Week 1 / Project 2
Photography FRESH START
Week 1 / Project 2
Welcome to our second Fresh Start project / video.
Your Action Items for this Week are simple:
- Leave a comment below with which 1 or 2 items I mention in the video that resonated with you.
- Feel free to add something that you’ve found occupies too much of your time and takes you away from shooting or editing.
- Link to the software (Fast Raw Viewer) I mention in the video (https://www.fastrawviewer.com/download)
Week #1 / Project #2 – 7-ish Things to STOP Worrying About
This video is more about the things we do on the computer and while editing our photos. I’ve gathered a list over the years of things that I believe people worry too much about. These things can actually take us away from the stuff that will actually help you make or edit a great photo. My hope is to get you to not worry about some of the items I cover in the video, and start concentrating on actionable tasks that will move you to better photography (shooting, editing, creativity).
And to help keep you engaged and accountable, the web page allows comments for you to share which ones resonated with you the most, in hopes to generate a good discussion around the topic.
Great video. I especially agree with buying new computer programs. I have some that I still haven’t figured out how to use because I feel I never have enough time to figure them out. This leads me to my other “issue”…perfectionism. It’s never going to be perfect, is it? Sigh…..
I worry about not having photos that are unique or dynamic enough to share, especially when I look at some of the other photos available on social media.
As you can see from the date – perfectionism and procrastination has been a real stumbling block. Brilliantly succinct challenge form you. Also letting go of the old stuff, and starting fresh form here is a big burden lifted. Great video. Thanks Matt.
All were helpful, my top two were Color Space and Perfectionism.
I guess that perfectionism is the place that causes me the most problems or concerns. When I think about the other issues, for me it all relates back to perfectionism it seems to keep me from moving forward and doing the things I enjoy the most. I know that I am able to give myself “permission” to do things, but it’s hard to explain it’s best to hear it from someone else, someone you trust … it just gives me a sense of freedom – exhilaration!
I’ve wondered about colorspace. sRGB it is for online and AdobeRGB if printing. I used to do monitor calibration years ago pre-LCD monitors but haven’t in awhile, was feeling a bit guilty about it, and now I won’t worry! Also happy you told people to stop worrying about RAID and NAS unless they’re IT people and want to! That’s for enterprises who need continuous uptime! Regular scheduled backups to another local hard drive + an automated cloud service are more than enough for most people.
I needed to hear this! Managing my photos and hard drives has put me off getting out more as I keep thinking I need to get organised first. So yesterday I went out took about 25 photos, got home and selected nine tweaked them and uploaded them on my Facebook and Instagram page. My goal now is to do this every month (potentially with a theme) just to get out there.
Wonderful series, Matt! Most beneficial tip in your video #2 was to stop spending so much time over managing my photos. I truly have been spending too much time doing this and plan to purchase Fast Raw Viewer that you mentioned in your video. I also plan to clean up my Lightroom Catalogue – I have been putting way too many there and then they sit because I don’t have the time to edit them all nor do I want to. Also I agree that many like me spend way too much time worrying about what the proper workflow is. I have found that I have a semi regular workflow but that I change it up depending on the photo I’m editing. Nice to know that it’s ok to stop worrying about this. Thanks, Matt, for this excellent series!
Great video! I agree with every single point, but the last one (Perfection) definitely resonated the most. Another tip related to perfection is “soak time”. Don’t try to do everything at once. Sometimes one (or at least I) need some time to let a photo sit and come back to it with a fresh perspective. Fiddling for too long on one image is something I try to use as a warning that I need to put that one aside and possibly come back to it later. Thank you!
That was the best video I’ve heard in a long time. I get so stressed about all those things I just hardly want to shoot anymore. That really releases me from all that “ stuff. “. Thank you so much.
Thank you for these ‘tips’, they are appreciated. My take aways, and plans to change, are:
Use of colour space – I kept seeing differing views on ProPhoto vs sRGB and getting confused in the process.
Screen calibration – Mine looks ok to me and the printed output seems to match but people keep saying I need to calibrate my screen so thank you
Aiming for perfection and having procrastination!
Should the Prophoto color space be used when you send a pic from LR to Photoshop?
You make some really good points here, Matt. With regard to #5, I realize I need to delete more photos rather than keeping them all and save some money buying software. I deleted software that kept being upgraded at a cost for “new” and seemed to be a duplicate of one I used regularly. Now LR and PS are the basis of my workflow. I upload to a new folder via Bridge and then import to LR to edit. Any further edits are done in PS but only the 5 stars -rated in LR first. That helped me go through the last year’s 254 shoots a lot faster than if I had not included that in the initial workflow. Also, I found I need to be more discerning in adding new education courses to my computer as I still have a number I purchased that I have not had time to complete. I find “doing” is a better form of learning that just reading.
I believe looking for the perfect software and perfection is my weaknesses. Sometimes I am not exactly sure where to start with something
Thanks Matt, this was great info. I learned something from each item you presented but the one that resonated the most for me was the last – perfection.
I absolutely suffer from this issue and it does exactly what you said and prevents me from getting out there and shooting. It also is a stopping point for my post-processing work as well as printing. So thanks again.
My new goal for 2022 is to let go of the perfection I put on myself and to just explore more and enjoy!
Thanks Matt. Sorry for the late start but I enjoyed the video. What resonated with me was striving for Perfection and trying to over manage images.
Great food for thought and getting perspective on unnecessary time-stealers! Perfection and workflow resonated the most. My priorities for 2022 are to strive to as much as possible “always carry a camera”, simplifying my editing process, and publishing the results, be it in photo books, prints, or online!
Can’t thank you enough for this… it was liberating BUT I still have 3 issues: I work on a high grade laptop.
1) Calibration– I used to calibrate. Then upgraded computer to one that said that was not necessary. Problem is: there is a color shift from my submitted images to projection/competition entries from my screen to theirs!
2) Drives: I have too many main drives “crash”; at one point lost a years worth of work!! I try to manually back up new work to a 2nd back up drive but don’t always get it done in a timely fashion. Have researched RAID but am too confused. Is there a “sync” program that you’d recommend?
3) Software: I am really struggling with the new LR masking tools! I bought your course and related presets but my experience is that those presets effect the whole image. Where do I find “brush” presets?
I am a loyal and grateful follower of yours and have recommended you to several colleagues. I would buy more of your “brush” presets if I could figure out how to use them
Perfectionism is mine. Everything has to be perfect and if it is not so, I become paralyzed. I work 6 days a week, and then there is family time. So when I do go out, it has to be perfect. Which keeps from trying and going out. My wife tells me my pictures are great. But, we have been married for 41 years, so her views are suspect, so would never tell me they were bad. (I love her)
My biggest problem is chasing the next best software and actually undermanaging my photos. I have to many bad photos that are mixed in with my good photos. Need to spend a few days to clean up my hard drive and remove what I will never use or view again. One other issue I have is subscribing to too many photography websites. I get way too many emails. Time for me to unsubscribe to some BUT not you Matt. Great discussion.
Matt, another great informative video of which I am very appreciative. The thing that struck home with me the most is the need to backup. They say that a hard disk will fail at some time. Definitely not IF but WHEN is a phrase that sticks with me, and I have at least three dead HD along with many photos.
Actually, I don’t worry about a lot of these having already removed them from how I deal with photos. I’ve wanted to calibrate for years, but since it was never important to do it before, I’ve “cured” myself of that hangup by now. My biggest goal for 2022 is making sure I take the time to cull and rate photos prior to editing – which means improving that initial “ingest” process (I won’t call it “workflow” – ha!). Thanks for the pointer to Fast Raw Viewer!
100% agree with #8, perfection leads to procrastination. I will now just go out and shoot
oh my – so all of them at some time has caused me to pause and waste time but I feel the top two that resonated would be perfectionism (causing procrastination….yep!) this is my downfall for sure – to the point of me thinking that I cant do something perfectly may as well not do it at all… and the second would be photo management – I copy images from one place to another in the hope that it is both backed up and saved and I really do end up with 4 or 5 copies of crappy photos that really need or should be be deleted anyway! Real world struggles hey 🙂
I feel the same way about saving the pictures. Thanks to continuous shooting, you have a lot of bad photos ready to go, which are then also saved.
It’s best to take your time and pick out the good ones first and then save the rest. Should…. I’m holding my own nose.
Great points and I worried about each of the 7. Thank you for simplifying my life and confirming some of my keep it simple decisions. I passed through all of them and at time felt I was going OCD. I finally just threw my hands up and decided I was getting too caught up in things that weren’t really getting my photography to a better place.
Matt, this lesson was pure gold!!! Thank you. All points resonated with me.
I’d have to admit that just about all of the tips/advice that have been highlighted were helpful and hopefully, most importantly, FREEING!
Thanks for pointing out things that we spend was too much time on – for me it’s perfection. I keep looking at a photo and tweaking it for too long. Just make it good and let it go. Another one not mentioned here is – deleting bad photos. I don’t delete many, thinking I may want to come back to some and change something to make them not so bad. I never do – so might as well delete it.
The biggest value that I get out of monitor calibration is getting closer to the proper brightness level so that my photos print is closer to what I see on the screen. I find that it is sometimes helpful to reprocess an image when I have learned some techniques that improve the image. I find that in bird photography it is challenging to review a large number of images.
FRESH START WEEK-1 PROJ-2, 8 WORRIES.
My major worry that has not been addressed, is the nightmare of Managing My Situation. I don’t really worry about most of the others since I believe in the KISS principal. I have a one not fancy DSLR camera & “only” one lens (18-270; a wider angle could be nice). I don’t Calibrate, I sample before my printing (*) but books submitted for printing came out too dark.
Start photographing a few years ago, I figured that my time is much more precious than the extremely cheap resources nowadays. Therefore, most of their volume Therefore, most of the volume of old / active computer 2+3 TB FULL disks should have been dumped: tons of law quality (technical, composition…); redundancy: continuous exposures, bracketing, and an overwhelming # of copies and versions of photos & PS files. A huge number of large, physical collections (shows, competitions…) resulting in as many as 40…copies of most of the huge number of my “good” photos. “Cleaning these is not realistic.
I hardly used my “new” computer (almost out of warranty) being determined to avoid these disasters. PLAN: subscribe to Adobe PS/LR (**), consistently Clean new shoots, Catalog in Lightroom, create Virtual Collections, and Use Keys. I was warned it will be unmanageable using LR before acquiring a good understand of it’s use and options. Also, I can’ figure out how to catalog the great majority of my typical photos (abstracts) – that can’t be divided to groups/subjects -besides using dates (what isn’t very meaningful).
(**) Current LR & PS are dramatically different from what I used. Even many years of LR experience seems insufficient to many. I feel lost & intimidated not knowing where and how to start.
(*) LARGE FILE SIZES for printing a lot (single & group shows, mine and other’s walls), as big as 17”x50” at 300ppi (240 & 180 work for some). I process in PS (CS5!): using a lot of layers & precise masks (my little use of LR3 WAS too messy). Results: humongous files. (photoshop is a modern form of “slavery” …).
This was a great list but what spoke to me the most…..perfection and workflow. Perfection does hold me back because I think my shots are not perfect leading me to not want to shoot to gain experience and then not wanting to put myself out there for people to see. I have been posting photos more to get past this block. Workflow, I have struggled with this, and now trying to do small minor edits first before and major ones and seeing how it looks.
I love going out with my camera but don’t enjoy editing, but without it my photos can’t compete with the way other people make them look.
