March 8th, 2016
Robert recently asked:
I am wondering if there has been a discussion about ways to improve post processing workflow and reduce the amount of time spent in front of the computer. I typically shoot 30+ photos for each of my agents’ listings and I find it takes me about 2 hours to edit/process a shoot (and that’s after I have Enfused the stacks). While that’s only 4 minutes per image, I’d like to cut that by 1/3 to 1/2 and spend no more than 60 – 90 minutes on processing. I use a few preset for shadows, highlights, clarity, etc. but every image needs some tweaking and that takes time. As the discussion a few days ago about hourly rate so accurately pointed out, the less time I spend on each job, the higher my effective hourly rate becomes.
What advice would you or your readers have to cut my post processing time without sacrificing too much quality.
Yes, this discussion about is it faster to get it right in the camera on-site or is it faster to shoot and process brackets is a classic tradeoff. There are two schools of thought:
- The Scott Hargis school of thought: Scott hates spending time at the computer so he invented his now famous technique of using small flashes to quickly get interior images right in the camera on-site. You then only have to do minimal post-processing work. 47.75% of PFRE readers use some variation of this technique.
- The Bracketing school of thought: This approach is used by people that want to avoid using small flash techniques or claim that using small flashes takes too much time and equipment on-site. 36.51% of PFRE readers use some variation of this technique.
Here is a PFRE reader poll that shows the split between these techniques. Notice that the majority of PFRE readers use #1. The trick is that #1 takes some work so you can learn to set up small flashes quickly. My experience is that once you learn how to do it #1 is in fact, faster overall because it takes almost no post-processing time.
I have to agree, spending 2 hours of time on 30 images AFTER the brackets have been processed with Enfuse seems to be too long for real estate quality photography. I’m thinking perhaps Robert is being too compulsive about how perfect his images are (after some discussion Robert agreed that he was indeed being too much of a perfectionist with his post processing). This is a potential issue in real estate photography – you need to match your level of effort with the level of quality demanded in your market. Many real estate agents may not be able to appreciate the level of quality you deliver!