on one side to act as a large flag etc.

The college tripod if you can call it that is a floor mounted single pole and a weighted base which has the option of being wheeled about and a cross bar fitted with a ball head to mount the camera, very robust and stable,  as these items are floor mounted I still have be wary of tripping over them.

The college also has a large light table to back light products etc, it is a metal frame fitted with a translucent polypropylene sheet which curves up at the back to give a seamless finish. It is fitted with lockable wheels enabling it to be moved around then locked into position, there is space all around it including underneath to enable a variety of lights etc  to be used.


Risk Assessment:
to enable me to further reduce the hazards and risks within the studio I have produced a risk assessment, as I have alway said the biggest control you can have to control any risks is knowing about them.


Risk assessment for
Company Name
Company Address
postcode
James Woodings
Assignment undertaken
(Date)
Signed
date
Burton College Studio
14/04/10
James Woodings
14/04/10
Area/ process risk assessed
Photographic studio Burton College
Step 1
List significant risks here
Step 2
List groups of people who are at risk from the significant hazards you have identified
Step 3
List existing control or note where the information may be found.
List risks which are not adequately controlled and the action needed
Risk Rating
H/M/L
Slips trips and falls over equipment (tripods & trailing cables) and materials (props and backgrounds) stored and in use
Photographer
Model
Lecturer
Assistant
Visitors
All persons with access to area are inducted with safe methods.

Trailing cables are kept to a minimum as 90% of the flash equipment is ceiling suspended.

When using trailing cable care will be taken to route away from walkways and restrict movement in these areas.

Props and materials not being used are stored away from walkways in a suitable position.






M
Manual handling injuries
Photographer
Model
Lecturer
Loads moved only by trained lecturer, Model not moving loads or assuming awkward poses or positions.

L
Fall of object from height or impact from something  fixed or stationary such as suspended flash units
Photographer
Model
Lecturer

Assistant
All ceiling mounted equipment has been installed by competent person, Flash units have wire lanyards to secure units and prevent them from falling.

Unless being used all suspended equipment is raised away from risk of impact.

Only authorised persons working in the area and will be made aware of potential hazards.





M
Flash unit triggering Photosensitive epilepsy
Photographer
Model
Lecturer
Assistant
Visitors
All persons being exposed to flash units will be asked if they have any medical information relating to photography hazards

L
Burns from exposed flash units
Lecturer
All flash units are covered by soft boxes etc.

Only authorised person to access lamp units and will be turned off and allowed to cool before access.


L
Electrical shock from electrical equipment
Photographer
Model
Lecturer

Assistant
All portable electrical equipment is tested for electrical safety by competent person on a regular basis.

Visual checks are conducted by operator prior to use.

Equipment only to be used by authorised trained persons




M
Misuse, incorrect use or damage to equipment
Photographer
Model
Lecturer
Assistant 
Only authorised trained persons to use equipment.



L
Emergency  evacuations and fire
Photographer
Model
Lecturer
Assistant
Visitors

The college is a no smoking area and no naked lights are allowed.

Flash units do not get hot enough to ignite any materials

All persons will be instructed in safe methods  and evacuation instructions

All flammable materials to conform to current legislation or is either disposed off or treated with a flame retardant product on suitable recipients



M

Pre image capture:
All of my image in camera capture I use the finest RAW settings that the camera will allow, as my themes are in a studio setting I also use the lowest ISO setting of 100 thus ensuring the highest quality possible. the camera will alway be used on the manual setting as this will fix the settings and produce consistent results every shot, once you have set  it up for the image requirements.

Dependant on the style or image requirements I would normally set out to achieve an aperture between f/8.0 and f/11.0 as this is the sweet spot for the 24-105mm L series lens, again trying to achieve the best quality. (the so called sweet spot is a setting on the lens where it achieves it's most optimum quality, every lens has a sweet spot). sometimes I would try to achieve a minimal depth of field such as for a product shot where I wanted to draw the viewers attention to the logo, or similar, in this instance I would try the get the largest aperture as possible on the lens I am using this would be f/4.0, reducing the depth of field and removing a potentially distracting background.

