Working On The Photos

Here’s the math: Approximately 6100 shot which lead to 165 making the final cut. That’s 2.7%. I took a lot of bad shots!

With my back giving me fits I’ve become one with the sofa in the family room. It’s where I’m spending all my waking hours. There’s a good view of the TV, but not much else productive you can easily do on your back or side. I know this because I spent a good part of last night and today wrangling vacation pictures from our Alaska cruise!

Here’s the math: Approximately 6100 shot which led to 165 making the final cut. That’s 2.7%. I took a lot of bad shots!

Each of the 165 got run through Photoshop. No shot leaves the camera perfect. They all need a little help. Sometimes it’s little things like contrast and sharpening. A significant percentage of the pictures need more.

I’ve removed spots from dust on my camera’s sensor, straightened the horizon where it was tilted, cropped, dodged and burned. In a few cases I’ve changed the relationship between the sky and clouds to eek out more detail.

This is very time consuming, but it’s an integral piece in turning a snapshot into a photograph.

There will be three ‘outputs’ from the trip.

  • Animated slideshow
  • Photo book
  • Large prints

I created the slideshow last night (the YouTube video at the bottom of this blog post). In the past I’ve used Animoto and was very happy with the result. This time I used Windows Live Movie Maker, the free video editing program built into Windows. It’s not particularly good nor particularly versatile.

The slideshow itself came out nicely, though it was a time consuming pain in the ass.

The photo book was also labor intensive! I began working on it last night by uploading each of the individual 16 megapixel photos. Today, with the photos online, I worked on putting the book together.

If you’ve never done one of these you should know they’re not difficult. Some sites even allow you to automate the entire process. You still get a book, but I don’t think they’re as good. The quality of your finished product is be reflective of the effort you’ve expended.

My book is 48 8″x8″ pages. Some pages have one photo while others have as many as four. They’re grouped together by geography. I can’t wait to see how it comes out.

A few years ago I stopped by Ikea and loaded up on large picture frames. I will print another five or six images to fill those. That should happen tomorrow.

Most of the time I take pictures they don’t get printed. If I did we’d have run out of walls years ago!

7 thoughts on “Working On The Photos”

  1. I shall revisit this to see the slide show. I love the book site, My Publisher. I have made some fine art books using that, and that’s what I use for my Party Photographer business whenever I shoot a party. I am a Party Photographer who refuses to ever do a wedding. I also use Photoshop Elements because I do not do alot of changing to the original shot, although I probably should. I went to a one woman show opening for my professor, Ellen Carey and made her a book of the reception on My Publisher. I think she really liked it and I had it mailed to her directly from My Publisher. Many photographers use these books for some of their portfolio work.

  2. I am always the one behind the camera. My husband gives me grief for taking too many shots of the same thing or of people, but you hit the nail on the head. Out of all the photos, many get dumped for various reasons! People will ask me how I take such nice photo’s, but my only secret is I don’t share ALL the pic’s and I clean the up before sharing! I think I will have my husband read your blog!!!

  3. I also take tons of pictures but rarely do anything with them! You all give me the incentive to start! Especially since I bought a Canon t2 last month and have been taking more pictures than ever experimenting!
    I’m going to check into some of those editing sites but I do like what iPhoto provides.

  4. Geoff Thank you for sharing, Next year My Family and I are planning for our Alaska trip. Will need to replace my point and shoot with a newer camera. Looking at Cannon T2 or T3 just not sure at this point. Any recomantions for a good all around camera. Sadly I will not have access to the larger zoom lens you had access to. No News department to lean a hand 🙂


  5. Isn’t Buchart Gardens fantastic? I just loved it.
    At least you have something to occupy yourself with while you are on your back. Could be worse.

  6. Geoff,I have a background in Graphic Design but it don’t make me a good photographer, lol. A couple of Christmases ago I used Roxio Creator with Corel Painter, my WACOM Graphics Pad and my photo software to create individualized family-tree DVDs for each of my 5 siblings and their 7 offspring, including enhancing and cleaning up photos. I also made illustrated children’s stories for the great-grandkids on the verge of reading. All these had slide-shows and videos with music and narration and by the time I finished scanning hundreds of family pictures, my artwork, etc. and putting them all together I wondered whether I had temporary insanity! (It took 3 mos.)

    Now, when my sister just visited for 10 days in July from out of state towing 12 photo albums she and her husband wanted me to make into DVDs before they left, I had to put it back on them to narrow down the choices so I could at least scan within the limits I set. They declined.

    Our Aunt passed away at 91 in July and when I inherited her genealogy stuff a few weeks later I discovered many old photos, so once again I’ve just finished scanning and making a DVD of our family-tree,and copies of it. Took me a week to sort and narrow down the pictures to use and 3 more days to get the DVD coordinated. (Some of these pictures are Civil War era and before, brittle and I’m trying to find websites where I can post the unknown ones to be identified.)

    I”m very sorry you are having back trouble and I miss you on TV, but based on my experiences this should keep you busy for awhile. It’s a good learning experience, anyway, so good luck with it…and I hope you’re better soon..

  7. Gorgeous Geoff, absolutely gorgeous slide show! I’m trying to talk my Mom into going on a cruise to Alaska, she wants to go to Alaska but not on a ship, she’s afraid of water….I’l show her this slideshow for sure maybe it will change her mind…I gotta say you’re a great photographer!

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