I went to the 2008 Seattle Auto Show this week and grabbed some images with my Panasonic LX3. I am still shooting JPGs since there is no RAW Aperture converter. That said, the LX3 is so good even in JPG mode that I don’t mind.

I wanted to see if I could download, select, adjust, convert to B&W and upload to a web gallery in 25 minutes. I used these photos as a test case. Let’s see what happened.

I shot about 45 images at the show. I wasn’t shooting everything that moved. I tried to make good images that I knew I’d like to keep.

I came back to my office and installed my SanDisk Ultra II 8GB card into the Hoodman USB 2.0 UDMA Reader and in no time, had my images imported into Aperture. I used Aperture’s powerful import feature to caption, keyword and name the images in a way that would make it easy for me to publish them.

Then I used Aperture’s compare and select tools to weed down from 45 images to 14 I really liked. For me, the workflow goes something like this. I hit the “9″ key in Aperture when I get to an image that I know I don’t want to publish. This “rejects” the image, and takes it off the screen. This doesn’t mean I’ve deleted the image. It just means I can’t see it using the standard Aperture search criteria, i.e., unrated or better.

Then I award four or five stars to the remaining images. The five-star images are for sure keepers. The four-star images get a second look before they’re either promoted or rejected outright.

Once I have my final keepers, I make basic exposure adjustments, add some detail using the Definition slider, check to make sure I have details in the highlights and the shadows using the Recovery and Black Point sliders, and make any required Levels adjustments.

Then the fun begins. In this case, I wanted to make all of the images monochromatic. For some reason I find myself really enjoying working in black and white lately.

I used Nik’s amazing Silver Efex Pro plug-in for Aperture to do the conversions. (Nik also makes this for Photoshop.)

One of my favorite Silver Efex Pro features is the ability to bring in and process multiple images at once. I just selected all 14 images in the image browser and then picked IMAGE > EDIT WITH and the Silver EFEX Pro plug-in. All 14 images were loaded into the plug-in interface. Then I used a variety of presets, including both factory and personally created settings to modify each picture. When I had applied the different effects to each image, I selected the SAVE ALL button and the Nik plug-in processed each image according to the presets I had selected. It’s important to note that I used a different preset or combination of presets and small adjustments on each image. Nik sorts all that out for you and applies the corrections accordingly.

When the plug-in was done, I was returned to Aperture where I applied Edge Sharpening to one picture in the group, then using the Lift & Stamp tools, applied the same sharpening to all 13 remaining images.

At this point, all I had left to do was create the gallery. I selected the 14 images I had processed and then picked NEW FROM SELECTION > WEB PAGE. I set my parameters and selected a theme (in this case an add-on theme I got from Jumsoft.com called Aperture Themes Techno.) and clicked on the PUBLISH TO MOBILE ME button. It took Aperture a few minutes to sort, process and upload the project. Here’s the final result on my MobileMe web page.

Elapsed time: 23.5 minutes.

You don’t have to spend a great deal of time fussing with your photos in order to share them. The tools are out there. All it takes is a few good shots, 25 minutes, and you’re ready to show the world your photographic prowess.

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 38 Comments

  1. Wow Scott! I saw these images in your tweet the other day and as I was looking at them, I pictured you taking them with a D3 or D700. I was completely duped!

    Reply
  2. Wow Scott! I saw these images in your tweet the other day and as I was looking at them, I pictured you taking them with a D3 or D700. I was completely duped!

    Reply
  3. @Adam thanks. Proof that a good photographer only needs a good camera – not a great one :)

    Reply
  4. @Adam thanks. Proof that a good photographer only needs a good camera – not a great one :)

    Reply
  5. Exactly! With that said, I really want silver efex pro! On the Nik topic, did you ever review or decide if there are advantages to using Define over Noise Ninja or vise versa?

    Reply
  6. Exactly! With that said, I really want silver efex pro! On the Nik topic, did you ever review or decide if there are advantages to using Define over Noise Ninja or vise versa?

    Reply
  7. I agree with @Adam – Wow, Scott. The B&Ws are wonderful – I particularly liked 1, 2 and 13. The contrast in the B&Ws is great. Do you have any tips on how to create better B&Ws? Everytime I try it in Aperture or Photoshop, I feel that they don’t have the ‘depth’ that makes them interesting (it could be my image as well). They seem to be very grey without the great contrast that you have in yours.

    Thanks.


    Mike

    Reply
  8. I agree with @Adam – Wow, Scott. The B&Ws are wonderful – I particularly liked 1, 2 and 13. The contrast in the B&Ws is great. Do you have any tips on how to create better B&Ws? Everytime I try it in Aperture or Photoshop, I feel that they don’t have the ‘depth’ that makes them interesting (it could be my image as well). They seem to be very grey without the great contrast that you have in yours.