Makes me feel deflated. Feel pressurised to improve my editing skills but I’m going to give it a try
The message overall to not worry and spend more time being creative taking pictures and editing is helpful. The two points that impacted me the most were #5-managing photos as certainly trying to manage thousands of images is ridiculous and exhausting. The second area that hit home was #8-and to not worry about doing everything perfect. In order to grow, learn and develop I am choosing to stop procrastinating and not be limited by this unhealthy way of thinking.Thanks for lesson 🙂
Matt, this was a great list. Three items resonated with me — as they did with a lot of others. First, perfectionism. I am (unfortunately) a perfectionist in many aspects of my life, and as you say it’s a dark road from perfectionism to procrastination — or worse. Learning to say “good enough” is hard. Second, overmanaging. I do need to improve my management just a bit, so I can find the images among my 40,000+ that are really worth showing to others. But I know I should not go too far. I will stop reading articles written by photographers with perfect workflows and extensive networks of keywords, colors and other metadata and then thinking I need to do the same. And, finally, monitor calibration. I’ve been feeling guilty for twenty years about not calibrating my monitor. Sometimes procrastination pays off.
Perfection! I go back to edited photos and think I could have done better, so then I worry about putting out to the web where the “poorly” edited photo is there forever.
Multiple software applications. I use LR 6, do not work in the cloud. I am concerned that LR 6 will cease to work in the future, so purchased Luminar as I wanted to have a desktop application. Since I purchased Luminar, there have been so many “new” Luminars. I still use LR 6, but feel I need to keep learning Luminar “just in case”.
I disagree on overmanaging photos. I have developed a style to quickly review photos in LR, delete (if no good) and rate using stars. Then, I can go back to edit the better images. It works for me having all of the images in LR and using LR to manage.
This is a great list! All of the items resonate with me but management and perfection are my two greatest hangups. It’s good to know I’m not the only one! Thank you, Matt, for the inspiration!
Gotta’ agree with most of the other commentors here, striving for perfection can be a real roadblock for me. As a semi-retired engineer, I was trained to seek that extra bit of perfection in my work, but it can become a burden, especially for something I want to keep fun and enjoyable. I have placed some of my images in a number of public forums (e.g., Viewbug, Flickr, 500px) and have found there is a world of truly exceptional photographers, but there are a lot more like me and I’m good with that. I am going to take you up on your recommendation for fastrawviewer, but thinking back, most of my old images were shot in jpg before I gave any thought to shooting raw. Good “mind-easing” points throughout.
Matt, I loved the list. There was obviously a lot of thought that went into that. I can also admit that I have struggled with each and every one of them. I’m also happy to say that for the most part I have made my peace with each of them except for the last one. Intellectually I know that “perfect is the enemy of good”. For that matter, it is also the enemy of great. I can take a good photo and will not share it because it is not perfect. Most people who would see the photo would probably not notice the imperfections, but I do. I’m working on taking the risk to share more and maybe that will get me to look past imperfections.
One comment on up sizing and color space relative to printing photos. I have found that most labs are more than happy to tell you how many pixels per inch and what color space they would like. If you give them what they want, you will get great results.
I loved this! I suddenly feel like the weight of the photography world has been lifted off my shoulders! Screen calibration has plagued me for years and now I don’t need to worry about not doing it 😉 Managing files – now I can put some to bed and know they are there but that I probably won’t need them again. Thank you!
The procrastination message and perfectionism. I have many photos ( digital and paper), slides, my own and from my parents that I need to go back to and delete/cull and not worry about organizing everything perfect. I think this has held me back from moving forward. I love your straight forward message that simplifies the learning process to try to learn everything. My husband and I both love photography and the enjoyment of just getting out and making us appreciate what is around us, nature, people etc. We have only become more serious about learning more when Covid came along and we retired and decided to join a photography group and have been struggling with an overwhelming feeling of trying to catch up to where the majority of the group is at. Your message could not have been better timed for us.
Colorspace was something I wasn’t worried about but I learned something about it. I lokedthe points about monitor calibration – we do it but for mw it is really pointless. One thing less to do. I already was with you on the back up drives 🙂
When I first started watching a lot of the photography vlogs, I panicked. I didn’t have all the right filters, I needed the right camera bag (and I have a few too many now), I wasn’t using my camera properly, I had to back focus, it all was all so overwhelming and I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right. But, it wasn’t until my husband make it unequivocally clear that we were not going to buy a camper van so I could catch early sunrises and late sunsets that I knew I had gone too far. I have now eased up on the vlogs and have started enjoying photography again on my own terms but always with an open frame of mind to new suggestions and techniques.
I enjoyed the video and it made one ponder the individual points as you addressed them. One thing that was not mentioned was the myriad of ads, photography emails, fellow photographers asking questions and keeping up with being an active member of (2) two camera clubs, to name a few. It can all be summed up with “time”…we all need more of it.
I do devote a lot of hours each week to my photography. I’d also like to become better at trimming some of the extraneous less important stuff, so I can focus better on the more meaningful items.
Comments about color space, monitor calibration, and drives clarified some points for me.
This may not be an issue, but I do think we as hobby photographers sometimes spend too much time in selecting the camera brand and model to use for a particular purpose, although many types will give the results we want.
While you didn’t highlight this specifically – what stood out was that your video was addressed to the Hobbyist/Enthusiast.
Which is a welcome change – from other videos that aim to put the viewer on the same place as Professional Photographers.
Variety is the spice of life and the bane of my existence! I guess you could call it perfectionism……my biggest problem is that I create many variations of the photos I really like ; black & white, saturated and detailed, soft and muted; I want to try all the profiles and filters!
Thank you for the 8 tips not to worry about! I am always worried about workflow…what should I do first? I listen to other photographers and each has their own workflow. I realize now I need to just find my own.
Perfection is another one of your tips that resonate with me as I tend to try to do everything perfect and am disappointed when things don’t turn out to be that way. I just need to keep practicing!
I am also constantly comparing my photography to others. I need to stop doing that. Every photographer has their own style and I have to find my own style .
Perfection! That is the big one for me. I keep thinking there is one right way to edit a photo; one right look; the proper lighting etc etc. I need to get into my head that I’m doing photography for my own enjoyment. It doesn’t matter what other people think or if my photos don’t look as good as someone else’s.
Monitor Calibration and Workflow also resonated with me.
Matt – AWESOME video! I really enjoyed your list!
The ones that really resonated with me were #3 Monitor Calibration, #5 Overmanaging Photos, and #8 Perfection. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about buying or renting the monitor calibration tool$$$ and really wonder if there is any merit.
One thing that I would consider for this list is the use of Presets. I’ve downloaded MANY presets from different photographers at some expense. Frankly, I keep on going back to the Adobe presets on Lightroom. If find it the best option and the other presets are simply a distraction.
Thanks again and really good stuff!
Matt – thank you for the 8 tips – at some time in the past few years I have been guilty of all of them!
The one that I can relate to the most is “perfection”… this is one of my lifetime faults (not just in photography) and has led me to disappointment on numerous occasions.
I look at my images and that of fellow camera club members and I generally come away thinking that I have (in my eyes) failed with composition and/or post-processing.
To try to overcome this worry about perfection, I have decided that I need to practice, practice, practice and more practice! At the same time, not take so many images but think more about what I photograph. It’s too easy with a digital camera to shoot, shoot, shoot and forget about the finer detail of composition, distracting backgrounds, etc.
Finding the happy balance is the key to breaking the perfection/procrastination cycle.
Such a relief to hear all these things! I have to say that the last one, Perfectionism and Procrastination resonated that loudest!
I see something in my mind, take a photo, edit it and am then disappointed in how it turned out as I think it “could be better.” The realization I had here is that Perfect does not exist and to try to be perfect is just a let down. I am going to take photos of what I want, edit them to the best of my ability and just keep practicing!!!!
On your list I think wondering about a better software all the time holds me back. But without a doubt the worst thing, and it’s not on your list, is trying to follow the education of so many photographers like yourself. I like you and your enthusiasm and I get a lot out of you sessions. But I tend to watch so many other photographers and try to get educated that I don’t have time to develop my own pictures. And in this process I forget what each one has demonstrated and why I even watched them to begin with. Guess I just need to stick with you and get on with the developing.
I have the same issue. I love watching classes and getting great ideas, but then it seems to go nowhere. I don’t get out to practice what I learned. As you mention, there are so many great instructors, and I love learning their techniques, but I guess it really isn’t “learning” if I don’t use it.
As always, great video Matt! This very much resonated with me and appreciate your time in putting this together. For me, the two topics that I really took out of it were:
1) Software (and I really include pre-sets in here)
With regard to software, like many others, I have landed on Topaz Denoise / Sharpen (and I do have Gigapixel for when I need to take older photos to big prints for a client). Denoise has made a HUGE difference as I’ve moved away from Wedding / Portrait photography into wildlife (as I age) 🙂
I find that high ISOs are so necessary for wildlife action (which is what I really enjoy to capture) and even though I’ve moved from Canon’s 5DM3 to R5 I still need good noise reduction and (not unusual for me to be shooting sometimes 5000 – 10000) Denoise very rarely has let me down. I love sharpen as well especially for motion blur on those pesky fast moving birds.
The other thing is presets. I buy presets from you, Blake, and a few others. I think they’ll make a huge difference. I wind up not using them much, certainly not as much as the marketing (thinking about others not you) shows. I just have to find that better balance and stop buying presets.
You really hit it on the nail and I’m one of the worst when it comes to perfection. I understand your point on distraction removal and I have gotten a little bit better. I try to remind myself that if I have an image zoomed to 200% and I can see a flaw, that’s like someone putting an 8×10 print 2 inches from their eyes to see it. NO ONE DOES THAT so why am I worried about it. I’ll use this point to keep reminding myself.
Perfection is my biggest problem. Wanting to get it right leads me into thinking I don’t have time to do it right, so I do something other than look at what I’ve shot.
Matt, you are nothing if not practical, and thanks so much for being that way. You really know how to trim the bells from the whistles. In your talk about over-managing, you made me see that it’s ok if I don’t edit the pictures I took in 2004 of the curves on Historic Rte 66. It’s not a matter of doing it all, rather to stick with what’s important. In your last talk, you reminded me to keep my focus, something I need periodically.
I didn’t know what to expect from this video, but now I’m sure glad I watched it.
I spend too much time reviewing emails I get about photography. I love editing and am always looking for different thoughts on how to edit. and photograph. As I just started this journey last spring, there is so much still to learn. I go down so many rabbit holes with these emails, that I do not have time to take the courses I have purchased or have the time to edit all my photos. thank-you for being there to help keep going in the right direction.
Your comments on perfectionism resonate with me, it has been something I have been working on for years, sometimes with better success than others! One thing that I also work hard to not get stuck on, is comparison! It’s a ‘kissing-cousin’ to perfectionism and is not doing anyone any favours!
Thank you for allowing us to be REAL with our efforts!
Definitely Overmanaging and Perfectionism for me, although all points made me sit up and think. Thanks Matt
For me it is Perfection – we all need to step back to what brings us joy, and not let all the advertising about best camera, monitor, hard drive, software, etc convince us to continually upgrade our processes to improve our photo production. The reward, and our passion should be driven by the joy we have in taking and sharing our photos in whatever manner we choose, not in questioning ourselves as to whether they are good enough.
thanks, Perfection and procrastination, and software.
Definitely perfection and Overmanaging Photos. Thanks for the list. As a newbie, some of them I did not understand exactly. But appreciated all the information. Thanks for bringing these to my attention. I’ll get out of my way and start enjoying my photography .
I’ve never really worried about any of those things. I’m more at the other end of the spectrum where things tend to be “undermanaged” (dumping files into temp folders and forgetting about them; sloppy backup practices; etc).
My biggest problem with post processing is getting started. I find it quite tedious, so files just tend to sit on my drive untouched. When I do share an image it’s typically just a quick edit of an out-of-camera jpeg (sometimes using PS Elements 11 from 2012 !).
