Monday, June 7, 2010

Photo Processing

Digital photography is both a joy and a curse. While I wouldn't want to return to the days of carefully picking and choosing my shots so that I could make a 36 shot film last long and be economical. There was a certain joy in the ease of taking the photos and then dropping the film off to be processed and getting your photos back. I was generally fairly happy with the results of my photography too so that was a bonus.

Now at the end of any given week I have something like 350-450 photos taken (add another 300-400 in the winter sports season). I will generally reduce this down to 150ish once I get rid of all the double ups and blurry 2 year old racing around shots.

Then I pick 7 photos for our 365 page for the week.

Decide which I want to blog so our family and friends can see what we've been up to.

Decide which I want to scrap.

Decide which of those I want to digitally scrap and which I want to get printed.

And of those that I want to get printed...
  • which I want to enlarge or shrink (I often print two photos to one 6x4).
  • which need to be 'fixed'. I don't do too much of this mainly because our camera is idiot proof, I am not an idiot and I also think photos should be representative of real life.
  • how I am likely to want to scrap them.
If there's heaps of good photos from one event-
  • how many will I scrap.
  • do I want them to all be the same size?
  • If not what size will they be.
Once I have that sorted I may need/want to
  • Convert to B & W or Sepia
  • Add text.
  • Add digital brushes
  • Add digital stitching
  • Crop the photos closer
  • or into circles.
  • Add a digital frame.
  • Do some sort of 'photoshop action' on the photo -to change the tone or colour for a funky effect or different mood.
Because the above is the last step in the process these things, which could really add some to my scrapbook pages, rarely get done- as it's so much easier to chuck them in the too print folder and get on with it all.

I have photos organised in multiple folders in various parts of my computer waiting for their turn to move through some or other part of this process. (this means that they are also taking up valuable hard drive space as they are generally duplicates on my system).

At one point I actually planned pages with sketches and scraplift's etc before I decided what to print- but it took way too long for me to get around t scrapping the photos that I had either forgotten what I meant despite my notes, changed my style or just lost the enthusiasm for the page I was scraplifting.

Then there's the uploading and dealing with temperamental online photo processing software.

As you can imagine thanks to digital technology I spend way more time 'processing photos' than I did before and it cuts into my scrapping time. :-(

In my ideal world I own a professional quality photo printer that can print borderless up to 12 x 12. So I can plan, print and scrap all in one go. I do have a photo printer (an hp photosmart 130) but it only prints 6 x 4's and lets face it baby at home printer quality is about 30% when you compare with a good photo processor- even the kiosk at The Warehouse with it's glossy icky paper is better. (If you still print glossy- try matte for a while I'm willing to bet you'll love it and won't go back).

I spend fairly reasonable amounts of money and time and space recording and keeping my families stories with words and photos on scrapbook pages- I want my photos to be worthy of that expenditure and not let the whole process down.

Some days I'm tempted to just print all the photos I like as 6x4's and chuck them in standard photo albums and just pull out and scrap what I like. But variety is the spice of life and I do like a spicy life. :-) So I'm open for your ideas and tips on what works for you when it comes to dealing with your digital photos. How much time do you spend?- Have you streamlined your process over time? Have you had any great epiphany's as you've dealt with this issue?

Oh yeah I get the obvious one- take less photos and scrap less too- well, wash your mouth out!

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