    Thanks.


    Mike

    Reply
  9. This is a terrifically valuable post. I really appreciated learning about your workflow in this situation. As just an active hobby shooter, my primary goal is to get my images into shape for sharing/printing/publishing as quickly and efficiently as possible. Delay between shooting and sharing seems to suck the fun out of it for me. If I don’t share quickly I end up with lots of images that never see the light of day. Forcing myself to learn the Aperture key commands has really sped up this process.

    I use an iWeb “blog” post to talk about each new shoot coupled with an iWeb or Aperture generated gallery to feature the images. I use an iWeb site to unify all my galleries so they can be accessed from one jumping off point. Now that I’ve found a workflow and sharing method I like, I’m slowly posting my work from the last six months or so.

    Show and blog are great. Keep it coming!

    Reply
  10. This is a terrifically valuable post. I really appreciated learning about your workflow in this situation. As just an active hobby shooter, my primary goal is to get my images into shape for sharing/printing/publishing as quickly and efficiently as possible. Delay between shooting and sharing seems to suck the fun out of it for me. If I don’t share quickly I end up with lots of images that never see the light of day. Forcing myself to learn the Aperture key commands has really sped up this process.

    I use an iWeb “blog” post to talk about each new shoot coupled with an iWeb or Aperture generated gallery to feature the images. I use an iWeb site to unify all my galleries so they can be accessed from one jumping off point. Now that I’ve found a workflow and sharing method I like, I’m slowly posting my work from the last six months or so.

    Show and blog are great. Keep it coming!

    Reply
  11. How do you feel the Nik software works in comparison to say, just fiddling around with the colors in apeture/lightroom/photoshop to get the monochrome? Or is it just that it’s an intelligent, automated solution to what can be a tedious problem.

    As a newspaper photographer/reporter a lot of my images will get turned over to black and white and I’m trying to find a quick way to fiddle with things.

    Reply
  12. How do you feel the Nik software works in comparison to say, just fiddling around with the colors in apeture/lightroom/photoshop to get the monochrome? Or is it just that it’s an intelligent, automated solution to what can be a tedious problem.

    As a newspaper photographer/reporter a lot of my images will get turned over to black and white and I’m trying to find a quick way to fiddle with things.

    Reply
  13. A fellow TWIP listener and I were also at the show. I was playing around with my Nikon 50mm lens and Deej was shooting jpg with a Cannon A710is. I think I had better luck shooting in the low light then Deej but I’m impressed with the shots you got with the Panasonic LX3.
    For other readers here is Scot’s web site, http://homepage.mac.com/scottbourne/Seattle%20Auto%20Show/index.html

    Reply
  14. A fellow TWIP listener and I were also at the show. I was playing around with my Nikon 50mm lens and Deej was shooting jpg with a Cannon A710is. I think I had better luck shooting in the low light then Deej but I’m impressed with the shots you got with the Panasonic LX3.
    For other readers here is Scot’s web site, http://homepage.mac.com/scottbourne/Seattle%20Auto%20Show/index.html

    Reply
  15. @Adam I am not convinced there’s a big difference between Noise Ninja and Nik Dfine. If you’re more familiar with the Nik interface, that might be an argument in its favor. They’re both great.

    Reply
  16. @Adam I am not convinced there’s a big difference between Noise Ninja and Nik Dfine. If you’re more familiar with the Nik interface, that might be an argument in its favor. They’re both great.

    Reply
  17. @Michael my advice is simple – get Silver Efex Pro. It’s literally changed the way I think and shoot as a photographer. I’m doing a great deal more in monochrome these days. The prints I get from shots run through that plug in and onto my 3800 are better than ANYTHING I ever did in a wet darkroom.

    Reply
  18. @Michael my advice is simple – get Silver Efex Pro. It’s literally changed the way I think and shoot as a photographer. I’m doing a great deal more in monochrome these days. The prints I get from shots run through that plug in and onto my 3800 are better than ANYTHING I ever did in a wet darkroom.

    Reply
  19. I am wondering why you are not shooting in RAW and using the bundled software to convert the image to JPG.

    I know it is an extra step now, but in the end is it not better to have the RAW images later when Aperture gets it from Panasonic?

    Fantastic images by the way! Never disappoints.

    Reply
  20. I am wondering why you are not shooting in RAW and using the bundled software to convert the image to JPG.

    I know it is an extra step now, but in the end is it not better to have the RAW images later when Aperture gets it from Panasonic?

    Fantastic images by the way! Never disappoints.

    Reply
  21. @Joe I am not interested in adding another step – I can wait until Aperture supports the LX3.

    Reply
  22. @Joe I am not interested in adding another step – I can wait until Aperture supports the LX3.

