Workflow #5

Published by MJR on May 30th, 2008 in Technique | 6 Comments »

“Workflow” and me do not mix. My relationship with computers and technology is poor and every year or so people scoff at me when they say “YOU ARE USING WHAT!?” The process from the initial shot to the final edit ends at the computer, which is kind of a problem for me. I have an interesting relationship with computers, i just dont really like them but i need them so we are at a standstill. 99% of my work is shot on film which is funny because my workflow isn’t much of a “flow” at all, its more backwards than that. All the other cats at MJR are way more savvy about what they use and why they use it. Alot of the things I use only because one of them told me to! My workflow revolves around one word…easy.

My shooting style reflects my workflow. I do not shoot quickly and am never really in a rush when it comes to making exposures. i will wait and wait and wait. Having the quickest and fastest camera and processing equipment doesn’t really get me excited. For me, the more buttons the more headache and the more shit to break. I’m more about comfortability and being deliberate and precise from shooting to editing.

I shoot slide film that is thrown into a computerized machine at A&I Photographic where the images are then scanned at 25megs a piece, then cut and mounted. I get home… place the transparencies on the shelf where i know they will be safe from water damage and earthquakes and insert the disc of scans into my computer. All work is then dropped into Lightroom Beta 1. I back up the stuff on a 500g G-Drive whenever I get paranoid which ends up being about every 2-3 months or so. But since my work is all film, backing up has become a little less mandatory for me. Hell, a crash may even jump start me to be more organized about everything.

I shoot a leica m6 with motordrive with a 28mm summicron and a Mamiya 7II (6x7cm) with the 80mm lens. thats basically it. I rarely use a camera bag because by the time you get the camera out the damn bag the moment is gone. I also have a canon 20D with a 17-40 but that hasn’t been used in eons. I have access to tons of digital equipment but i never use it. i like shooting slides, i like the rangefinder system.

Well since im shooting film and since the Mamiya only carries 10 shots per roll, my workflow is a lot less intense compared to Sean, Matt and Mustafa and probably a little less intense than Rob’s.

Since i have never been good with computers i have never delved into the depths of photoshop or aperture or lightroom. For the guys who are coming home from a shoot with 5,000 RAW images, these softwares are a way of life. For me they are just things to use sparingly.

My editing is minimal, with slides there is no latitude in the film and when you shot it, you either got it or you didn’t. With the tools i have you see what you get and nothing more. if i choose to shoot at 50 ISO i may have that roll of film in my camera for 5 days until it is used. My brian doesn’t think about what I can do in post and i dont shoot anything to fix it later. 90% of everything seen in my images is done in camera with exposure and shutter speed combinations and a decent knowledge of the way my film stock will react. Here is everything in a short list from beginning to end

1. see/feel the opportunity for an image

2. frame up and expose

3. wind the advance and forget about the frame i just shot

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3….36 times on 35mm and 10 times on 6X7

5. drop 4-5 rolls off at the lab

6. wait 24-48 hours

7. pick up film and insert disc of scans into computer

8. minimal edit in lightroom blacks, and saturation tabs.

9. Wrestle with wordpress in sizing and uploading.

Thank you, ill be around for questions or comments

- j

6 Responses to “Workflow #5”

  1. christian Says:

    May 30th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    i like your workflow the most…perhaps because it’s pretty similar to mine.
    the remarks about the archival of your slides and wordpress were hilarious!

  2. Sean Says:

    May 31st, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Jules, best workflow of the week. But getting clients to pay for film is a fking bitch. Wish I could roll like you dog. Shooting film is alot like a rocking a jpg.

  3. Matt Says:

    June 1st, 2008 at 1:04 am

    after rolling in his grave from my workflow, hcb was put back to sleep with yours.

    Good post bro

  4. Dan Says:

    June 2nd, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Great post, particularly liked step 3 and 4 — I think it’s good advice to forget about the frame you just shot, which is obviously a lot easier when shooting film. A few questions: Do you ever record your exposures? Do you just use the Leica meter? And do you tend to set your shutter/aperture combo prior to step 2, or as part of step 2?

  5. Harry Says:

    June 5th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Julius – after reading Matt, Sean, Rob and Mustafah’s workflows and becoming absolutely terrified at my lack of technical knowledge (post processing and me still aren’t friends) it’s somewhat a relief to find someone else who is in a similar boat. I go through a pretty identical process, doing most of my post-pro and editing in lightroom (slight tweaking of neg scans in PS too), though I do my own scans (which I sometimes wish I didn’t). Anyway this series of workflow posts is awesome and very refreshing in a world where many photographers aren’t very willing to share such information in such depth. Keep it up.

  6. Suzan Says:

    June 11th, 2008 at 10:27 am

    That’s a sweet workflow! All about the moment! Not too much headache over equipment – I like that.
    Hope you update your personal blog again soon. Although I dig this blog too – nice and versatile; into the googlereader it goes!