I’ve been asked several times to share my Capture One workflow. Everyone has their way of working and mine is by no means a fit for all. Grab your pillow, this subject might just put you to sleep.
I use a tethered session rather than a catalog. The new session is named with the date, job number, and client name. In this case, the session name is Date-Job#-Client. The default location of the Session in Capture One is set in the Pictures folder but I locate the Sessions on the Desktop for quick access and organization. Capture One recommends locating all Sessions in the Shared folder to prevent any problems with permissions. I’ve yet to experience any issues locating files on the Desktop. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx myself.
My workflow normally requires one computer for capturing and another for organizing and processing. This way I don’t have to wait for my assistant to finish naming and organizing before I can continue to the next shot. The most efficient way to move files between computers is to capture images as an EIP file. This is done in the Capture One Preferences, click the check box “Pack as EIP when capturing.” An EIP (Enhanced Image Package) file format bundles the original Raw file with the image settings like Color Tag, Rating, ICC profile, White Balance, Crop and other metadata. Transferring these EIP files from computer to computer will keep the settings intact and allows them to travel with the image.
Before shooting, I setup the appropriate naming convention. Other settings I use are Copy from Last in the “ICC Profile” and Copy from Clipboard in the “All Other” dialog boxes.
After the first image is captured, I apply my presets for metadata, sharpening, white balance, etc. I copy the image settings to the Clipboard. In the “Adjustment Clipboard” I select everything I want to copy. Now all the information will automatically transfer to the following captures. Each time I make a change as I’m shooting I will copy everything to the clipboard again so all further captures will reflect the new changes.
The next step is to process the files. Capture One has basic recipes but you can create your own according to your needs. Lifestyle shoots often have significantly higher shot count than a product shoot so I include quickly viewable jpgs to accompany the hi-res tifs in a secondary folder. This way, the client can view and select the jpgs and reference the corresponding tifs when they are ready. The Default setting outputs processed files to the root Output folder created at the beginning of the session. This can be customized so that the output files are designated to specific locations. My Recipes include subfolders within the Output folder. Subfolders are a great way to automatically separate the file types like tifs and jpgs or other ways the processed files are best differentiated. Congratulations you made it this far, I stopped for a donut break halfway through.
xScope by Iconfactory
is a software tool I use on a daily basis at the studio. It is a gem that others might disregard but I feel is essential in my workflow. Xcope includes various tools that float on your desktop window. One of the key features are the guides. I use the guides to make sure things are squared, leveled, equidistant and parallel when positioning a shot. Above are three screen grabs floating xScope guides on my Capture One screen. The first two show the product off centered, indicated by the pixel numbers between the guides. The third shows the product being centered, proven by the equal pixel numbers.
I also like the ruler. Often, I have to match the position of a previous shot I did. I use the ruler as a free-flowing glorified guide since it can be rotated in any angle and placed anywhere on the screen. Below are two screen grabs to diagram my use. Let’s say the first image is a final shot. Next on the shot list will be the same product but rotated 90 degrees. The best way to match angles is to place the ruler on one side of the first image and then rotate the product accordingly to match the ruler for the second image. Make sure you do not move the ruler, instead move the product little by little until the side lines up with the ruler. The second screen grab below not only shows the ruler matching the side angle but I also brought back the guides to make sure it is centered. I like how all the tools can be used in conjunction with each other.
MIT Technology Review featured the Pebble watch in an articled entitled “10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2013″ in their current issue. I was fortunate to photograph the watches at Pebble headquarters and work directly with founder Eric Migicovsky. Their Kickstarter story made history and getting my hands on these watches for a day was super exciting.
I’ve posted about making animations for editorial before
. This is the latest short animation created to go with the digital version of the April issue of Macworld magazine. It was used to introduce the featured article called “100 More Things Every Mac User Should Know.”
After photographing the main photo for the print magazine, the animation was created by taking the Post-it notes away one by one. When creating the animation with Apple’s Motion, the photos were arranged in reverse so it looked like the Post-it’s were being added rather than taken away.
