Gear and workflow

2017, gear, Photography, thoughts

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

I wrote before that I try to keep away from writing extensively about gear and workflow. Currently I only use my iPhone to make photographs. It is simple, allows me to make photographs without thinking about technical stuff, and made my editing process a lot easier. I do post process my photographs in VSCO, and sometimes Snapseed. I use airdrop to transfer my images to my Mac.

It is getting darker though, so I might be using my older Ricoh GR again. It is a lot better in low light. I’m hesitant though since I need cables or a card reader again. The old GR has no WiFi and these cards are pretty expensive.

Speaking of cameras, I wrote about the GR a long time ago (read it here). While it seemed logical that Ricoh used a larger sensor I rather preferred a smaller sensor in that camera. It would have kept true to the small sensor look. Maybe a camera with a 1″-sensor would have been an interesting consensus for me.

I’m also reconsidering my workflow. I depend on Lightroom for most of my editing and processing with a bit of Photoshop. I just wonder if I like to keep it that way or move to different applications. I hardly use the import module and Lightroom doesn’t automatically sync newly added photographs in one or more folders to its catalogue. The non-destructiveness of the images sure is a nice thing, but you lose these edits outside the Adobe workflow. I find that a risk.

So last week I experimented with Affinity Photo for instance. I converted some Lightroom presets to look up tables (LUTs) and could use these with ease in Affinity Photo. For how I use Photoshop it could be a good replacement.

I also tried ACDSee in a beta version. Although not everything works it is still a nice application and looks very promising for a beta. I kind of like it that I can use ACDSee as a very advanced finder app with digital asset management tool without the database features. Another option might be Luminar by Macphun. Luminar will even get LUT support later this year.

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma

31 thoughts on “Gear and workflow

  1. Ricoh is struggling, not sure how long the GR/GR II will remain in circulation. Also, Adobe is doing some pretty terrible stuff with subscriptions and the desktop version of Lightroom. I love Lightroom but I don’t want to subscribe, so I’m considering other options.

    It’s an interesting time in photography for people like us, who can use both an iPhone and/or a small camera to make images. Given that I print my images large I like the APS-C sensor in the GR, the Fuji X70, and the Fuji X100F. The size of it gives me a lot more image to work with.

    1. I don’t print so much, Richard. And when I print it usually at A4 or A3. I do have two A0 prints of B&W images I made with a small sensor GRD3 and it is stunning. Maybe a Sony RX100 series camera might be good enough for me. I do have my doubts about Ricoh for the future, and have no clue what they’re up to.

      I don’t like Adobe’s subscription based model either. And therefore I’m looking for a possible replacement.

  2. Luminar is simply fantastic in it’s tools. Simple so as even I understand it, plenty configurable to my needs!

    Perfect!? Not totally, Luminar saves files in it’s own format, no problems with that, but the files are HUGE.

    If you export to tiff or jpg you lost the ‘undo’ possibility.

    I’d love to love it and perhaps I’ll get to that with next years development. A photo management system like Lightroom but that works with your existing cloud or NAS solution…

    If you try Luminar please give me your opinion! With the latest developments at Adobe – LR Classic – CC – I feel unsure where to go.

    1. Luminar seems really interesting. I’m trying a trial version, but it feels a bit sluggish on my Mac. I follow their development though. Thanks for mentioning file format. I personally am a bit hesitant about post processes that only stay and work within particular applications.

      1. Yes, a bit sluggish but it seems they are working on that aspect.

        Now the most important tool I need as a film photographer is the dust removal, ie spot healing. And that one works so much better and more intelligently in Photos and Luminar than in Lightroom!

  3. Hi Wouter. If you’re using iPhone a lot, try Apple Photos. I don’t use Lightroom any more unless for mass batch renaming, cropping etc. No need for airdrop or any other apps. So straightforward anything else feels like its getting in the way, for me, now.

    1. Yes, photos in the new High Sierra OS has really grown up! And you can use external editors such as Luminar or the NIK software. Even Affinity can act as an external editor!

        1. I think the latest version of photos is very close to aperture. At least it has all the goodies I personnnaly need, and more.

          I don’t go into Photoshop, that one’s just too complicated for me.

          1. I just now deleted the whole Adobe crap and cancelled my subscription.

            That new LR CC has been eating my photos twice! Migrated my LR library twice and each time photos started to disappear after some hours… that’s too dangerous for me!

            I liked the new ‘light’ interface of CC.

            Now I made up my mind, Apple Photos it will be!

    2. I’m a bit in the same position, Craig. I do most of the post processing on my iPhone which feels so intuitive. The main drawback I have with Apple Photos now is how the imported images stay within the packaged catalogue. You simply can’t move them freely around. ACDSee is like a very beefed up Finder, although it doesn’t look as sleek as Photos.

      1. Just like the new Lightroom CC. No clear local folder structure, all in the cloud. A blessing or a mortal sin?? Don’t know yet.

        If you have to, there’s some great Apple Scripts to export photos to a folder structure.

        Lightroom CC simply allows no export!!!

          1. Many thanks for the very useful warning on the CC subscription. It sounds so cumbersome. I think I will prepare my self for a new solution next year. ACDSee is still in beta and Macphun (or I should say Skylum now) comes with new Luminar version next year. Somewhere next year I think I won’t be using Adobe software anymore.

  4. 99% smartphone also for me (currently Huawei P10), in addition to the occasional film shot. I edit everything in Snapseed. As someone who has always hated the post processing part of photography, it’s great to get exactly the look I want within 60 seconds 🙂 I even “dropbox” my non-mobile photos from the archives to the phone to edit them in Snapseed.

    Having said that, I’m slowly updating my website and now working on old photos I shot with compacts like the GRD3 and the D-Lux series. And I really like what I bump into. So I’m seriously thinking about getting a new (but probably secondhand) compact again besides the smartphone. On the other hand, perhaps the results from then had more to do with dedication and motivation than with the tools used. So I’m still in doubt.

  5. Something you said in this post got me wondering . What is your definition on the ” small sensor look” that you mentioned. I too use small sensor cameras and on YouTube or in blogs you never hear of anyone really talking up small sensor cameras.

      1. I’m trying out the fully featured Windows application. Great raw conversion with my GRII, I like the separate develop and edit modules and the Android app to send photos from my phone is super. All in all so far, so good.

        1. Sounds really interesting, Peter. The Mac version might not be similar featured. Another consideration is going with Photo Mechanic for editing and Affinity Photo for post processing.

  6. I have Photo Mechanic 5 which I use a lot. Managed to get a 50% discount a couple of years ago. Would like to try Affinity but there’s no trial as far as I can tell.

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