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Author Topic: what is the average time spent photoshoping an image?  (Read 3168 times)
Aristoc
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« on: January 04, 2011, 10:51:51 AM »
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I was wondering what your average time is spent photoshopping a landscape image using PS ?
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langier
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 11:05:21 AM »
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This week, using my P&S to shoot some weather pix, I spent maybe two to three minutes dodging and burning on one print, including opening through ACR. It seemed that the printer took more time to print it than it did to craft the image properly for output, including the black-and-white conversion.

Sometimes, it takes several days and multiple takes to "develop" an image; other days, it's aced at the release of the shutter.

So, depending upon your image, it can push-and-print and the printer is the time hog and other times that an image may require 8-12 layers of burning, dodging, refining, HDR, black-and-white conversion, and another round of burning and dodging.

A range for me can be from say two minutes, including opening through ACR to hitting the print button to an hour or more and spaced over several sessions to fine tune and carefully craft an image. Sometimes it take revisiting an image months or years later from raw to paper to get it right, just like Ansel Adams would take an image made years or decades before and then coax a masterpiece from an old plate or negative using the result of his years of craft.

No mater what, it all starts with a vision before the image capture where you see the end result. Whether your skill can achieve that vision or not is depending upon your ability to properly craft the image. With a high level of skill, it may take minutes, with lesser skill, it may not be ready for prime time until months or years later.

Of course, YRMV....
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Larry Angier
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 01:08:41 PM »
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I'm slow and a complete perfectionist, I have NEVER completed an image, I still revisit old images and see if I can make them better!!!  Sad
I've always wondered about that exact question, I'll get an image completed in 10-15 minutes and print it, but I have yet to ever be satisfied with the first print.  On top of that, there's always a better scanner (if using negatives / slides), better software and better printers, so I believe my images can always be improved.

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NikoJorj
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 04:11:02 AM »
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Hard to tell exactly, but I know for sure I need a few times less while lightrooming them.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 04:30:04 AM »
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Hard to tell exactly, but I know for sure I need a few times less while lightrooming them.

Another LR guy. Usually 4 or 5 minutes at most.
1 in 10 goes to PS for a couple of minutes.
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thierrylegros396
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 05:38:02 AM »
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About 1-2 minutes with my new PC (SSD disk), calibrated cameras, and LR3.

But I can spend a lot of time with CS5 if the Photo worth it.

Thierry
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 06:49:51 AM »
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Are you talking about total post-processing time including WB, clarity etc adjustments that I would spend a minute or to doing in phocus?

How much time you need to spend on an image depends how good the original l file was, and how big you want to print it...

...and what about DOF merge, HDR...?

If I was hoping to sell 1,000 24 * 36" prints for 500 each I might spend a week on it, if it needed it!
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sniper
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 07:26:00 AM »
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Theres no definitive answer I'm afraid, it will depend on what your doing with an image. 
A simple colour and exposure ajustment may take a minute or so, but if your cloning and burning/dodging, and maybe cutting things out and swopping stuff around it could take anything from minutes to hours to days depending on the scale of the task and customers requirments,
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2011, 08:05:16 AM »
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Long enough to clean up anything that I could not do in LR.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2011, 09:51:04 AM »
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Long enough to clean up anything that I could not do in LR.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2011, 10:33:24 AM »
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Long enough to clean up anything that I could not do in LR.

I use PS only very, very sparingly.  Lightroom does it all - for me.

For every 1,000 "keepers" across all my work, I probably go to photoshop 1-5 times.

I will probably never upgrade from CS4 to CS5.
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ronkruger
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2011, 12:31:34 PM »
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If the shot is important, I may spend hours waiting for the right light, trying different lenses, angles, multiple exposures etc. at time of capture. Then I spend more time with the initial edit choosing the best image of the bunch than on actual PP of the image selected. Despite the power of modern PP softwares, I still think the best place to concentrate your time and effort is in the moment of capture.
I suspect my average PP per image is a minute or two, and I do the vast majority of that in ACDSee with one click conversions and edits. I've used PhotoShop for many years, but these days I only go to it for blending and such on special projects.
"Garbage in--garbage out," is an exaggeration, but there is some truth to it.
I probably should qualify this by stating that I shoot for print publications, where manipulated images are frowned upon. Doesn't matter if prints are all you do.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 12:36:41 PM by ronkruger » Logged

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2011, 04:17:24 PM »
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I would say that the real test is those images that represent you. Those you deliver to important customers, those you decide to select for a key exhibit, those you give to your close family members of friends,...

