As I write this, it’s Thursday evening and the end of MacWorld is in sight. It’s a good thing too. I’ve lugged my camera gear all over the place and had my camera tugging at my neck for too many days. One of the hard things about this shoot is that I haven’t had a good on-location work area. Instead, I’ve been schlepping everything to and from the hotel every day and doing my best to keep it close. That, however, is what the gig requires and so I should stop whining. Besides, we’re not here to talk about those parts of this shoot. Instead, let’s talk a bit about the workflow side of the equation.
After shooting 2 1/2 days, I’ve shot 910 RAW+JPEG frames which stack up 1820 files taking up 14.5GB of disk space. Following the import workflow I mentioned yesterday, that data is safely tucked away onto two separate drive. One drive’s structure is managed by Aperture as a project and referenced files. The other, however, is organized in a more rudimentary fashion that makes sense given the workflow. Instead of a complicated deep structure, I have a simple folder/subfolder structure to organize the files by the import session. This let’s me see at a glance that I have my files accounted for.
This is how this structure looks like on my backup drive right now:
The number of frames I’ve shot, just under a thousand, is on the low side of average for me at an event shoot like this. I’ve shot many more images in the same timeframe at other events, but at this one, what my client is looking for is pretty defined. In events where the deliverables are less structured, I’ll tend to shoot more.
Out of this batch of images, there are a really high percentage that will get cut immediately as I work my way through the entire set tonight. Probably 10% or so will make it through the first cut. The other 90% will be dropped due to focus problems, light issues, bad expressions on peoples faces, and the random nature of this kind of photography. This cut will probably take me an hour or two since it’s easy to see these kinds of faults.
To speed as fast as possible through this first fast cut, I’ve adopted a few habits to avoid some of Aperture’s slower spots. The first thing I do is hide the viewer. Instead, I work just in the grid view of the project. This lets Aperture do a lot less processing for every RAW file as I work through the shoot. As well, to get a decent view of the images, I crank up the thumbnail size to the max and then I hide everything I can, including the all the panels and toolbars. This lets me see 6 images or so at a time on my 17″ MacBook Pro screen. Typically, I can see enough of each image to make a basic go/no-go decision about it. And, if I need to take a closer look, the Loupe is a quick keystroke away. Here’s what my workspace looks like at this point:
There’s one more thing that I do to help speed things up in this cut. In the view filter widget, I select “Show All…” (Control-6). In the more filtered views, including the default view which shows unrated and better images, Aperture will hide an image you reject. This seems like a nice touch, but the implementation of it is flawed. Sometimes, when you reject an image, Aperture will move the remaining images around a bit and the next selected image will end up scrolling up and just out of full view. This behavior kills the flow of editing. By “Showing All”, I avoid this little glitch and can power through.
After I do this cut, I expect I’ll have a hundred or so images to consider in the next, and more careful edit. These hundred or so images will also tell me if there is anything I’m missing. I’m pretty sure I’ve got everything I need right now, but if I see an obvious hole in my coverage, I’ve still got just a bit of time tomorrow to take a few more shots. Otherwise, I’ll be set to do the second edit tomorrow, as well as one last round of walking the floor to try to score a bit of schwag.