I use the free app “IrfanView” as a quick file viewer
Overmanaging photos. Thank you… You have removed a Black Cloud from my mind. Have photos I have not looked at taken on holidays 5 years ago. I spend more time worrying about what I havent done than what I have done. I now have permission to do go into these, when I am ready. The second one is Hard Drives, yes I keep hearing about I need a Backup system eg Raid etc. I keep copies on External Disk Drives and now I know that is OK. Onward and Upward, taking the stress out of what I havent done will give me time to do this!!!! Truthfully all of them resonate but these 2 are the worst for me.
I cannot pick just one of these – I struggle with ALL of them. However, the “perfection” one definitely resonates and is really the overarching issue for me. The color management ones really hit home as well. Thanks Matt!
Hi Matt, I´ll stop worrying about monitor calibration and expensive storage backups, I don’t mind workflow and looking for new software…Thank you, great video!!!
Thanks for your video. Over time, I have come to view these issues as a hobbyist the same way you explained them. If there is one thing causing me to waste time, it is software. My 5-year-old computer is still very capable but Photoshop and Lightroom have recently started working poorly for me. The hard drive (1TB) is huffing and puffing and the editing area of the screen has multiple images stacked on each other. I need to decide whether to get a new computer. In the meantime, I purchased a copy of Photoshop Elements 2021, which does a lot of the things Ps does plus it has some built-in apps that quickly do things it would take a lot longer to do in Ps and Lr. Lightroom for the iPad works fine and does not have the complex file management aspects of Lr and Lr Classic.
Workflows and Perfectionism – thanks for letting me drop the expectations of others and move on to achieve what I believe to be my best at that time. Continuing to learn something new each day – what a delight!
Thank you Matt! I actually do not worry about most of the points you addressed. When I observe others’ concerns about those points, I have assumed if I really knew what I was doing, I would be concerned with those things too. Whew! Thank heavens I do not ever have to worry about any of that! However, “perfection leads to procrastination” is so very true not only in photography but in life and is the point that most resonated with me.
One thing I have learned not to worry about is what others deem “wrong” with a photo you took and which brings you joy just the way it is. I once had a photo critiqued by a camera club judge who had nothing good to say about it and did not understand the journey I took to produce the image. I enlarged, printed, mounted, framed, and hung the image on my wall where it remains today.
Now I don’t have to feel guilty that I haven’t really been doing any of these things. Thanks Matt!
Me too! Wasn’t that a fabulous reaffirming few minutes?
I was Convinced (Sold?) that calibration was important. I even bought a SPYDER Used it many times . couldn’t see any difference. convinced myself I was doing it wrong! Thanks for making it easy, and taking away that worry. I shot Film for years so a lot of the others don’t bother me. In fact I like software that does less not more,
For rears I would read many photo magazines and take their photo critiques to heart. It made me feel so insecure knowing that I would not have the perfect image as they were describing. It actually got to the point where I had actually stopped shooting. I had been listening to another video of yours and you stated that “Perfection leads to Procrastination” I put that in a note on y phone and have never looked back! It’s al about the enjoyment and it does not really matter what a critic might think.Thanks for that.
Matt: most important was being reminded about color space…NOT using Prophoto! But issues of perfectionism never plague me. I am just not good enough to ever think that.
This was great! I have problems with organization and perfection. Those two are something that are holding me back. I really have lost motivation because of these two things. Now I’m going to go out and have some fun and not worry about that perfect photo!
Thank you Matt! Some great tips and so much new to learn in all your videos. I am a silent observer and learning everyday. Just by watching your videos I am motivated to be in action 🙂
The two that resonated with me the most are software and perfection. Because I have a slight tremor’ and because I shoot while out hiking and dragging a tripod along is just too much for me to handle and because I shoot macro I usually shoot in bursts of 3-4 images. When I get home I want to find the one that is the best of them. Sometimes it is obvious, but a lot of the time the difference isn’t really noticeable at first glance. Since I have perfectionistic tendencies this can take me forever. I have been looking for software that can help me sort them out and luckily I downloaded Fast Raw Viewer and it has a feature that will definitely help me (their outline in-focus and highly detailed feature). This is funny because the other point that resonated with me was the software one. I tend to buy a lot of it that I never even use because I don’t have time to learn it. However, here some new software actually solved a huge problem for me.
Hi, Matt. Having been a film photographer for about 35 years before I went digital in 2006, most of these have not been a big issue for me. But when hubby and I moved into our community 9 years ago, I joined my first photography club. We have several competitions within the club each year and we ask our judges (who are from outside our club) to make it a learning experience for our members with constructive comments. But even with constructive comments, many judges seem to feel they have to find something “wrong” to point out and sometimes it is something most people wouldn’t even notice. I guess that has affected me a bit since when I’m preparing an image for a competition, I find myself going over and over and over it, looking for perfection or something close to it. Is there something on the edge that shouldn’t be there? Is there a tiny hot spot that draws the viewer’s eye away from the subject? Is a less important part of the subject not as sharp as the rest? I sometimes think the competitions are counterproductive, but when we share images among ourselves, most of the time nobody wants to criticize (even constructively) another member’s image, so there is little to learn from those sessions. I’m trying to not stress over these competitions, but I still want to submit the best images I can.
I used to worry about organization a LOT, especially when I first got Lightroom. I thought I would have to reorganize all my image files and add keywords to years of image files. I finally decided to just continue with the system I started with and not worry about how others do it. It works for me. The top level is by camera then it is chronological, folders named yyyy-mm-dd subject and/or location. Even though I now have about 16 years’ worth of digital images, I can usually find an image I’m looking for pretty quickly.
The one thing I do worry about that you didn’t mention is getting the images I want in the time I have. My husband (he is a photo enthusiast, too) has a back problem and can’t walk far or stand for long. So, when we go someplace to take photos, I worry about being able to get all the images I want. I’m trying to make the best images where and when I can, but I always feel that if I had another x minutes/hours, I could go farther down the trail, find another angle, etc.
Several of these items resonate with me. I struggle to keep up with different software, trying to get to what I think that perfect picture should be. Thank you for the reminders to just keep things simple so we can remember why we started this hobby in the firs place!
Thanks Matt, I struggle with getting the “perfect “ photo. There are times when I can’t get the adjustments that I want, so I move on and rarely seem to get back and reassess the picture. I miss out on a decent photo! Enjoying your course!
Your point about ‘All other software’ and to stop thinking there is something better resonated with me. I am happy with my editing results using Lightroom and sometimes wonder if I should be looking at other software that might be better. You answered that question. Your final comment about perfection leads to procrastination is so true! Thank you for your Fresh Start program.
Still catching up with Week 1 but doin’ it! 🙂 Though I have not generally become consumed with most of the topics brought up it was good to know that going forward I can let those worry warts go! So that was my biggest take-away – you have given me permission to not “go there” as I find idle time available and I think I might need to do this or that to make my photo life better! Yippie!
Very helpful content, Matt. Worrying about most of the topics you mentioned lead to procrastination. Perfectionism definitely leads to procrastination….and keeps me from just going ahead and getting out there to shoot. I’m too used to all the planning I had to do for commercial shooting. So, some planning (time of day and general location or subject), but not over-planning is a good way to get myself shooting. Other stumbling block is where to even start learning all the upgraded software features. I recently went to subscription LR & Photoshop, as well as the newest On1. Selecting an image and starting the processing on each program is my way forward.
For me your two most helpful tips: color space…thanks for making me aware of the Pro Photo RGB issue; and the fast raw viewer. Thanks.
1. Perfection. It cuts across most of the other things and kills initiative.
2. Overmanaging photos. I have a constant black cloud of “you should organize your photos” hanging over my head. Need to get over it.
That said, I still don’t have a regular back up system and would like a video on choosing and using one.
Just got around to watching 1.2 video and BOY! you hit the nail on the head on all 8 points!!!! I chased after new software like Luminar and On1 Photo RAW and like you said, the improvements are so small and I got sucked into that marketing hype that this is the next best thing to sliced bread! Ditched those software and sticking with LR+PS and trying to get better at using these.
Most of what I got from this video was validation of my beliefs. I often think “I’m being lazy because I’m not doing X”. It is nice to hear that some of the things that I have decided not to worry about are (in Matt’s opinion) things not to worry about. A good example is his comments about calibrating your monitor. This is something I keep coming back to and feeling like I should do. I liked Matt’s comments about how monitor calibration had a place and a time, but that is no longer now.
Also, I really liked the last comment about perfection. I think it is really easy to look at others’ photos and say “I’ll never be able to be as good as that!” and then not try (guilty!). I find a have to remind myself often that “A little is better than nothing.” and these comments reinforce that.
There were two that really resonated with me. First was over managing photos. I used Lightroom for a while and it just didn’t work for me. For the last few years I have been using Bridge and Camera Raw. Tried using Photo Mechanic for the trial period and, as you said, way too expensive for me and too many features I wouldn’t use. I’ll definitely use the Fastrawviewer and see if it fits my needs. Thanks for the reference. The other point that resonated with me was extra software. Wow, have I drank the coolaid too many times. My basic extra software I use now are Topaz and DXO Nik Tools. I can probably do most of what they do in Photoshop, but they just make some things much simpler. Still read and watch videos though about other software. Just have to have some restraint and keep telling myself that the grass is not always greener.
For me extra software is a problem, or it was. I decided a few months ago that chasing the latest software package was ridiculous and really messes up consistency. The other point that I struggle with was the last one mentioned – PERFECTION. I need to stop thinking that there IS a perfect photo.
Another issue not mention by Matt, at least for me is the fact that I work at a computer all day so the last thing I want to do is sit in front of one all night editing photos. I have shoots from 5 years ago that I keep saying I’m going to edit that shoot and create a book (travel photos). Yet so far those photos still sit on my computer untouched. This is a BIG one for me!
The one point that struck a cord with me is not needing to calibrate my monitor. I think old time photographers always emphasized this so I bought ColorMunki and calibrated my MAC a few years back. I just bought a new BENQ 27 inch LED 2560 by 1440 monitor and the paperwork shows that it was calibrated. So i decided not to bother to recalibrate- and I guess I don’t need to based on your comments. I do print photos but I send them to Bay or Nations Photo and have not had a problem
YES…….. simplifying the post processing and tech stuff…… thank you
Matt , video content struck some chords for me over the course of time that i have done digital photography , but most important was that I do not need to have LR manage all my photos ! unfortunately my biggest pit fall was that for a long time I was not understanding LR “catalog” & also mismanaging my import process , & then letting someone transfer stuff to new computer & losing pictures – the snowball just kept getting bigger & my frustration multiplied to the nth degree & consequently the drive to do what i always enjoyed dried up 😩 So I am thinking this video is perfect timing to focus on those pictures that have meaning to me & get back in the game . On a positive note after your week 1 video -I. went out on a drive in pursuit of hopefully sighting a snowy owl & was sucessfull! my incentive to get back in the game along with your video-Thank you
“Perfectionism leads to procrastination” and I have perfected this cycle. The area of this that holds me back the most is thinking that I have to really learn Lightroom and then Photoshop well before I will be able to make good images. Thanks for the encouraging words.
So I am overmanaging my photos! You put light on my frustration. Thank you! It was also good to hear that others struggle with perfection and I can let it go! I have noticed that many viewers of my images don’t see those imperfections. This video topic was a great idea. Thanks Matt!
Managing the photos struck a cord with me. I used to eliminate all poor photos to save disc space before looking at the good photos. I remember you once saying that you just pick out the good photos and ignore the rest. I enjoy your talks and it helps me get my priorities right. I want to spend more time with my camera than with my computer. I also felt you were talking to me when you got into always trying to have the latest S/W or apps. This is just as tempting to me as a “sale” or “discount.” And I have to admit I went to look at Fast Raw Viewer, however, I am getting older and wiser and realized it is not for me as I do not take hundreds of photos every time i go out. Keep up the good work.
Such a perfect way to start the year…Thanks Buddy~! Backups and Fast Raw Viewer info… and to just learn one thing well… because… LR and PS are awesome!
