I recently received an e-mail from SquareSpace with payment for my account renewal. $192 a year, that's a lot of money! I realized that I don't utilize this service enough. Even close. What do I need to do to have a discount here? Or I should slam more banners around here. :)
I really haven't checked my blog in a while. Been pretty busy with current work and didn't had time for anything else. Actually I am working on two (!) pretty awesome projects that I am quite happy about. Unfortunately as it works in this industry both are going to be live in the second half of the year. So two more posts on SquareSpace, yay!
Anyway. One of the personal projects I am working on right now got me to go "back in time" in my photo library hunting photos of certain locations in New York. And I got sucked into browsing archives and finding awesome shots that I have never retouched.
I keep my photographs on a separate 2TB hard drive. Essentially I have 2 folders there: Photos - where I keep all the original RAW files organized by year, and inside each "year folder" I have a folder with the date photos were taken. In the PSD folder I keep all the retouched files and exported JPGs, but organized by Event or Location with the date.
The scary shit I am realizing right now as I am writing this, is that I don't have a backup of this hard drive anywhere, so if it breaks my entire photo library would be gone :( Seriously I need to stop paying for SquareSpace, so I can get a decent DropBox account ;)
As a photo library I use Lightroom. Basically Lightroom is connected in a way that it reads all the folders with photos from the PHOTO folder on my hard drive. Usually when I copy my photos form the camera, I create a folder with the date (sometimes adding some explanation text what it is) in the folder with the year.
After that I go through all the photos and add rating to them using the star functionality in the Lightroom. 1 star - delete, 2 stars - export but not for sharing (for example if I have friends there and I just want to send the photo to them), 3 stars - maybe retouch, 4 stars - still maybe, but better, 5 stas - oh yes! No stars - don't want to delete and retouch either. So I basically end up with most of the photos without a star.
You see, the earliest folder is dated as of 2006. Everything before was on a similar drive that broke and I lost all of it.
If the photo is really good and I know how to improve it further on, I make light adjustments in Lightroom such as temperature, tint, exposure, contrast etc and then export it as a PSD. After that I complete working on the photograph in Photoshop. I still prefer PS over LR as it gives more precision and freedom in retouching as well as it is much faster to make changes there. Photos that I retouched in Photoshop I mark as RED in Lightroom.
Some photos are not worth bringing into Photoshop, then I retouch them directly in Lightroom and export as JPGs right from there. Those photos I mark with GREEN label.
In reality I would only retouch and share 20% of photos that I marked with 4 and 5 stars. The rest would just be sitting on the drive forever.
Now ... back to the beginning. I spent the whole night going back in old folders searching specific locations in New York for a project. Obviously I ended up looking into every single folder. I am not nostalgic, but few tears almost dropped on my Wacom remembering some really good times.
As I mentioned above I only retouch few pictures from the event and usually have no time to look into the other photos that I marked to retouch, or I just simply forget about them, or they just get old and irrelevant. So while going through the archives I was picking some random shots from here and there that I actually liked. Some of them were marked to be retouched, some of them I skipped completely without any rating as I was focusing on something else.