I’m also testing out Vimeo Pro
as a clean way to present my videos. Once I have enough videos I’ll incorporate it into my site.
The Exploratorium in San Francisco has moved in to a new location that’s going to make it one of the biggest attractions in the city. San Francisco Magazine asked me to capture a couple of photos of the new location before it opens. The museum’s crew spent a day moving construction materials and equipment out of the way just so I could get a clean shot. It is a beautiful new space for the museum. I knew I wanted a soft light to showcase the building. We were shooting other areas inside the building when I noticed the sun outside was how I envisioned it would be to capture an exterior photo. We rushed outside and got this shot just in time!
This is my favorite image they used for the spread (plus a behind-the-scenes photo). The magazine is on newsstands now and also free online
It was a busy and productive 2012. We finally updated the website with new images from the previous year. On top of that, check out a revamp update to the blog. The Posterous era has come to an end. Therefore, a new blog engine needed to be used. With the change comes great opportunities for minor improvements. So, we decided to incorporate more social features to the blog. You can now subscribe via email, link to my Instagram and it includes a much better comment section with the help of Disqus. Have at it and take a look…comments are welcome.
After talking with them about what they needed I set out to photograph all the parts to create something that looked realistic. San Francisco may have lots of roads with views like this one, but none of them conveyed what I was looking for. Often I would find a good location and have to drive it multiple times to get a good shot with no traffic or the right lighting. I photographed lots of roads, cars, city views and signs to create a composition that aligned with the essence of the feature article. It was like working on a puzzle of photos.
Look for it on newsstands or view the digital version for free here
More and more frequently magazines are creating interactive versions of their print magazines rather then just a static copy of it. Recently Macworld magazine has created issues for the iPad that works with Apple’s Newsstand.
My role as the photographer is really interesting because I now need to think of my photos as both stills and motion. The cover image and opening spreads are more likely to be used as a stills in the print magazine and as motion sequences in the iPad version.
When I photograph the still version I use still equipment. I could change to the 5D Mark III and hot lights, but that would double my work and change the look of the photo. The work flow that I found that works well is to use stop motion or a layered photo.
With stop motion the art director, Rob, and I plan out the best way to use motion that ends at a still image for print. I use Apple’s Motion program to combine all the stills into a video for the iPad version.
The other method I use is to shoot a still photo and then remove the product from the set after I shoot so I have a blank background. This way I have the product separated from the background. This allows me to bring the files in to Apple’s Motion and animate the foreground giving the photo a more animated feel. So far we have done this for two issues, I’m looking forward to fine-tuning and improving this as we go along.
The July issue and the November issue both have examples of this. Look for them in the App store.
San Francisco Magazine approach me with another great idea that got the creative juices flowing. This time it involved a scarf with a Grace Kelly inspired look. The twist was to have no one wearing the scarf, making it a free floating subject.
The challenge with this image was how to get the scarf floating in the air while having the interior visible. We used wire and paper to get the shape of a human head then cleaned any visible wires in post production. Since influence laid heavy on Grace Kelly, a moody beach was the perfect choice for a background.
Look for the magazine on newsstands or check out the free digital edition online here.
I love bikes, especially well designed and functional urban bikes and accessories. Naturally, I was excited when Dwell approached me to photograph some beautiful bike gear.
The idea was to photograph 3 bikes hanging on colored backgrounds. Normally, we would paint the walls the day before the job but the client wanted the flexibility to change the colors once we had decided on what items would be in each shot. In order to achieve this, we hung paper on the wall instead of painting. I was worried that the strong side lighting would show all the wrinkles in the paper. We were really careful and it turned out extremely well. The side lighting gave the sets great depth.
It was great working with the stylist, Janis, and the talented team at Dwell. Now I just have to curb my bike envy!
Look for the magazine on newsstands or check out Dwell for more great info.