February 19th, 2017
Tod in Virginia says:
In the past, I’ve worked mainly on my own but I’m going to work (as a contractor) for a small boutique-ish staging and photography group. It’s all good and the pay is nice, the only possible drawback is we do all the post processing ourselves. I love Lightroom, but for my own work, I don’t shoot brackets.
I’m at a loss as to how to proceed! If I do 4-5 shoots a day, shooting 3-5 bracketed images per photo, that’s a heck of a lot of photos to process when I get home. Doing 1 HDR image via LR or NIK HDR EFX can take a long time. There must be something out there that I’m not aware of?
Any suggestions or advice on how to speed up the process would be greatly appreciated.
That’s the problem when you work for someone else and they want you to use their whole process. I assume they are insisting on using HDR so the look of all the work they deliver looks consistent.
The reality is when you shoot brackets it just takes more time in post processing than if you use small flash. Work on convincing them to let you shoot with small flash.
But if you must shoot brackets here are some ways to make post processing go as fast as possible:
- You can get by most of the time shooting just 3 brackets. Don’t be shooting more brackets than necessary.
- For your bracket processing use either LR/Enfuse or Photomatix for processing because they both have batch processing features. The majority of real estate photographers that use bracketing use LR/Enfuse plus a single flash to help control wonky color effects. There’s no way to batch process images using the Lightroom HDR Merge feature or NIK HDR-EFX.
- Make use of Lightroom Presets to speed up the repetitive parts of your workflow.
See Simon Maxwell’s book for details on all three of these.
I will never forget Dan Achatz in Seattle describing to me how he processes his HDR images with the Photomatix batch feature while he drives between shoots. He told me this in 2008 and I’ll bet he is still doing it. When he gets home at the end of the day his post processing is mostly done.