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Creating Your Photographic Workflow 2015

Photographic Workflow 2015

This week I will be presenting to the South Shore Camera Club.  I will be discussing workflow.  (That is as long as the New England weather holds out, we are expecting a blizzard).

Workflow seems to be a popular subject for photographers.  Making sense on how they should process images can be a challenge.

I learnt workflow through Scott Kelby’s book “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers”.  (See sponsored link below).  He covers everything you need to know on workflow.  He uses Lightroom which I highly recommend as the tool for file management by photographers.


I was also asked to provide some detail on backing up my files.  “Backup” is a critical subject and something not everyone manages correctly.  I do not know what I would do if I lost all my images. A few years back we had a tornado watch in my part of MA.  A rare thing.  It actually touched down and you can still see the damage two years later.  Anyway, I ran home to be with my family, just in case.  As the sky color got weird, and the news reports said “seek shelter”, I grabbed my wife, child and hard drive of my images and we moved to a corner of the basement.  Yup that backup external hard drive was so important, I passed up many other important items in my home to save my images.

I now have offsite backup, just in case I cannot be home and some disaster takes out my image library.  (What is your backup strategy?)

Anyway, I am also attaching my presentation Photographic Workflow 2015 in case you want to take a look.  I’m still tinkering with it but this set should be good.  It is missing my jokes and demo but has enough info, I think, to help you get started.


Photo Friday 15: Water

Photo Friday: Water

Last week was fire so this week has to be water.  Again inspired by Robert Grant and this YouTube video, I set off to create my version of photographing water.  I call this one Elphaba: The Floating Green Martini.  Elphabab is the lead character in the play “Wicked” where flying and being green are two attributes of this character.

Elphaba: The Floating Green Martini |

You can see other water images in this gallery.

Technical Details


  • Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
  • Lens: EF24-105 f4 IS USM
  • Tripod (Camera)
  • Shutter release
  • Tarp to protect the floor
  • Bucket to catch the water
  • Watering pot to pour water into the glass
  • Glass
  • Tripod to hold glass (see video)
  • Flood light to light backdrop (see video)


  • Apreture: f/5
  • Focal Length: 105 mm
  • ISO:1000
  • Shutter Speed: 1/800


Same as video.  Modifications were that I wanted more of the glass in the image so I had the camera further back from the subject.  I also filled the glass with green water then did another round of shooting using a watering pot filled with blue water. Using the shutter release I would hold the shutter release in one hand and the the watering pot in the other hand.  Pressed on the shutter release as I started the pour.

Post Processing

Here is the original image prior to editing.  As you can see the glass was not actually flying and needed some Wizard of Oz magic.  Or at lease some Photoshop.

(c) R. DeRobertis

(c) R. DeRobertis

1) Lightroom.

  • Adjusted white balance,
  • increased exposure,
  • Reduced shadows and
  • Increased clarity.

2) Photoshop

  • Using the cloning tool, removed the bracket that held the glass to the tripod.



My Basement.  (Sorry no GPS locations.)


Print By the Master

Last week I had a chance to view the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA with my family.  I was awestruck.  I have seen Mr. Adams’ photography on the web and reprinted in books but never saw the original work created by his hand.  It was simply amazing.    There is such a difference from what has been created without his intervention in reprints vs the original images he hand crafted.

You can see the creativity.  He is credited as saying that “a picture isn’t taken, it is made”.  Now I understand.  This is the most evident when you look at the originals and realize he made each image not only behind the camera but in the dark room.

I now understand what other’s have told me. I now understand what tonal range really means.  I now understand how he used light to emphasize key elements in his image.   It just goes to say, you can be told but as a photographer we must be shown.

Seeing these prints reinforced my love of seeing photography in print.  It is in this tangible, physical representation that photography truly shines (excuse the pun).

If you have a chance get down to the PEM, before the show closes on October.