Thanks so much for this video! One thing that really struck a chord was over managing my photos. Boy do I ever. This is something I will be working on.
Second – Perfectionism. Enough said.
BTW I have found that if I am doing my photographing for other people, competitions, etc., I might as well hang up my camera. Take photos for me!
Matt, great video. I will need to watch a couple of more times to take it all in. I think for me, the two that hit home were Workflow and Perfectionism – have to get things done in the right order and have to get that “perfect” image.
One point, a transcript of your video would be nice. Sometimes you cover things so fast, it is hard to understand what is being said.
I only started photography seriously as a hobby 20 years ago and I am too old to worry about any of these things anymore, not to say that it was always so, but once I felt relatively happy and confident with my camera and learnt Photoshop, I was pretty happy to just enjoy my shooting and processing. During the last 2 years of lockdown I did the Photoshop Virtual Summits and since I have Creative Cloud decided to really learn to use Lightroom (so did those summits) which I now use more than PS and am just enjoying my photography more than ever, even started shooting with my cell phone and getting some good shots. But I do agree with what you are saying here, I might have still been calibrating my screen, though, if our Photography club’s Spyder hadn’t disappeared, so I am glad you have put that little worry to rest for me. I had created 7 printed photo books, however, also during lockdown and was very happy with how my photos printed out, so the calibration was only a very small worry. Thanks for your newsletters and videos.
Great video, Matt. Perfectionism without a doubt I must waste so much of time looking at the same image when I should be moving on. 2022 will be very different there’s too little time, thanks.
Striving to PERFECTION is indeed sometimes a problem, and……extremely time consuming!
Workflow: have a recorded debate with your friend Blake on Tone-Color-Effects 🙂
I often see photos that – in my view – over (highly) over-saturated. It is also a matter of taste, but do you have any recommendations on this theme?
Color Space & Calibration have bogged me down several times over the past few years. Sometimes to the point of messing up all my settings on the PC and creating another problem that I never should have had at all.
Thanks Matt, I will try to control myself from here on… LOL
I get where you are going with this, and for a lot of people you are quite right. If you don’t print calibration might help but it’s far from given that it will for the reasons you outline. I would suggest that if all you do is post to social media and you don’t shoot action or wildlife then consider saving a load of cash by buying a top end phone and use that for your photography, you can shoot, process and upload on the go.
I print a lot, and I print large. I also have a back catalogue some of which was shot years ago on lower resolution cameras. I also shoot now on a 1inch compact which works well but isn’t as good as a larger sensor camera. I find Topaz Gigapixel can change a lower resolution image which isn’t that good into an excellent print, way bigger than I would have been able to print otherwise. My cameras aren’t high end super resolution ones so Gigapixel helps me get larger prints.
I started calibration because I couldn’t get the print to look the way I wanted it to, I still calibrate for that reason. I can print an image on any of my papers and it will look the same (almost! print on a warmer paper will obviously warm the colours). I would also say that if printing on matt papers which are lower contrast and lower colour gamut being able to proof preview in Lightroom helps get that print right.
All of these things have their place, but you have to weigh up for yourself whether or not you need them.
Like very many people who have submitted a comment, perfection is my weakness. Firstly, there is no such thing and secondly, it stops me showing and posting photos that I may think are good but not good enough compared to other people’s.
AND I have 10s of thousands of photos in LR which I have put aside to consider and edit “one day”. This leads to stress as realistically, I will never get around to managing that many and instead a lot of good photos get lost in the rubble.
So my goals: stop striving for the elusive perfection, and don’t over-manage my photos.
The number 1 thing that resonated for me was Disk storage. I have a lot of pictures and I don’t want to loose them. So I hear about things you mentioned like raids, nas, and it just boggles my mind. I am technical but not enough to know about these systems, how to set them up etc.
Another thing that resonated for me was Software. There is so much more I can learn from the programs I currently use, why do I need to keep searching for something better? Also, as a marketing tool, everyone is watching each other and seeing what they are coming out with and don’t want to be left behind. So I think in the end, they are all the same. I do agree there are other programs to enhance what I am working on, but I always come back to my bread and butter programs.
Perfection can definitely get in my way. I found a good quote that I try to live by, but need it more in my photography — “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to start!”
The two tips that resonated with me are: Over Managing Photos and Perfection/Procrastination. I am guilty of both, so after listening to your discussion, I will be working to avoid those traps. A third topic Extra Software has been a problem for me in the past, but beginning with 2021, I made a concerted effort to reduce the number of software titles which has significantly improved my time management. I now only use Lightroom, Photoshop, and occasionally LuminarAI. With the recent updates to Adobe software, I’m thinking that Luminar may disappear from my desktop as well.
Thanks Matt, we all need a bit of a kick in the bum to just get out and enjoy what got us into this in the first place.
My biggest issues are Procrastination (mainly due to over thinking what I want/need to do) and I’m a shocking collector of presets, profiles and brush templates, I spend way too much time organising those..
OMG. I think I may have had that ‘ah ha’ moment. I have lists for my lists; and, think if I calibrate my monitor my pictures will be SO MUCH BETTER. All I could think of during this project was KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). I had a boss once that always said I can’t see the forest for the trees. I have so many books…that I have not read, etc.
Thank you for keeping it simple. I must go through my files and DELETE all those procedures that I don’t need. I just need to learn to use the camera…duh!!!!
I think my biggest hangup is “Managing”, when I shoot, I shoot a lot of frames, when I download the day’s work, I will need to cull them all, mark the ones I don’t like, and trash them. A lot of work and not fast in Lightroom. Thanks for suggesting the RAW Viewer, I will give it a go!
Perfectionist, hands down. I get stuck trying to take my emerging Photoshop skills (knowing and using the tools) and use these editing tools on photos I’ve taken. I have several projects that need editing, but don’t dive into these photos because I worry I don’t have enough knowledge on using the tools. End result: images sit unedited.
The VERY BEST for me is your advice on procrastination. It prevents me from using my best gifts! Found it interesting that you said you don’t include all your photos in LR. I’m following your beginning Lightroom course, and I was under the impression you were promoting importing EVERYTHING to Lightroom. Found your advice on hard drives very helpful, since I work entirely on a laptop, so I need multiple portable hard drives. So much in this video, I need to watch it again.
Sorry this is late but wanted to note that your information on not obsessing with the color on the screen not matching the color on the print resonated with me. Also your comments about how monitor calibration is not necessary
Perfectionism… yup, that was perfect to hear. Thanks!
I loved all these tips Matt. Thanks so much. Image size is an issue for me when submitting to photo competitions. I struggle with pixels and print size. Totally agree with your comments re software and workflow.
What resonated with me were color space (I’ve been using Prophoto and I immediately changed to SRGB),. \and Monitor Calibration. My new BenQ monitor is perfect the way it is. Nothing more needed. Thank you.
Great video. I resonate with so much. I have found myself stuck on so many of those issues when all I wanted to do was to learn how to take better photos
Great video. So much resonates with me. I joined a photography club to learn how to TAKE better photos. Their preoccupation was in calibration and in editing to perfection. And, so, by comparison, I am still feeling like the beginner, not measuring up. Great info Matt. I practice a lot, I try to edit, I struggle to ever post or submit a photo because it is not up to the incredible standards I see all around. Perfectionism and comparing with others leads to my blocks.
Thanks Matt for your video as I can certainly relate to the majority of your points. For me, perfection causes me to move on, working at addressing the smallest of imperfections. Recently, I have been trying to let that go. Managing my files bogs me down, trying to delete, assign numbers or color codes to those images I want to work on eventually, and the problem is, it does take away my post processing time. Thankfully, I have stopped making major entries in my camera journal and am trying to devote more time to the processing part. Thank again for a video discussion that sooooooo “resonates” with me.
Good stuff! No bull, just straight shooting practical solutions.
The color space discussion resonated. Even though I’ve been in commercial printing for 30+ years, and understand colorspace very well, I like how you sized it up and simplified the solution. Spot on!
Resolving a good backup strategy has been distracting me. I’ve tried one way, then another. So, I’m looking forward to your upcoming session on the Backup Plan.
I enjoyed your comments on screen calibration. On my system I have 3 “identical” screens and they all look slightly different. If I put an image on the internet, there is no way I can know what kind of screen the viewer is looking at it on. My screen could be calibrated perfectly, but their 5 year old smartphone might not be LOL
Am a little late getting started (perfectionism leads to procrastioation) as you stated. I have always been a fan of yours and will try to absorb new ideas from this series. One of my goals is to try and finish digitizing a ton of old photos (flat art, 50 + year old slides, etc. as I have been taking pictures for over 60 years. Therefore, orginazation is a real problem for me. I have found Mylio is a pretty good tool for finding lots of useful stuff and has a LR plugin.
The one item that resonated with me was perfection. I have so many photos that I am not happy with and it drives me crazy. I think it all comes down to my need for perfection, I rarely feel that my photos are good enough to share, so I don’t.
Major take away don’t be so tough on myself. Thank you Matt.
Monitor calibration! Thanks for saving me from figuring that out! I hear about it all over different photo groups and I have never done it. Great to know I don’t need to. Perfection is road block for me sometimes. I look at the image I shot and think, if I had only noticed this, or changed that, it would have been so much better. I know it helps me learn to be better the next time. I’m so happy when the feedback I receive from the customer or someone online is positive so I know it doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyed.
Great messages, Matt. Over time, I’ve reached some of the same conclusions, but I still struggle with feeling overwhelmed trying to manage my photos in a way that seems less chaotic. I get shut down, particularly as I increase my knowledge, by the desire for perfection. What is the saying? Perfection is the obstacle to progress.
Worrying about hard drives and back-up solutions was one of my (I guess unnecessary) obsessions of 2021! When I bought my Canon R5 camera body I was concerned about running out of storage space with all of the 45-megapixel files, so I did drive myself crazy for a few weeks doing all that research into RAID, SSD, and a bunch of other acronyms. But now that I have invested in some new hardware and gotten everything set up, I actually have a better understanding of how my LR catalog works (which had always been a bit of a mystery), and I feel good with whole backup system. So I no longer have to worry about it in 2022!
I have always worried about my workflow in LR (mostly bc I am self-taught in this program, and from time to time have learned things the hard way). I also worry about how to integrate the AI plug-ins into this workflow. So I will try to let that one go and just focus on what each image needs.
Most likely one of the best videos I have seen in a while. For a long time managing my photos just stopped me in my tracks. I now dump all my photos on to hard drive (I use to use iPhoto, what a mistake) and then go through the thumbnails with bridge and rank the top photos. I can now focus only on those photos.
The perfectionist in me prevents me from finishing much of anything, so I need to relearn how to push out a photo that I can post erupt on line or just send to friends. Much better approach. I will work on that.
One thing I kind of agonize over at beginning of every year is creating new folders on external hard drive for storing and organizing photos. This is not really a worry but I am constantly kicking myself for replacing my mac with a pc last year. Tried to save a little money and I am regretting it.
I am happy that I do not need to spend the $$$ and time to purchase and learn to use Monitor Calibration SW.
Next: I spent a lot of time in 2021 taking on-line Photoshop classes. This program is too complex for me to learn to use, and I do not like creating “Abstract” images. I can do almost everything I need to do using Lightroom Classic on my desktop iMac. And I can use Topaz De-Noise and Topaz Sharpen for “difficult ” images.
Thank you for this video course.
I most related to your discussion about color space and monitor calibration. I’ve made a note to change my color space preference in Lightroom. Listening to others, I keep thinking I should calibrate the monitor tho don’t want to take the time to bother. Now I can relax knowing it’s not generally needed unless printing. (In all of these cases, there are so many opposing voices!) Thanks.
The two that resonated with me was Color Space and monitor calibration. I took your suggestions and made changes to my Lightroom preferences. The other is monitor calibration. My local photography club had a long discussion on monitor calibration, and the IT guys were vocal about how we need to do it. I bought a calibration tool and it’s been sitting on my desk. While I hear it was wasted money, I can let go of my guilt for not doing anything with it.