    Reply
  23. Really like your your photos from the car show. Using MobileMe and iWeb is a great quick way to share an event with others.

    Reply
  24. Really like your your photos from the car show. Using MobileMe and iWeb is a great quick way to share an event with others.

    Reply
  25. That LX3 is wonderful. Those pics are great! I also use the Aperture web gallery function. Its so great to be able to share your stuff so quickly and easily. I will look into the additional templates too, the included list is a bit…drab.

    Reply
  26. That LX3 is wonderful. Those pics are great! I also use the Aperture web gallery function. Its so great to be able to share your stuff so quickly and easily. I will look into the additional templates too, the included list is a bit…drab.

    Reply
  27. Incredibly interesting post. I really liked being able to understand your workflow from start to finish – it helped me to identify some of the features of my personal workflow that are slowing me down.

    Reply
  28. Incredibly interesting post. I really liked being able to understand your workflow from start to finish – it helped me to identify some of the features of my personal workflow that are slowing me down.

    Reply
  29. Scott,
    I think this is great. You have shown how easy the process is and how well the lx3 performs when in good hands.
    Now, I keep hearing of Alex going here and there visiting places most people will never see in their entire lives yet I haven’t seen any of his photos. Where can we find Alex besides geek world pixel corps???
    I want to see the photos of his trips. You, Scott, showed us your bears and boat life in Alaska.
    It would be awesome is Alex took 25 minutes to build a minisite like you just did.
    Thanks for transmitting the message.
    Simon
    ps: Yes I have seen photos of his beautiful family on the mac gallery.

    Reply
  30. Scott,
    I think this is great. You have shown how easy the process is and how well the lx3 performs when in good hands.
    Now, I keep hearing of Alex going here and there visiting places most people will never see in their entire lives yet I haven’t seen any of his photos. Where can we find Alex besides geek world pixel corps???
    I want to see the photos of his trips. You, Scott, showed us your bears and boat life in Alaska.
    It would be awesome is Alex took 25 minutes to build a minisite like you just did.
    Thanks for transmitting the message.
    Simon
    ps: Yes I have seen photos of his beautiful family on the mac gallery.

    Reply
  31. Thanks for sharing.

    Great work flow ethic.

    Reply
  32. Thanks for sharing.

    Great work flow ethic.

    Reply
  33. I did almost the exact same thing at the car show in Toronto in February … ooogle over the Camaro that is… That is one fine piece of machinery!

    Gorgeous photos, and great insight to your workflow – thanks as always!

    Reply
  34. I did almost the exact same thing at the car show in Toronto in February … ooogle over the Camaro that is… That is one fine piece of machinery!

    Gorgeous photos, and great insight to your workflow – thanks as always!

    Reply
  35. i’m starting to get into photography a bit more, mostly so i can take better pix of my kids. i recently picked up the lx3 after listening to you rave about it and wanting to have a really good camera that i can take with me everywhere (can’t do that with hubby’s dslr). but the entry costs to some of these tools is really starting to get to me, esp. in this economy. the lx3 wasn’t too bad since i had a bunch of amazon reward certificates accumulated and it only cost me $150 out of pocket, but ~$160 for aperture (already iphoto is feeling a bit limiting) and now $200 for silver efex and those amazing b/w shots… it’s all getting to be a little much.

    how do you rate aperture’s built in abilities to desaturate images or is this even a really stupid beginner’s question? i’m really *just* getting started here, but want to be able to get great shots of the little ones while they’re still little.

    thanks for all the great tips you have here.

    Reply
  36. i’m starting to get into photography a bit more, mostly so i can take better pix of my kids. i recently picked up the lx3 after listening to you rave about it and wanting to have a really good camera that i can take with me everywhere (can’t do that with hubby’s dslr). but the entry costs to some of these tools is really starting to get to me, esp. in this economy. the lx3 wasn’t too bad since i had a bunch of amazon reward certificates accumulated and it only cost me $150 out of pocket, but ~$160 for aperture (already iphoto is feeling a bit limiting) and now $200 for silver efex and those amazing b/w shots… it’s all getting to be a little much.

    how do you rate aperture’s built in abilities to desaturate images or is this even a really stupid beginner’s question? i’m really *just* getting started here, but want to be able to get great shots of the little ones while they’re still little.

    thanks for all the great tips you have here.

    Reply
  37. @taupecat not really on topic but I’ll answer it. Aperture makes great B&W images. Adding Nik Silver Efex Pro just makes it easier, quicker and a bit more powerful.

    Reply
  38. @taupecat not really on topic but I’ll answer it. Aperture makes great B&W images. Adding Nik Silver Efex Pro just makes it easier, quicker and a bit more powerful.

    Reply

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