Workflow secrets of David Sifry (the photographer)

Sifry

Most people know David Sifry as the serial entrepreneur who founded the blog search engine Technorati, but during a recent weekend I learned that he is also an accomplished photographer.

The above photo of David is by another friend, Loic Le Meur and the below photo was taken by David during the weekend at Martin Varsavsky’s farm, Torrenova, in Menorca.
Torrenovagroup2

Not only was I impressed with David’s photographs and his determination to carry around a tripod and other equipment, but also the workflow he uses for dealing with huge numbers of large digital images. What follows is technical, but could prove useful to others.

In terms of equipment, David uses a basalt tripod that is light, but very steady. The main lens for his Canon EOS 5D is a 70-200 zoom with a maximum aperture of 2.8.

Shooting only in RAW (the largest size files), he downloads images into a portable 160 GB LaCie drive that he always carries. He has a back-up system when he gets home.

The images are imported into iView Media Pro, which allows for quick navigation to compare which image is best (If you type Apple / you can compare three images at once.) Instead of deleting files (he does not believe in deleting) David types cntrl-3 to rate a photo as having 3-stars. At the end of the process, he can ask the program to only show photos with 3 stars.

Those he likes are then opened up in Photoshop CS3 where he fiddles with light balance, exposure, contrast and sharpening (zooming in to see grain) as well as luminance to give better skintone. Once the settings are good for one photo, he applies all the changes to photos taken in the same session. This makes for very fast adjustment to a large number of photos.

At that point he uploads the images to Flickr and uses Quicksilver to save digital negatives for those he wants to print (using a $300 Canon i9900 printer).

Another program he is considering is Adobe’s Light Room instead of iView Media Pro.

Any further suggestions for digital photo workflow are very welcome!!

UPDATE: Dave posted corrections/additions in a comment below.

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3 responses to “Workflow secrets of David Sifry (the photographer)

  1. Thomas,

    A few corrections:

    1) I use a bunch of different lenses, and the 70-200 f.28 is not one that I use the most (although it is the one used in Loic’s picture above). I’d say that I probably use the 50mm f1.4 the most, then the 85mm f1.8, 16-35mm f2.8 zoom for wide angle shots. I have a 24mm f1.4 lens for low light wide angle shots as well.

    2) You can view up to 4 pictures side by side using Apple-/ in iView Media Pro

    3) You can rate pictures using cntrl-0 through cntrl-5 to give them 0 through 5 stars.

    4) Quicksilver is a great productivity tool, but it doesn’t upload pix to Flickr – for that I use the flickr uploadr. You can get it here: http://www.flickr.com/tools/

    Great seeing you in Zaragosa and Menorca!

    Dave

  2. Thomas, Un petit message en français
    Tiens !!!

    “Un évènement 100% virtuel pour des opportunités 100% réelles!” Près de 700 entretiens d’embauche se dérouleront les 19, 20 et 21 juin sur Second Life, ce monde virtuel sur le Web. Du côté des recruteurs, cinq des plus grandes entreprises françaises sont au rendez-vous: Alstom, Areva, Capgemini, L’Oréal et Unilog.

    Point commun entre les cinq firmes: un fort besoin de recrutement. Alstom table notamment sur 9000 embauches en 2007. “On veut ouvrir le champ d’investigation du recrutement, précise Corinne Descours, responsable de la communication d’Areva. Si on cherche des jeunes innovants, il faut utiliser leurs outils.” La méthode change donc, mais pas les profils recherchés. Directeur des ressources humaines de Capgemini France, Bruno Dumas s’explique:

    Les candidats intéressés doivent d’abord envoyer leur candidature sur le site Neo Job-Meeting avant le 11 juin. Et les 700 profils sélectionnés auront ensuite accès à l’île ouverte sur Second Life. Organisatrice de l’évènement, l’agence de publicité TMP Neo les recevra dans son QG virtuel, avant de les orienter vers les différents bureaux de recrutement. L’heure sera alors à un entretien d’une vingtaine de minutes.

    Autre originalité: l’écrit. Dans Second Life, toutes les conversations se déroulent par chat. L’écriture abrégée sera cependant bannie et les recruteurs pixellisés, dont Bruno Dumas, y veilleront:

    C’est une première en France, mais un précédant vient d’avoir lieu aux Etats-Unis. Devant l’enthousiasme suscité par l’opération, celle-ci pourrait être renouvelée, selon Thomas Delorme, responsable de la stratégie interactive de TPM Neo:

    Internet, également un bon moyen de faire reculer les discriminations à l’embauche? Pas tout à fait. Si la sélection s’opérera principalement par écrans interposés, la signature du contrat définitif aura lieu après un ultime entretien, de visu cette fois. Il reste toujours du réel même dans un monde virtuel.”

    http://rue89.com/2007/05/31/bienvenue-dans-le-recrutement-2-0-sur-second-life

    Bonne idee, non ???

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