Here’s the 2 that didn’t resonate: if you have MULTIPLE MONITORS, then you NEED TO CALIBRATE! When editing, if you don’t see the same color or brightness on both monitors, it makes it very confusing. Otherwise, if you only have one, you’re right Matt!
Yes, I’m a former Mac IT guy, so I’ve always had RAID arrays (Raid 5) because they are larger than one drive can be, and are safer in that if a drive fails it will rebuild itself on the spare drive. If you are a pro, and shoot 10-20K RAW shots per year (I shoot sports/events), then one drive will last a couple of years! For enthusiasts I recommend a Synology NAS, perhaps a 5-drive unit. Super easy to setup, it plugs into your router or small network switch if you need more ports. It’s cheap and gives me 25TB of storage.
Otherwise, great tips! I liked don’t overmanage, I just started using FastRAWViewer 2 weeks ago, and it’s reduced my sports editing time by hours (as well as “don’t convert everything to DNG!”).
Chasing the latest software! I waisted a lot of time learning things I never use. I have come to the conclusion that becoming a better photographer will yield the greatest improvement in my photos.
Hard Drives! I really got lost down that rabbit whole. Looking forward to hearing your backup plan.
Thank you for freeing me from over managing my photos & screen calibration. I just got a new laptop & a large monitor for editing and it’s always in the back of my mind that I need to calibrate them. You just took that off my plate. I love that you are speaking to the hobbyist & not professionals. Good info on all the subjects you covered here, Thanks Matt.
Matt, Many thanks for this helpful, stress reducing video. I took notes – short notes!
1. Over managing photos – Key: not everything needs to go into a catalog. Thanks, I needed that.
2. Perfection leads to procrastination – I believe it but it’s helpful to hear it from someone else.
Picked up reminder tips on pixel needs for sharing vs. printing; and review of SRGB vs Adobe RGB; and hard drives.
Many thanks for this helpful, stress reducing video, Matt. I took notes – short notes!
1. Over managing photos – Key: not everything needs to go into a catalog. Thanks, I needed that.
2. Perfection leads to procrastination – I believe it but it’s helpful to hear it from someone else.
Picked up reminder tips on pixel needs for sharing vs. printing; and review of SRGB vs Adobe RGB; and hard drives.
Many useful suggestions. I had been in habit of saving most all of my images and only sharing those I thought best. I see there is a significant cost in terms of time spent when doing that.The comments about what software to use were also enlightening and I like the suggestion for fast raw viewer.
Funny you are talking about upsizing today when I spent some time researching downsizing this morning. I purchased the Canon R5 for myself recently and the large 45MB file size has become problematic for me. I take many photo for our school yearbook. The website we use for printing our yearbook , require photo sizes to be no bigger that 10MB. The photo when printed are rarely bigger than a 5X7. I made a school preset for exporting to keep the file size smaller. I used the 4000mp range thinking/hoping that would still be a good quality photo to printed in our yearbook. Any insight would be appreciated.
Thank you for allowing me to not worry about monitor calibration and about overmanaging my photos. I have a monitor calibration and have only used it a few times, and sometimes feel guilty about not using it more, but never notice that it makes a big difference.
I also have multiple photo libraries, Real slides, real negatives, photos from Walgreens on dvd’s, Lightroom express, and lightroom multiple libraries. Just the other day, I got out some real slides from 50 years ago, and kind of enjoyed looking at the images, but then put them back in the box and stored the box someplace.
By the way, I made this comment immediately so as to avoid perfection and just finish my “homework”
My #1 blocker is perfection. I am thinking that my camera and I did not take a good enough picture. But, I am learning [slowly] that my shot along with my camera filter (if used) is sometimes the best picture already.
My #2 blocker until this past year has been ‘there is a better software’. I am realizing that I can do the same in Lightroom and Photoshop and have more control. Plus, being recently retired and my wife watching expenses also helped!
I do spent too much time obsessing about losing my photos. I was using Backblaze but I did not notice a corruption and it lost some photos. Luckly, I had most on another drive.
‘On the same page’ with Matt. Have not worried about any of these for years.
The color space discussion was very informative. I stopped the video right away and changed by preferences to Adobe RGB. The other one was the monitor calibration. I’ve listened to other guys who said this was vital. You argument was persuatsive. Thanks.
Thanks for the confirmation that ‘perfection’ is not the same as ‘perception’. Many people enjoy my photos even when I do not think the photos are ‘perfect’. The need for ‘perfection’ really slows me down.
Also, you justified my decision to stop searching for the next ‘best’ software to improve my output.
I appreciated your comments about Color Space. I’ve worked with technical teachers who tried to show me how much better ProPhoto RGB is and how important it is but never could see any difference in my work. And generally I appreciated your attitude of “don’t sweat the small stuff, get out there and make photographs.”
Ok Matt I’m catching up! I confess there are issues in this video I’ve NEVER thought about which was very interesting because photography is just a hobby and I always thought “you were to capture the photo to the best of your ability” and editing was ‘to be minimal.’ Thus I’m struggling to learn LR/PS to take my photos to the next level. In this video you spoke to me with #5 -Don’t overmanage your photos. Most of my portfolio is NOT in LR because I’m new to it and you have released me from the need to move 80,000 photos into it. THANK YOU! The second point that resonated with me was #7- Workflow. Because I’m new I’ve been instructed to make sure White Balance is correct and then…. and ….. but you have given me the freedom to crop first if necessary or to address what I believe might improve the photograph the most. Again thank you.
I have also only recently started using Lightroom, and I have found the best way for me was to just bring in Photos, some old that I might like to rework and my new ones as I shoot them and so my original file organisation remains the same on my hard drives, just some of their photos are now also in the LR catalogue, and if I decide to add a few more anytime its easy to just add them.
Thanks Matt!! Workflow and Perfection hit home for me! I am anal enough to in my workflow that perfection is desired… follow the plan until Nirvana has been reached! Reality check!!!
Hi Matt! just catching up thanks for a great video!
WOW! Thank you! So many people out there say that perfection for your photos are paramount if printing, and with this came the Procrastination. My camera has not been in my hand for quite a few months with losing motivation & fretting over perfecting the post process.
Extra software is a problem too & now realise that having PS & LR, things are just ‘perfect’, even though Ive had these for many years.
Upsizing the phots has been a problem too as Ive cropped (on my DX sensor) photos to the extreme but wasn’t sure how to work them & will now use PS image sizing, Thank You!
Just need to keep all the videos as aide memoir!
Every point you mentioned I thought – yes, that one! But in the end, Perfectionism leads to Procrastination is the one I need to print out and post on my wall. I do thank you for the reassurance about the best new software, calibration, color space and workflow. The whole video is such a good reminder that photography, for me, is a source of fun, and I don’t want it to become a source of stress.
Thanks, Matt! This is a very helpful list of what to “let go” of! Agonizing over editing & organizing strategies resonate with me. I’m happy to have your comments to reinforce me to not get paralyzed with over-analysis and reaffirm that none of us will ever achieve perfection!
Quite frankly, I didn’t know that I was even ‘supposed’ to worry about some of those things you mentioned in the first place. It wasn’t until you got to the end that something resonated. I’m not a perfectionist with regards to my post processing, but I would say that there is a ‘fear of failure’ thing going on when it comes to learning PS. I only do a couple of things in that program. And I keep having to look those things up every single time. I’m not tech challenged, I’m just freaking scared of Photoshop. So, I need to stop worrying about all the stuff you can do in PS and the million ways that you can do it and just keep plugging away. One of these days it will click. I hope.
Hi Matt. I am so glad to forget about calibrating the monitor!! Thank you!!
The second best for me was being ok with being satisfied with the software I’m using. Thanks again!
Thanks again Matt for this great video. I personally don’t have that much of problem, if I want to pick one or two it will be Calibration and Hard drives, and that is because I needed them, I needed a reliable storage backup system and did a ton of research to buy a NAS that would be enough for me and gets that process out of my way, I am happy I did that and I am not worried about it anymore. I am also curious about calibrating my monitor as sometimes I think I cannot get a good print that is match my monitor out of my printer. If I want to add anything to your list it would be buying new gears, lenses, filters, etc. (I have seen people obsess with this, not me though) And for the software side of it, it is cropping my photos, I spend some time to find a perfect crop to make my photos perfect.
Workflow and perfection
Hi, Matt: Most of the points you discussed aren’t much of an issue for me. Probably my biggest issue is managing my photos. I get bored very quickly with having to give titles, key words and ratings to my photos in lightroom, but then I can find ones I might want to work with afterwards. I have thousands of photos on two hard drives, but I will never have time to review and classify them. And, I don’t think I’m doing very well organizing the newest photos I have taken. So I stumble along using my memory of shoot events to find some of the photos I want to work with. Meantime, of course, I don’t get out and practice enough, mostly due to lack of time and also lack of new subjects to photograph.
Thanks for lots of valuable tips Matt!
Calibrating my monitor with reasons for both
Thank you for supporting us all. My biggest hang ups are: 1. color space and profiles. I had heard this year that sRGB is the standard and to stay with that so it was good to get that reinforced. My other hang up is #2. pixels vs. inches. I still work in the inches/300dpi for print and 72 dpi for screen mindset and know I need to change that. Thank you for a starting point of 4000K.
Your points validated where I am at, thank you.
Great talk! So much of photography I have self-taught by reading, watching videos and finding other photographers, whose work I love, to try and learn from. You touched on a number of things I was never really taught but just kind of fumbled through…SRGB, monitor calibration, export sizing. Perfectionism is a big one, too. I had to teach myself not to minimize my work and my skills because I wasn’t a certain other photographer. I just have to keep running my own race and ignore the comparisons. This is a work in progress for me! But great discussion!
Great advise- and reassuring! Tobe honest, I stopped doing some of the things you brought up ( monitor calibration, color space) a very long time ago! My biggest obstacle is to learn disclipline- as I would in music. I just get out there and take more pics (almost) every day!
Thanks for this video. Good to “refocus” the approach. Last week went a bit wonky so I did not get to the first project.
“perfection is the enemy of good enough” Your discussion about perfect truly hit the mark.
Right now it is the nasty, cold weather leading to procrastination in making images. Time to go back and do the work on project 1
At one time or another I have gone down or started to go down all those rabbit holes. The older I get, the more I get ‘it’. Those things are distractions keeping me from doing what I love – which is being out with my camera. Thanks for the reminders!
your remarks about perfection and “having to get the next best software”……..bingo!!
Perfection, and a possibly related topic, software, resonated with me. On perfection, I’m reminded of the old saying (possibly recited in some of the other comments that I didn’t read), “Perfection is the enemy of the good.” On software, I have enough trouble keeping up with (and learning) Photoshop and Lightroom, without jumping over to Luminar, On1, or CaptureOne.
Hi Matt. Thanks for the video, a lot to think about here but I guess striving for perfection is my downfall in many instances. Also creativity and inspiration – I get in the doldrums a bit when others (my daughters!) say ‘ cliche’ or ‘seen it all before’. I find it difficult to get an individual style rather than one which has been better done by others.
Interesting to see some using Backblaze as a backup system, I have been considering this route for a while.
Oh did PERFECTION ever jump out at me…I am a culprit (it’s in my dna!). Going forward I will definitely try to be more cognizant of this and as you say, instead, get out there and shoot. Thank you!
I’m a big one for trying to get everything perfect and constantly going back into the image to tweak a tiny thing I see that’s off even just a wee bit.
Other than that, I have lately been letting life get in the way. My 2 main passions are photography and music and I’ve allowed little to no time for either – surrounded by all this gear and telling myself I’ll do something in an hour, but that hour is already full of other things.
