For last week’s issue of the Inlander, I photographed brats, beers and schnitzels at Das Stein House for a Oktoberfest story. To read more about Oktoberfest offerings in the inland northwest, go to http://www.inlander.com/spokane/not-the-wurst-off/Content?oid=2367821.
I photographed BATCH Bakeshop, who recently opened a storefront, in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood, for the Inlander. To read more of the story and see a couple more photos, go to http://www.inlander.com/spokane/home-sweet-home/Content?oid=2367824.
This past week, I had the opportunity to photograph the cover and story leads for the Inlander’s dining out issue, annual guide to eating in the inland northwest. With art direction by Chris Bovey, we went with a consistent look that provided an opportunity for me to photograph really clean dishes in a minimal environment.
I used two lights, horizontally facing perpendicular to the camera and slightly at a vertical angle to illuminate the food. Both lights used the same power. I also photographed with my 50mm lens at f/2, in order to get as much blur as possible to create a pleasant look and make certain parts of each dish the focal point. Color backgrounds were picked based on colors that either complemented or contrasted the food being photographed.
Two of the items, the pasta and sushi, were brought to the Inlander’s studio to be photographed. The other two items had to be photographed on location. This meant that I had to control the lighting for the camera out on location to replicate conditions at the studio. I shot with plenty of power at the office. So, I really didn’t have to make too many adjustments on location. It was mostly moving the lights closer to the food to eliminate as much light leak from the environment.
To read the stories for which the food was photographed, go to: http://www.inlander.com/spokane/dining-out-guide/Category?oid=2124754
There was a time when I was certain that an iPad was what I needed for my mobile workflow. It was true for a while. My last Macbook 13″ was bulky and difficult to fit into my camera bag. It also had a rotating drive and I was always paranoid about damaging the HD in some way every time I bumped into something. My iPad was also very compact and I could easily copy photos to it as I was working.
My new Macbook Pro 13″ has an SSD, which is very stable with no rotating parts. It has USB 3 ports and with a USB 3 card reader, I can download hundreds of RAW photos in a few minutes or less. While not lighter than my iPad, it fits in my camera bag very well and is much smaller than my previous Macbook 13″.
But, those aren’t the big reason why I have my laptop with me while leaving my iPad back at the office. The big reason is the workflow. No app on the iPad can come close to the Photo Mechanic. With Photo Mechanic, I can ingest files from my card reader, apply an IPTC stationary template during ingest and immediately start selecting photos to edit. Unlike Bridge or Lightroom, there is no lag in the preview photo images and it is faster than the USB 2 on the iPad.
Once I select the photos I want, I open and do basic edits in Photoshop. I have shortcuts in Photoshop to quickly apply a small amount of unsharp mask and bring up the curves adjustment. I usually only brighten and do minor contrast work. I can edit a photo within a few seconds.
Back in Photo Mechanic, I caption each photo and transmit as I am working. After selecting an initial ftp server or other destination, I can upload to the same destination without bringing up a dialog box each time.
This allows me to ingest, select, edit, caption and transmit photos within minutes. I have tried a similar workflow on my iPad and have found it frustrating, especially when my Macbook Pro can do it much faster. There is also the iPad limiting how large images can be, without interpolation. There are apps that do some of what Photo Mechanic and Photoshop do, but speed is the main issue here. When I am on a critical deadline or shooting sports, those few minutes in time between my Macbook Pro and iPad make a difference.
In a pinch, I can wirelessly transmit photos from my cameras to my iPhone. If I am filing a couple of photos, this can be a good solution. A couple of my cameras have built-in wifi. I use an iUSBPort for my non-wifi cameras. I can attach a USB card reader to the iUSBPort to copy photo files to my iPhone. Also, most of my cameras allow me to convert RAW to JPEG in camera, with adjustments for exposure, white balance and such. Once in my iPhone, I can use Photogene to edit, caption and transmit photos. But, this is for truly critical situations where accessing my laptop in my camera bag would be unreasonable, which is almost never.
So, the current solution for me is a Macbook Pro. My iPad has not seen much daylight lately. I will probably repurpose it for other things, though I’m not sure what I would use it for at this point.
I photographed this piece for an Inlander preview story about Terrain, which will be held tonight. http://www.inlander.com/spokane/the-next-era/Content?oid=2361069
I photographed Spokane’s new Riverkeeper, Jerry White, for Jacob Jones’ cover story in the Inlander this week. http://www.inlander.com/spokane/troubled-waters/Content?oid=2361935
This photo I took 5 years ago for the Inlander always reminds me of this time of the year, after harvest has been completed in the Palouse.