As far as I am concerned, the time spent to fine tune such an image is rarely shorter than one hour, sometimes a lot more:
- selection of images set with best potential
- global adjustements in raw processor and generation of 16 bits tiffs
- stitching
- final cropping
- final check/removal of sensor dust
- usage of some PS plug-ins
- local adjustements
- storage of image master
- print out color space adjustements
- final sharpening
- test prints at small size to validate color
- one test print at target print size (often good enough to be used)

The funny thing is that the stitching portion typically only represents a few % of the total time spent on these top images.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2011, 07:39:41 PM »
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From several minutes to several weeks (this refers to post-procesing, be it Photoshop or Lightroom)
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Slobodan

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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2011, 03:49:37 AM »
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The funny thing is that the stitching portion typically only represents a few % of the total time spent on these top images.

Cheers,
Bernard

I think that if you stitch a hundred 300Mb files it would take longer, unless you have a very fast computer.
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Aristoc
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2011, 07:27:20 AM »
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thanks for the replies, I was interested in knowing the range of styles out there really. Would be nice to see a youtube video of someone actually working on a print (not a tutorial) just working on  print from start to the finish.

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dmerger
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2011, 10:37:00 AM »
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Here you go: http://craftingphotographs.com/2009/11/12/examples-the-making-of-a-photograph-mono-lake-sunrise/
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2011, 11:51:37 AM »
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Rich Seiling is a master at printing and isn't that bad of photographer, too!

The prints from his company, WCi, are superb!

If I didn't already have my own system and printers, I'd probably have them craft my work.

All in all, crafting the best photo starts before even setting up to capture the photo with visualization then getting the best image capture you can, on film or silicon. From there, it can take but a little push of a slider and take seconds before the print is produced, or it can take hours and days over a period of weeks, month or years. Every image is different, but luck will favor the prepared and give you a great image with little effort to shoot and craft on rare occasion, just to keep you going!
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Larry Angier
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Colortrails
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2011, 11:53:46 AM »
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This is sort of like asking "what's the average time spent cooking a recipe"? Even if you could arrive at an answer, it wouldn't help much with any one recipe. Also how long it takes depends on how well-versed you are with the software's features. The same 10 steps might take one person 35 minutes and another 10 minutes. Wink

A more helpful bit of info would be what are the most commonly used adjustments and in what order, for example. For me the usual process for shots that I do not intend any special styling or effects:

1. Process raw files in Lightroom (typically Crop > Spot removal > Basic > Curve > HSL > Details > and Lens Correction if there's obvious distortion or CA)

2. Add necessary adjustment layers or Smart Object layers in Photoshop (typically a localized Curve tweak using a mask, Shadows/Highlights, small retouching tweaks with Patch/Heal/Clone, and resizing for print or in Save For Web)

3. Add tweaks to Metadata if needed (File Info) and save versions as necessary (if I need one with layers, one flat, etc)

That whole process can take me 15-20 minutes depending on how many flaws there are in the image.

Occasionally I'll add in more niche corrections like using Content-Aware Fill or Scale, Transforms for perspective correction, Lens Correction and Lens Blur for DOF styling. Since every shot has different lighting, angles, and differences in the distracting details that should be removed, the timing per image can vary quite a bit. Then there are the images that get interrupted by phone calls, emails, etc. Smiley
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 12:04:41 PM by Colortrails » Logged

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Aristoc
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2011, 12:13:54 PM »
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From what I have been reading, no one has said that you can spend too much time on a photo. And that's good because I thought I might be over doing it. Of course for me, it may take even more time because I am less familiar with the software.
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