Thanks Matt…YOU REASSURED ME WITH RESPECT TO WORK FLOW…I USUALLY DO NOT FOLLOW ANY SET SEQUENCE
BUT DID WONDER IF I SHOULD. I ALSO REALIZED A LONG TIME AGO THAT THERE ARE NOT TOO MANY THINGS IN
LIFE THAT ARE “PERFECT” AND THAT CERTAINLY APPLIES TO PHOTOS.
Matt, I loved this video.
I have no idea how you have time to read all these comments.
The items that resonate with me are getting hooked on the new software and the time wasted to learn so many new programs. I wish I had that time back. Second, I was too obsessed with hard drives – and the complexity of managing them.
#8 – “Perfection leads to procrastination” will make this my montra for 2022 – in all aspects of my life ….. I am taking too much time to make things perfect! Thank you!
Thanks Matt! A lot of this resonated with me and I really appreciate your explanation for the “why” to stop doing these things. The biggest impact for me is perfection. I fall into the same category as others who keep wanting to “make it a little bit better” but most folks that see my work think it’s just fine the way it is.
Overmanaging photos (and to a larger degree – organization of photos) has also been a big headache for me.
Monitor calibration is something I do once in a blue moon and have felt guilty because I don’t do it more often. I’m glad I can let that go now.
Lastly – frankly I’ve never understood “upsizing” and was sort of worried that I was missing something. Thus, I’m glad to know I don’t need to worry about it after all!
My main issue would be perfection, in regards to editing. I could spend far too much time trying to learn “how to” do something in Lightroom or Photoshop rather than just getting on with it.
Perfection would be my issue, I think
Overmanaging photos really resonated with me. Also workflow. Thanks for the video, it was very helpful!
Matt … .thanks so much for a great video. Over the years I have found that I’m always searching for that last perfect edit to make my photos the best … causing me to sometimes spend way to much time on a photo to achieve minimal improvement.
The perfectionism point was the one that that rang true for me. I will now try and just accept this image looks OK. Good video
Hard Drives, when I bought my drive it had RAID on it. All I know is it is suppose to back up drive and it takes up space. I use Backblaze for a backup should I remove RAID from my hard drive.
The perfectionism point was the one that most struck a chord with me; this is something that really holds me back time and time again. I never feel happy with how I have edited, and can waste endless hours redoing something because it is not perfect. I was also very interested in your comments on colour space. Thanks for a very informative video.
Colour space and Workflow comments were very helpful. Also, I guess we all strive for perfection and are usually disappointed. Serendipity is a key element and that only comes if we get out here and keep taking photos. On a grey, English winter morning this is not too attractive an option, but there is always tomorrow.
I’ve settled on Photoshop, Topaz De-Noise and Sharpen as my software. I tried a lot of other stuff over the years, Capture 1, Affinity Pro, Luminar etc but found that I always had to return to Photosgop and Topaz. The result being that I rarely bother with anything else. I tried Fastrawviewer and it’s superb. It’s much faster than going through the images in Lightroom and you can rate them in Fastraw and take them to LR for import. The ratings and colour labels remain.
Hands down perfectionism is my biggest issue in nearly everything I do and that is evident in all things related to my photography as well. That’s not to say that everything I do is perfect but because I want that to be the case I spend a lot of time on nearly every aspect of my photography, especially when it comes to editing. So much so I know I am incredibly inefficient and that is something I’m working through addressing.
I liked the software comment – I wasted 1/2 hour of my life looking at Rawviwer videos and decided to take less images. I will also try not to strive for perfection. All suggestion were helpful – thanks.
I liked learning about Color Space, and I’m relieved to not have to Calibrate my monitor! Also, I like the idea that Workflow can be pretty random. Thank you.
Thanks, Matt! I’m going to buy hard drives this week and stop my continuous search & compare exercise! Thank you for permission to stop shopping!
Your other point about software hit home. I want to learn Lightroom well, and not be so distracted by what software others use!
For years I’ve resisted fully moving to LR processing because of the large number of images files I have and stress of trying to import and having the perfect keyword system for all of them. I’m letting go of that stress now. Thank you.
Organization, don’t obsess. Don’t strive for perfection. No perfect workflow. Good suggestions.
The comment you made about Perfection hit home. I really worry if one of my photos isn’t perfect that I thought was when I shot it. I have to get over that. Also I do monitor calibration every month, but I may not again.
Thank you thank you thank you for releasing me from worrying that I don’t calibrate my monitor! Whew…
Monitor calibration and colour space were two area’s I really went into deeply until I realised that ultimately had little effect on my photography. It can be difficult at time not to go down the rabbit hole with the likes of Youtube and website articles.
Also as an IT professional who deals with RAID and NAS adding these to your workflow can add a degree of complexity that can be at times worse than just having a USB drive attached to your computer to backup your files. The majority of consumer RAID and NAS products are not as robust as enterprise options and as such can have many failure points that could cause you to lose your photo collection.
Hi Matt thanks for the video as always much appreciated. The two things that resonated to me were Perfection and always doubting my work is good enough and as you say led to my procrastination so need to change my thought process and just enjoy rather than perfect. The other is workflow thinking that it needs to be done a particular way to create consistency and form a particular style, so will take onboard your comments and try something different to see if it helps. Once again thank you for you time and effort.
The first thing that struck me the most had to do with external hard drives ,Are mine good enough to house a back up copy of my photos safely. Should I have more, should they be bigger ? A better brand etc.
Thanks Matt, out of my mind and going to relax with what I have.
Secondly The issue of other software programs. Do I need plugins for Lightroom? What type do I need ? Should I be buying other Photo Editing Programs?
After Listening to Matt I will be putting those questions to bed and carrying on with my Lightroom and Photoshop. Spending more time with those programs and learning to use them better.
I appreciated all 8 points but picked the two I struggled the most over.
The perfectionism resonates. The reminder that a “lock-step” workflow isn’t necessary was also helpful.
Thanks Matt, and so glad to see all of my fellow photographers here! I think perfectionism or fear of flying/photo envy of others great work stops me from sharing any photos. I need to just get out there!!!! Hard drives mess me up, only when mine is full and trying to work through management of old work vs new working in lightroom. For something not mentioned for me, it is when I purchase presets, or clouds or even Topez, trying to get it added and then remembering to use it. thanks again!
Perfectionism is my top enemy in photography. Often it comes to the situation when I end up not editing the best photos from the shoot at all. I keep thinking that they have the potential to be really good, but I guess I am afraid to not do them justice. Then I decide to start with the second-best ones, edit and retouch them, and never return to the top picks.
Another thing is that I tend to edit and retouch any photo for too long. I keep seeing things that need to be improved and it takes so much time that I have difficulties finishing editing any particular shoot. Sometimes I force myself to commit to the fast editing in Lightroom only, but I end up feeling a bit unhappy because I know that photoshop would have made it more polished and to my liking.
Question for Matt and others about extra software – more specifically upgrading software “yearly” Obviously this does not apply to LR/PS if on subscription plan.
Yesterday when I opened my sharpening plug in there was a pop up note – My annual subscription would expire in a few weeks – I could continue using current version- no time limit, try the new version – however image would be watermarked, or spend $$ to upgrade. Interesting the upgrade would be effective today – not at end of current subscription. Also offered a discount if i upgraded all my company products for another year. some are OK of another 6-8 weeks
I have been happy with the current version, although understand upgrades usually do a better job.
How often do others upgrade plug ins or stand alone processing software
Having obsessed about my monitor calibration this week because it wasn’t perfect (!), I’ll now relax and move on. Thanks for permission. I also spend way too much time worrying about the perfect backup hard drives. I’m over it now! Thanks for that tip too.
The one that struck home was about hard drives. I’ve got way too many and their feeding and upkeep is killing me. What I’d love help with is culling a big shoot down into just the very best ones. I always share probably too many.
Perfectionism is probably related to a bad habit I have of saving all the layers in a PS edit – on the small chance I will be back and re-edit. I almost never do. That then eats up hard drive space.
Great point on Hardware and Software Paralysis.
The info on Color Space was very informative
Wow, you hit all the trouble areas that lead to so much time researching on the net. For me, my worse issue is me. Perfection which leads to procrastination is a big problem for me in photography and life. I’m never happy with the edits and heck I have difficulty narrowing down similar images to decide which one to edit. I definitely overmanage the photos, but if I didn’t have some way to be a least sort of organized I be in trouble. Plus, I need an easy way to delete all the extra images of duplicates and well the crap that I shot and the X and right arrow key are perfect for me.
I had just recently decided I’m not going to calibrate my monitor, now hearing I don’t need to, I feel like skipping! I never could see much difference when I did, but I did it because I thought you were supposed too!
I’ve also spent a lot of time researching hard drives, I’ll spend less time now, buy two and be done.
I have to mention perfectionism in editing too, it keeps me from finishing an image and sharing it.
Thank you Matt for sharing!
Thought provoking presentation. I worry too much about perfectionism and how others perceive my photography. It’s a hobby and should be fun! I realize how much more I need to learn about Lightroom.
Matt this was a eye opening video 🙂 The one point that really struck true for me was the last. I am guilty of over thinking my edit and I have gone back to a edit after a day or two and hit “Reset” because I could see I went too far and over edited then start over and do a simple adjustment and I’m happier with the photo.
It gets to the point sometimes I spend too much time on the edits. I really need to remember to “Keep It Simple Stupid” or the KISS method. LOL
Monitor calibration – truly thought I needed to figure out how to do that. I didn’t yet as I know I am a beginner and I am not printing much yet. Done with this one.
Hard Drives – It was frustrating trying to figure out what to get as I understood so little of it. It absolutely has led to procrastination.
Over managing – yep…and it is not working and I can’t get it all to work. I knew I needed to stop worrying about it, so instead I stopped managing and just started processing.
Thanks for reminder on color space and printing. Helps to hear it a few times
For me it’s perfection and training sessions. Hate to say it, but I purchase training and don’t create allow time to sit down and work through it. This year, I am going to look back at what I have and spend some time learning some new skills.
Perfection can be a problem in all parts of my life. Working on taking it easy and having more fun with photography and life in general.
Thanks for putting this together.
It seems I have the same issues as most people have commented on. Over managing. I have these preconceived notion that everything has to be in order, and a fear of not hanging on to every image, even though it’s lousy. I tried to learn how to do things, but then I give up because it’s not good enough. Hence years later I’m still struggling with things I should already know how to do.
Thanks for the list. I grouped Hard Drives and Perfectionism together. I’m looking for the perfect hard drive. LOL! I’ve worked in IT. There are differences in hard drives. Finding the perfect one – like you mentioned about perfectionism – is unrealistic. As soon as the perfect one is found, I buy it and tomorrow a new PERFECT one is found. I liked the reminder to get smaller a hard drives because it is important to have redundancy with any saved document, photo, item. Sometimes, fighting perfectionism means moving forward. Forward – keep moving – continue on – better and better each day. Enjoyed the list – thanks!
Having suffered a near simultaneous 100% failure of both my main drive and its backup, my biggest worry has been hard drives. I came out OK, but only after 2 years of rebuilding the entire system. Now I swap it all out annually.
OMG, Ray! My worst nightmare. You have my deepest sympathy. I have a 4Tb working drive a GRaid mirrored back up and a continuous cloud backup. And still I worry.
The two that struck a chord with me were #2 color space and #6 more software.
Color spaces and printing resolution have always confused me. And some print studios don’t even ask what you’re using so I never know if I’m sending the correct color version. I will definitely change mine from ProPhoto (?) to Adobe RGB.
I have a ton of software from different companies that I always intend to learn and use. My New Year’s resolution for this year is to learn LR and PS really well and cancel automatic upgrades for the other software.
Nancy – a recommendation that is probably not need for this group of MattKites, nevertheless I have to say that I really learned a great deal from the LR/PS bundle-
If you get and use Matt’s courses on PS and LR, you will know how to really use them.