As I have produced a plan or method statement of what style of image I am trying to achieve I will have a starting point of where I will want the light to be coming from and what quality of light, this will give me an idea of where to position the flash units and what fitting they will have on them. for my fashion shoot I was looking for a hard light shadow of the model on the background. To achieve this I positioned a single 1000w Bowens up high and aprox 45 degrees to the model, fitted with barn doors to direct the light minimising any lens flare but allowing maximum light onto the background. I then position the model as close as possible to the background which helped to define the shadow, If the model had been further away from the background the shadow would have soft undefined edges. unfortunately the main background at the college has  curved  seamless sides and bottom so this stopped the model actually getting right next to the wall, in hindsight I would have put up another wall with no curves. I did produce some images on a test run as I was using a paper background.




Most of the product shoots I have done at my house in a controlled studio situation either on a table top setup with a softbox, flash trough umbrella and a reflector, or in my cube. To get a reflection underneath    the product I used a sheet of perspex on top of my soft box or a piece or background paper. The college product shots of the coke bottle and glass I used the college's light table.










Post image capture:
Once the images have been captured I then imported onto my iMac. the RAW files are then backed up to an external 1TB hard drive using the Time machine software then finally a further back up on to a dvd disc. When I am sure of the security on the original images I can start selecting the best and eliminating the ones to trash. The software I use for this process is Adobe's Bridge (which is part of the Photoshop program). I look at each image, immediately trashing any obvious unusable images such as misfires of the flash, closed eyes on the model etc, then as I go through each image putting a star rating against any images that I am considering for further work, I also identifly the serious contenders with a green label, further eliminating other by lableing as a reject (see below the ones identified one star ratings)


















I further filter my selection of images down to 2-3 similar images by giving the image a lable again in Adobe Bridge










Once I've rated and selected my images that I will be editing I will open the images as a group in the Photoshop RAW program, again selecting all the images and batch editing, starting with the white balance, vibrance or whatever other basic batch adjustment I need for the images.


After the batch editing has been done I import all the slected images into Adobe Photoshop, some imaged may only require a simple crop and some cloneing whilst other require a more time consuming edits. Photoshop and Bridge are perfect for editing photographs as the process they use are non-destructive, the first step that I conduct is to copy the background layer so that I have a unedited layer to fall back on, each time I start a new process or use a new toll I will create a new layer to work on, again so that I only have to go back one layer if I don't like the results or I make a mistake, some time I use the history tab to selectively go back to a point where I have been working.

To Be Continued ........... the end is not nigh!

8 comments:

  1. This is indeed a log of image capture, however can you raise it from a P5 up to maybe a C4 or even D4 by adding maybe some bridge analysis.
    As you know you will repeat hit criteria and some will appear alot, target the ones that are missing and read the criteria carefully.

    steve

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi
    A very clear and well written log of capture with screen grabs and photos as supporting evidence.
    Raw and bridges software used to add detailed evidence to all work produced.
    P5 criteria met as labelled.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi
    Blog 24th April which documents very clearly the digital workflow of all images.
    Also you have evidenced Health and Safety and its implications, hazards and risks in a very detailed and thorough manner.
    This will meet along with other associated blogs C4 criteria.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi
    The extensive blog entry of 24th April has covered all aspects of this criteria.
    There has been a well recorded method of self evaluations throughout your blog which helps meet this criteria well.
    C5 criteria has been met.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi
    Your planning and preparation for all of your studio shoots has been thorough.
    Also you have clearly shown which kit and resources you intend to use.
    Criteria D3 met.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi
    You have provided extensive information regarding the kit and resources used and the associated health and safety implications.
    D4 met.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi
    You have produced very detailed and thorough work which also document the kit and equipment you have used to achieve successful images.
    Also you have documented a very thorough Health and Safety blog which supports all your photography.
    C4 met as labelled.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi
    24th April blog entry covers the kit and resources and the health and safety implications for a variety of shoots.D4

    Steve

    ReplyDelete