Will Work for Images?

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La-Bandita-11OCT09-9992

   I have a predicament, but you may be able to help me solve it. For the past 3 years, I've been shooting RAW images, and for almost that long, I've been tagging them with metadata such as keywords to make it much easier for anyone (including me) to find what they're looking for.

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   In that length of time, I've shot tens of thousands of images per year, but as you can see on my Zenfolio site, I've only processed and tagged a couple thousand of them.

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   Here's why: I've found that if I spend 8 hours on a photo shoot, I'll likely spend 10-12 hours converting them from RAW to jpg and tagging them with metadata.

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   It's hard enough to get away and shoot for a few days, but when I return home, things are usually piled up to the point that it's completely impossible to find several more days to process the images.

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   I've come to the realization recently that at this rate, I'll get to the end of my career with over a million excellent images that are no good to me or anyone else because they've never been processed. Depressing, eh?

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   So here's what I'm proposing: I've spent the money and the time to go across the country and abroad to collect these images, and I sort out the good ones from the not-so-good. If you'll spend the time to process some of the good ones, you will have spent a little more time than me, but possibly no money (if you have the software already.) So I shoot and sort, you tag & process, and we both get the images. Cool, eh?

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   You can do anything you want with the images except sell or give them to anyone else. Use them in books, reports, graphics, research, whatever. Here's the fine print… it's short, and written in plain English, so be sure to read it.

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   The sample images in this post are some of my recent work, so these are the sorts of images you're likely to find in the ones you process: great places and the architecture within them, populated with interesting people. Please note that these are only shots from a few towns on a single trip to Italy last fall, not a "best-of-the-best."

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   If you're interested, email me to let me know. I'll soon be adding a list of shoots to the end of this post, so you can see what you have to choose from. I'll also send you a RAW conversion procedure and a metadata tagging procedure so you'll know exactly what to do.

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   What's the software? You'll need Photo Mechanic to tag the images. It's a relatively inexpensive app that's used by newspapers all across the country. I researched all the available apps when I first got started tagging, and it was by far the cleanest and fastest.

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   You'll also need PhotoShop CS5 to convert from RAW. Why CS5? Because Adobe has significantly improved the RAW conversion capabilities since earlier versions, so you can't do some of the things I'll be asking you to without it.

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   You can take as much or as little work as you like. Because I'm crowd-sourcing this work, I'm confident there will eventually be enough volunteers to get it all done. Thanks for considering this, and let me know!

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   ~Steve Mouzon


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