Sonny and Kent – thanks for the encouragement. I have both and I’m trying to find a consistent time to work on them so I don’t forget what I learn from session to session.
The part on striving for perfection hit home for me as I have spent literally hours adjusting, re adjusting, and then adjusting some more……not just with photography either. And you are so correct in that it leads to procrastination and finally is self defeating.
Two things I learned from your video: I do not need to color calibrate my screen or my printer, and I do not need to have every picture under a Lightroom catalog. Thanks for these enlightening explanations!
Wow, everything was important to me. As a perfectionist I am frozen. I appreciated the information about screen calibration because I’m always sure that if I could just figure out how to do that my photos would be amazing and I can’t move forward until I learn to do this.
Your discussion on Color Space was most helpful. I do print frequently and have always used Pro RGB, but you have convinced me to simply use Adobe RGB.
With the exception of hard discs, I find that I am guilty of all of the points you raised Matt. I have subscriptions for On1 and Photoshop/Lightroom and while making plans for 2022, I decided that it would be the last year for one of them. Too many choices with lessons and presets and software has lead to paralysis for me. I was saddened when I saw how few photos I had taken in 2021.
Focusing (pun intended) on simplicity and fun will hopefully lead to many “imperfect” photos in 2022.
Great video! What resonated with me was to stop being a perfectionist and just get out there and take photos. No need to worry about calibration and colour space in the software!
I agree trying to take a perfect picture and have a perfect picture to edit is time consuming. Most of us are not the type of photographers who end up with a photo in National Geographic. My favorite photos when I look at them are those I enjoyed taking and brought me memories.
Perfectionism is something I need to work on, I spend to much time comparing my work to others. I need to spend more time comparing my photos from several years ago to the ones I’m taking now. That shows me that I am growing in my photography.
This was helpful (and eye-opening to hear some of your takes on what you feel is necessary and not!).
One of my biggest issues (and the thing that seems to steal my time the most) is FOMO. I’m always looking at new software, plug-ins, training videos, etc., etc. and then never actually learning them and doing. Ugh! So yeah, I need to just focus on Photoshop & LR (the two programs I’ve known and used the longest) and get really comfortable with them and just mess around with some of the others for some creative inspiration, perhaps.
I also liked to hear that workflow doesn’t really matter as much as some would lead us to believe. You’re right – technology has improved so much that a lot of this stuff really is just personal preference and comfort. So thanks for that. As I start to get back into editing, I’ll just see how it goes and get a feel for what *my* personal workflow should be. 🙂
For me it was work flow and perfection. I listened to others and their process.
For me it was work flow and perfection. I listened to others and their process. I need to develop my own and just learn to have fun with my part. It is not like it was commission by someone.
This is one that really spoke to me. I’m not a person that looks for the next best thing, but there for a while I was having issues with Lightroom and Photoshop for whatever reason and could not get images to load, transfer clearly, or other reasons and I started to worry about what I was going to do. I ended up looking for the “Next Best Thing”. I’m now back to using lightroom, but that was an expensive lesson I had to deal with. The second thing I took from this is management. I lost a lot of photos once from a computer crash and immediately began looking for storage. I’m looking forward to the lesson over management. When I started photography, I had no idea what I was doing and just kept all my photos on my desktop/laptop. When that crashed, I freaked out. I’m always worried about what will happen if or when it happens again.
Hi Matt. Interested in FastRaw Viewer but still not 100 % sure if I want to add further complicated software to my workflow. Could you explain how this software helps your workflow. Thanks
Your advice on color space printing versus online was very helpful.
I had trouble for a very long time with workflow. I tried fitting On1 into my LR/PS flow. Editing improved after I got sane ad stopped using On1 as well as PS. I think I have that under control. However, the perfectionism still runs rampant, even after posting a photo I think “I shouldn’t have posted that yet”. On another tack, I don’t print most of my pictures, but the ones I do are my best, Is there any reason to use ProPhoto rather than Adobe Color?
I don’t print my photos because I know they aren’t as perfect as I would like to see them. I am glad to have permission to let go of that and stop procrastinating on my editing.
I am working through why I chose the 25 images I made in 2021. Seems they are all pretty moody and give me a feeling of solitude. Good stuff Matt.
Perfection, hands down! In fact, that’s why I did not submit my top 10 or 20 photos for the first assignment. I looked at some who submitted professional looking portfolios and I felt like my photos were not worth showing. Along with perfection is the almighty problem of comparing. Comparing my work to others, especially the more advanced photographers, puts me in a place of how imperfect my work is.
Thanks for another challenge, this time to evaluate ‘what gets in the way’ of our photography.
Fortunately, I don’t worry much about most of the issues raised, but ‘perfection’ is perhaps an issue, and what others think of my photos.
So I sometimes spend a lot of time removing little things that annoy me, but, as you say, that others don’t see.
Still, I enjoy the challenge of removing people, power poles, Etc. I actually find it relaxing as well as challenging.
It all resonates with me (guilty on many charges!) but the one thing perhaps not specifically covered Matt (you sort of do), is SLOW DOWN, all the stuff you mention is a consumer of time, a waster of precious time . So my aim after watching this is to “de-clutter” my photographic life and slow down and enjoy it more. Thanks for the video.
My biggest hang up is wanting perfection. Afraid that someone will look at my photo and think it needs more editing or too much editing so i seldom post my photos
For me the main thing that resonated was the continuous search for new software to magically improve my photos. I have used Affinity and ON1 for a while and tried a few other free trial versions but have recently re-subscribed to Lightroom, which I am enjoying. I think I will stick with this and just try to go out and take more photos.
In the past I have also spent more time than is good for me worrying about monitor calibration and backup strategies. Hopefully these are now really in the past.
Thanks Matt, finally some common sense about those niggly things in the background that nobody ever talks about.
Hard Drives is the one that is causing me angst at present along with Backing Up. Pleased to hear you’ll be covering that later. I never could see the point in Calibration, never done it but have heard so much talk about it, it does make you wonder if you are missing something vital 🙂
Thanks for your thoughts on calibration and perfectionism. I have been working on both and to hear what you said makes it a much easier task to just let them go. On a side note… I wouldn’t advise on getting the cheapest hard drive as you may end up losing data for what you bought. There’s no need to go all out and buy the most expensive thing, but as an IT professional I would advise stearing clear of Seagate drives as I and some of my friends have been bitten by them and they are usually hidden in the cheaper external drives that you can purchase. Just my two cents.
Matt, Great video. I know that in the past I’ve spent too much time about upsizing my photos. Also, perfectionism bogs me down at time. And overmanaging my photos. Thanks for a better perspective on these.
Like many people here, what bugs me is the answer to the question ‘What is a perfect photo?’ Why do the adequate shots that come out of my high end camera and lens not have the ‘pop’ of so many of the photos I see on the net and on forums? Have they all spent hours in Photoshop and Topaz creating that perfect photo or is their camera technique able to capture the near perfect image in one go? Although acceptable, my photos seem relatively soft when they come out of the camera compared with what one pass in Denoise AI can achieve. I feel I should be getting better results from the camera and am constantly questioning my technique. My basic question is, I guess, ‘Can I get a better shot out of the camera or is computer software an essential tool for the ‘perfect’ photo?’ It certainly seems that Topaz software increases the quality of my lenses but shouldn’t they be delivering that quality in the first place?
Calibration and color space resonate, because while I don’t currently spend time on them, I have always wondered whether the view is worth the climb – should calibrating be my “next” project? One not mentioned, but which takes up time (and hard drive space!) is overconcern about resolution. I have a 50MP camera and except for close cropping I generally don’t need to be creating RAW files that large. They take up considerablle hard drive space, increase processing time, and if I don’t pay attention, create large jpg files for sharing. It is nice to have that capability when I really need it, but increasinly I”m shooting at one of the lower resoltion seetings and am perfectly happt.
Thanks, Matt! excellent points. I definitely over-manage the edit process and will now consciously strive to streamline my process going forward. I also know that searching for a particular image also takes up too much of my time. Now I’m inspired to simplify that as well. Thanks again for a great video.
Getting it right in the camera first has almost always been my objective after I got used to digital. After being a film shooter for so many years it was just too much fun to have almost unlimited space for images. Never a spray and pray shooter but the camera mechanics began to slip. Now I work diligently to think through the image before pressing the shutter.
Also, especially with the new update, I will use less and less plug in assistance. The new LightRoom Classic is fantastic.
If only I could get out to shoot more but that will soon be addressed to a degree with some upcoming travel to Guatemala to continue building a school that was started in March of 2020 .
Great video Matt. The two areas that spoke the most to me were calibration and perfectionism. I bought a calibration device for my previous monitor and wondered if there was something wrong with my vision as I could never detect any before/after difference. I bought a new high end monitor last year and abandoned calibration altogether as it seemed a waste of time and I’ve never looked back in regret. I occasionally get stymied in processing a photo because I always think that just “one more tweak” here or there will make it look better. I agree with your assessment that chasing perfection is not a good use of my time and energy.
Most of these aren’t things that worry me. I have a hard-drive backup with plenty of space, get cloud with adobe, have Icloud, etc. I have a workflow that works for me, but if I go out of order, as you say, no biggie. I do have a perfectionism disorder (goes with my OCD) however. I wish it were different, but when I get that perfect image, boy, are you guys going to hear about it :). I’m still early enough that I don’t get hit with procrastination too much though – mostly I’m eager to see what shows up on my camera card. Thank you for the encouragement!
My top worry is perfection and the second would be color space. I take family photos with the goal of creating photo books. I want my photo books to be perfect and I get so frustrated when a picture that looks great on my screen looks horrible in the book. I have been printing sample photos to get a better idea how the photo will turn out. Many times a photo that looks great on the screen does not print well. That is my greatest challenge.
My two that spoke to me was overmanaging my photos and perfection. I seem to take 10 photos of the same thing in case I missed it the first 9 times. So now I have 10 times as many photos to look at and to file. I am looking for the perfect shot. This last December I went through all of my 2021 photos and deleted (Yes, I deleted) bad photos or extra photos and only kept the ones that I liked. Now, managing the ones that I have is easier. I still need to look at the previous years and do the same thing.
Thanks for a down-to-earth video. All your comments are relevant. As a novice I am easily paralyzed by the overload of things to worry about and I hate just sitting at my computer which leads to procrastination. Thus less time shooting to improve my photography. Comments on Color Space and Monitor Calibration were especially helpful! Then there is Perfectionism. Thank you!
I’ve had drives and my computer crashes in this past year. Thankfully did not lose photos because I had backups but lost edits and other stuff and lots of TIME! I struggle with perfection sometimes and spend time on some little dot I can’t get rid of. So many things you mentioned made me think. Thanks Matt!
First of all, I’m impressed with the number of people who scrolled to the bottom to add a comment. I almost gave up.
Monitor calibration is the item on the list that I feel I’ve wasted time on. I have had multiple calibration devices in the the about 10 years I’ve been photographing. Much of the time I haven’t noticed a difference in before and after. In the early days, my prints were too dark until I calibrated my monitor. Now I don’t see that problem. It’s irritating to have to buy new devices because new LR or PS software is no longer supported. I’m very relieved to hear someone authoritative say that I don’t need to worry about this any more!
I was always worried about the color management and the screen calibration. I thought it was okay, but there is so much FUD that is out there it makes it hard sometimes to see what is the truth and what is actually needed.
#5 and #8 resonate the most, in sort of combination with each other. I tend to want to go back to “revisit” a photo edit to see if I can make it a little bit better, especially after watching a video/training and getting a new idea/skill that might just make a certain type of photo better. e.g. after watching Matt’s Topaz videos and buying the suite, I went back to several photos that I had shot in low light to see if I could clean them up. Some turned out real well (reinforcing my behavior) and others did not.
It is interesting to think about how the need for printing has changed. I started at 360tarted printing photos at 360 . Next 300. Then 240 and now I think you mentioned that 200 was enough. And there is very little need for printing even for me.
