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7 Comments

Sports Photographer Workflow

Working as a sports photographer, speed and efficiency is key to process and submit photos for your agency and the online world. Here are the steps I need to execute in the quickest, most efficient way possible:

  • Detect memory card, save photos onto disk in the background while applying a metadata preset (keywords, author, copyright, location etc.)
  • Allow for reviewing and selecting candidate photos (while the copy process is still ongoing) using tools to compare several candidates, checking sharpness and details (i.e. Zooming etc.)
  • Filter on the candidate photos and apply a basic editing preset
  • Fine tune the candidate photos (most of the time, only cropping and sharpening is required)
  • Add detailed descriptions to the candidate photos. An interface that allows for zooming into the photo (to see jersey numbers or faces) while adding the description is key. Also an assistive system that adds player names when entering a number would be helpful, although not required since this is also possible through integration with existing text expander solutions.
  • Sending out selected photos to the agency (SFTP/FTP is key for me) using a template for file naming conventions
  • Marking photos which have been sent so that they are easily recognizable

As a benchmark, I need to review about 80 to 100 photos, prepare about 10 using the steps above and all that within 12 minutes. Lightroom does a great job feature wise, but is not fast enough. PhotoMechanic offers decent speed but requires Photoshop for editing and does not have a powerful interface.

I’d be glad to provide further details and test drive innovative concepts.

7 comments on “Sports Photographer Workflow”

  1. On July 11, 2016 at 9:27 am Dan Harlacher wrote:

    Most of this will be available in the fall. FTP is something we will have to think about for the future.

  2. On July 16, 2016 at 1:16 pm David Rawcliffe wrote:

    Dan please consider including an FTP module, something that will also mark the image up once it’s been successfully delivered. The beauty of Aperture is I don’t have to leave the App to do anything other than send the image. If Photo RAW can replicate Aperture’s strength in photo management and IPTC support and add a managed FTP module I’m completely sold!

  3. On October 25, 2016 at 10:09 am ruben.olsen@gmail.com wrote:

    I shoot concert and festival photos where the promoter need to publish photos in between gigs.

    Very often I have less than 30 minutes between gigs to select photos, do some minor colour corrections/sharpening, resize and publish on social media. Part of the workflow that Dennis have, is comparable to what I do.

    I do not need the ftp/sftp/publish-to-whereever functionality as I am using (my own) external software that does these things automatically by monitoring an certain folder where ready-do-publish images are put.

  4. On December 23, 2016 at 9:55 am roblinda204@gmail.com wrote:

    I was really hoping to see metadata preset capability. Dan’s comment above says most of this will be available in the fall release which is now out. I can’t find it – am I just missing it, or did it not make the 12/19 release?

  5. On March 3, 2018 at 8:36 pm Magnus Wilson wrote:

    Yes, please. Anything that can significantly speed up the culling process is high on the list. As I try my ways to find a quick and speedy workflow (for BOTH professional and personal situations), PR cannot by far match the speed of LR.

    Top of my wishlist is that PR looks at the functionality of Dual-screens with a focus on a better INTEGRATED “Browse+Develop” functionality (faster and user-configurable, allowing for tuning your workflow as your needs and skills grow). I don’t think I’m the only one where the culling process is a step-wise process of compare, select, and action, to hash out the best photos. In this process, handling MULTIPLE photos is KEY, whether it is handling meta-data or synching white-balance, noise, and tonal settings.

    I basically follow the same workflow, but for me (still being a semi-professional, working on my photographic skills), the CROP feature is more important than FTP, and essential in my culling process to finally rule out which photos to discard, what photos are sure keeps, and the ones that have other potential values, like sentimental or just a memorable occasion which can be dealt with later. Having to switch between Browse and Develop mode ADDS approx SIX seconds of waiting time EVERY time you switch to Develop plus THREE seconds coming back to Browse. These NINE seconds are by far the biggest reason stopping me from using PR stand-alone. In a batch of 500 photos, I can EASILY add up to ONE HOUR of just waiting-time!

    As a benchmark, compared to LR (on my machine), PR is at least twice as slow in this integrated process. To me, PR really has the potential of becoming the one-tool solution but is still too slow to be practical for me. Instead, I end up worrying about having a growing bunch of unprocessed photos, actually keeping me from photographing, experimenting and learning. So, currently, I’m frustrated by seeing the enormous potential of PR, but not being able to switch due to practical (time) reasons.

  6. On December 18, 2018 at 11:45 am Rui Leal wrote:

    +1 Completely agree with everyone else.

    PR2019 is going in the right direction but for us professionals is not there yet to completely abolish LR, too much waiting time clicking and waiting than effective working on images.

    Here are some things that came into my mind regarding this matter: Give us HSL on Develop module, double click on top of buttons to reset them to original default state, WB selector with zoom so we know what we are sampling, remove the filters on/off options (this should be on all the time) and add it to the develop module like it is at bottom of Browse, sync individual settings across multiple photos (like just WB or Exposure or Blacks or Sharpening or Noise Reduction) not a sync all it’s not very useful the same applied to copy, much better noise reduction and sharpening, export to a secondary folder, export to FTP (as said before), shortcuts to Export functions like cmd+E, very needed export in the background to free the app to other things and make it as default export with shortcut too cmd+shift+E, clipping toggles on/off separated white from black not together as it is, a much visually better Histogram (Levels), workflow space save option, movable and configurable panels like new LR Classic 8.1, improve crop to to allow moving inside the grid lines instead of just the outside margins and a sticky default option instead of having always the free transform as per default, MIDI support for external devices, layout to assign and save keyboard shortcuts to functions and menu options, remove icons Browse, Edit, Layers, Pano, HDR and Focus from the right side and put them on top of Nav,Levels,Info and Resize, Share and Export move them to bottom next to Reset All and Sync to gain more space on small laptops. The same could be made on the left side on the browse module move icons Open Desktop, Open Pic Folder, See You Catalog, Local Drive, Cloud and Albums moved to the top where On1 logo is (the logo could be moved to the center of the app with the possibility of having a user logo implemented instead) and the 2 bottom left side icons could be removed (since they already exit under a menu selection option) or could be moved to the bottom next after Show/Hide Left Panel icon. This would create a much bigger workflow area for smaller screens.

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