Four and a half years ago, I posted what’s below, but I hadn’t figured out all the moving parts. Since then, I’ve put the missing pieces together. Here’s the bottom line: do you have any interest in processing and tagging images in exchange for the use of those images? If so, read on…
I have a predicament, but you may be able to help me solve it. For over 7 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.
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 few thousand of them.
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.
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.
I've come to the realization recently that at this rate, I’m likely to 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?
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?
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.
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 in 2011, not a "best-of-the-best."
If you're interested, please let me know. I’ve added 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 workflow for image processing and metadata tagging so you'll know exactly what to do. And if you’re primarily a visual person, you can just do the image processing; if you’re a bigger fan of words, you can do just the metadata. The only trick is that if you only do one but want the complete tagged and processed images, you’ll need to wait for someone else to do the other half.
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.
You'll also need PhotoShop CS5 or later 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.
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!
Scroll down for the list of shoots. Click on a shoot, and it will open an email to me. The image count is for all images… the 3-5 stars will need the most attention; you don’t need to do much with the 1-2 stars. Please let me know in the email if you have any questions… and thanks so much!
Let’s start with Normandy:
I also have shoots from the following places that I’d really like to do, but don’t have them quite ready for you yet. Please click on ones you’re interersted in and let me know, and I’ll put them at the top of the list.
Belize: San Pedro
Greece: Athens (Acropolis only from a distance, as workers were on strike)
Italy: Alberobello (the best town for trulli - the stone houses with conical roofs), Bologna, Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Florence, La Bandita, Parma, Pienza, Rome (many shoots to choose from; I’ll organize by category), Sabbionetta, Siena, Venice
South Africa: Cape Town
UK: London (like Rome, I’ll organize by category)
Alabama: Eufaula, Florence, Gorham’s Bluff, Huntsville (several shoots, including Providence), Montgomery (Hampstead), Mount Laurel (night shots), Pike Road (The Waters), Sheffield, Tuscaloosa (several shoots)
Florida: Alys Beach, Atlantic Beach, Bradenton Beach, Celebration, Defuniak Springs, Disney World, Draper Lake, Fernandina Beach, Key West (several shoots), Miami Beach (many shoots to choose from), Orlando, Palm Beach, Rosemary Beach, Rotonda West, Sarasota, Seaside, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Windsor, Winter Park (several shoots)
Illinois: Chicago (several shoots)
Missouri: St. Louis
Nevada: Las Vegas
New Mexico: Albuquerque
North Carolina: Wilmington
Oklahoma: Carlton Landing
Oregon: Portland (several shoots)
Utah: Salt Lake City
Washington DC (many shoots)