Finding “That one shot…” or a specific type of image for themed shows/competitions can be the biggest obstacle for me. Managing photos (I am still learning LightRoom) is my biggest time sink. Learning new hardware (switching from PC to Mac) and software are the second. Plus I can easily fall down the internet rabbit hole of “research” or analysis paralysis. The over-all themes of Perfection-ism leads to procrastination!!! and Use software as an experimentation and creativity tool!!! Are the ideas that really resonate with me. It matters more to go and do what you love – Lean in and do more. I found the hard drive, colorspace, and monitor calibration less important.
Thanks Matt for the candid video. The two points that struck me were; Perfectionism – it is tough to stop editing because
there always seems to be more that can be done, and I get into editing some more and then more. Will work on that, this year. I appreciated the comments about the external hard drives and not to worry about what kind to have other than have at least two!
Half of these I don’t even think about. The ones that struck me was Workflow and Perfection. Like Matt says everyone has “the right way ” to edit. I try and do things that suits me and the photo, like to experiment. Perfection, I am trying not to spend too much time editing, if I do then Procrastination sets in, and I end screwing up!
Focus on the important stuff! take the shot. What resonates for me is Perfectionism leads to Procrastination. fortunately I’m finally past most of the stuff you bring up in the video, but it took away so much valuable time that I will never get back – I wish I could have learned it sooner. So glad you have this site and I’ll definitely recommend your site when I hear folk with the same issues.
What not mentioned: I don’t need to watch every chapter, in order of every tutorial I download. I wanted to get back to printing – I had stopped – Perfectionism leads to Procrastination – so I purchased your tutorial. I have been working my way through it. Last night decided to just jump in and start printing. I jumped around a few different chapters. I now have several photos that I am looking at and going to print some more today YAY. I finally did it. The other item I am doing is that I am making a weekly plan of what I’m going to go shoot or edit or whatever to help me stay focus. Its working for me.
Thanks for this reboot. I’m finding it super useful.
Hard drive worries: I was just worrying about it (I need to upgrade the size of my hard drives) when I watched the video. I had come to the conclusion I didn’t need RAID, but was unsure. Serendipity!
Organizing your digital files. Always a worry. So many, so difficult to choose the ones to keep/look at/edit. Fear of missing the “right one” or the “one that you will remember fondly 5 years from now”. Good to know, it’s not just me!
#8 Perfectionism! In a nutshell I spend far too much time reading up on my craft as well as studying rather than getting out and just doing. When I do go out with my camera thinking how blah the winter is I do find something worth clicking. I always learn something about taking the shot and need to do that more. Thanks for a great video getting me thinking and hopefully doing more of the right stuff!
External hard drive and managing photos are the categories that resonate most with me right now, although each point has been a concern at one time or another and could be again. After all these years I’m still struggling to find a system that works best for me. Maybe that’s because I jumped into Lightroom with little instruction. Looking forward to the week 3 comments. Maybe something in that video will point me in the right direction.
I have almost completed Project 1 and have learned a lot about Lightroom along the way.
Thanks for Fresh Start!
#7 Workflow – How much time do I take to try the different presets and develop tools?
#8 Perfection leads to procrastination. Always striving for that perfect shot and feeling defeated by how infrequent they occur.
Pretty much agree with you on all except the work flow. There are some things that just need to be done on all of my images in LR and I have a nice easy list that I have available if I get stuck. Lots of years of editing have made much of it automatic but I usually review it when new features are added. I been through so many of the others and agree that you can waste so much time!
Thank you Matt! So glad I don’t need to be concerned with these things that have often slowed my progress, especially color space and monitor calibration. Your advice on workflow, extra software, and over managing confirmed my views on those. My biggest challenges for this year will be upsizing photos for printing small and large prints, and fighting perfectionism. I have a ton of good intentions, but often fail to finish because photos aren’t quite perfect. Thanks for encouragement to just do it!
The one that speaks to me the most is Overmanaging Photos. File management is always something I struggle with when storing my photos. Since I’m a hobby photographer I store them by year then a few categories within that year. I’m always thinking there is probably a better way. The digital age has made it so easy to keep so many photos that it can become unmanageable.
Secondly was Workflow. I believe I have the workflow that best works for me now but it was a struggle finding that at the time.
I vow to stop worrying about managing my photos perfectly, which leads to perfectionism, I can’t seem to delete any photos except the truly horrendous ones. Even after editing I think what if later I learn something that could same that 99th photo of that flower. Some attainable changes to work on.
Every step, is a learning step: I change my colour space to Adobe.
I am worried about Over managing
My 2 takeaways from this presentation are: Overmanaging Photos and Perfection.
On Perfection, many years ago I did a business (IT) course that said it is better to strive for Excellence rather than Perfection, as you are setting yourself up for failure if you strive for perfection. Striving for excellence results in continual improvement and ultimately will end up with better results than perfection. Now to apply this to my Photography.
Overmanaging, this is an area I have battled with and it was really great to hear what you had to say, and I need to take that to heart.
Thanks Matt, great video. For me I am definitely going to stop worrying about monitor calibration. I find that sometimes the “calibrated” monitor looks awful and has to be redone to get it right and the factory calibration looks better. Secondly is perfection, I tend to be a perfectionist in everything I do. Sometimes I work with my brother doing carpentry and he has reminded me “we aren’t building a piano”. In other words know when perfection is not necessary.
The monitor calibration always bothered me but I basically ignored it. So now I won’t worry about it. For the minimal printing I do, I get a test shot from the lab first before I print large or on metal. Usually no issues but gives peace of mind. But what to do with my fear of not having enough megapixels? I shoot with a 20 mp Canon R6 and wonder if one day I will have a great shot that I want to go really large.
Thanks Matt! What resonates most for me is the point about Perfectionism. I don’t feel I have enough experience or knowledge about what makes for a “great shot,” a “properly edited” or “right” photo and so I get hung up. Also, I spend way too much time doing video courses and watching, and not enough actually shooting or editing, so that I don’t really learn the skills being presented.
Thanks Matt I waste too much time looking at older photos and trying to decide which to keep and which to dump. Also I liked your comment on just shot what you like.
I have found that as technology improves, I can take some photos from the 80’s and improve their quality. So, I have found that discarding old photos sounds tempting but it is such a delight to get back the images and the memories when I am able to restore those with the software that is now available rich with features to do so.
Thanks for this video. For me, overmanaging photos and I waste a lot of time on it. Secondly – Perfection. It just never is perfect as I want it and then I feel disappointed, almost to the point of wanting to give up. But then I gather courage and try again. Also the reason for never sharing.
Wow! this video just became my No Excuses 2022 guidepost for returning to photography. With Covid my photography reduced to just family..even stopped adventuring out to shoot other things. The Number one thing for me is Managing the Photos…I have 8 LR catalogues I don’t know what to do with.and can’t find the photos I want. Do I leave those Catalogues on my main computer? Store the Catalogues with the photos on the backup drive? Total confusion for me. Believing I should be Perfectly managing Photos has left me under managing the files. I will stop thinking I have to calibrate everything before I print which may lead to actually printing some of my favorites…And I can now let go of thinking I have to really learn Topaz, Nik, etc…and spend more time actually photographing..which is the part I love and enjoy the most. Thank you.
Just an FYI, a guy named Clifford Pickett has excellent video/s on the initial uploading, organizing, rating, naming…photos. I finally understand Catalogues “somewhat”
Thanks Matt! For me the it is “Perfection” – I always think, it could be sharper, more colorfull, a better composition… that`s why it nevers comes to printing or even sharing my photos.
Agree with all you said.
Monitor calibration, perfectionism and workflow.
Keeping it simple and focusing more on being out and taking photos.
How wonderfully refreshing it is to hear your point of view.
Thank you so much. 🙂
As some others have mentioned I feel I fall into most of these categories. My #1 is “worrying about what others think” and that so and so did so much better #2 Storage, since I had my external drive crash and that’s where all my images were kept with no backup so now I’m trying to find a method to backup my new external to another external as I don’t keep them on my computer. #3 Procrastinating on what I should keep and what not #4 My workflow & lastly #5 composition and taking too long to edit when I know something looks fine which keeps me from posting till almost a week later
I’ve gotten past some of these (hard drives, overmanaging). The one that seems to resonate most is Workflow. There seems to be a theme flowing through websites and forums about Workflow, implying there is some holy grail to seek (but nobody says what that is). Good to know I can knock that one off my “worry list”! Thanks Matt.
Perfection sometimes grabs me by the ankles, and slows me down. I’m beginning to see that I take wildlife photos for multiple reasons, and each demands different level of output. Some photos just help me identify the bird when I see it on screen or in print; others may approach that finer level of technical skill that I’d like to hit every time (but don’t).
I have been ‘paralysed’ by the fear of not managing my photos correctly – I still don’t have a good system for managing them, and I constantly seem to lose the Lightroom versions that I have edited. I am looking forward to the session on that! I also spend way too much time trying to get my pictures perfect -need to ditch that and get out with my camera to practice more!
#8 – Perfectionism – that was the one that sat me straight-up while watching the video. For me, not having “perfect” (or even somewhat-“perfect”) weather or having “perfect” light when I look outside has made me procrastinate more times that I can even consciously remember! “Ehhh… maybe the conditions will be ‘better’ tomorrow for a chance at that ‘perfect’ shot I’m thinking of…” But practically every time I’ve been able to just go out and shoot, without regard to whether or not conditions were “perfect”, I have always… ALWAYS… come away with something rewarding or even just plain fun from the experience.
For me the issue of a ‘correct’ or ‘right’ workflow was very useful. I have even thought that different images required adjustments in different orders but felt that wasn’t the best approach. I am very encouraged to hear that in fact it is an appropriate way to process. The other matter which helped me was about software and ‘sticking with’ the program.
In terms of what would be interesting to hear about, I agree with other comments about comparing my images to other peoples and then getting discouraged (only to discover they are 20++ years into photography)
Perfectionism and not learning the training videos I have already purchased from you.
Overmanaging photos is a major item for me — two years ago I experienced two or three upgrades to my device, each one putting my files into the cloud. When that happened I got charged a bundle for needing more space — I found out to move those files out of the cloud and back to my desktop. I did not understand that doing that movement created a new desktop which seems to have duplicated all of those files. Now when I bring up a photo for editing I cannot tell if I have the “original” original.
So, every so often I think I would be better off if I would go through all of the photos and eliminate all of the duplicates — the contemplation of doing so leads to procrastination.
I readily admit that when I have not “worried” about this state of affairs and just pulled up a photo I want to work on, I am a much happier camper!
I have enjoyed this so far. For me I think it is the “Paralysis of Perfection”. It’s not so much as looking at other people’s work but looking at my own that just doesn’t reach the bar, I have put up for myself.
Thanks Matt. One of the reasons why I keep coming back to your courses is that you have such sensible advice! I have now changed my color space to Adobe RGB and have put away my monitor calibrator (I never was satisfied with the results from it anyway!)
My other problem is that I spend too much time on new courses (including yours!) and not enough on actually going out to practice. Not good – I see a new New Year’s resolution coming on…
Thanks again for helping all of us with our photography journey.
Perfection is the biggest one that I resonated with and felt like I was being personally attacked haha, but I understand it, another is workflow, I’m still trying to learn editing so trying to figure out which works best for me takes so much more time than i care to admit. I need to just be ok with learning and not perfecting everything. Just have fun and enjoy what I do.
MattK, you are awesome!! And this ‘Fresh Start’ for 2022 is just what a lot of us needed to hear – in part or as a whole body of work! It breaks my heart to see how many people are not spending as much time behind the camera because of what is required on the other side.
Thank-you for the wisdoms.
The two areas that are yelling at me (way beyond ‘speaking to me’) are:
– Workflow (are you sure there is not like just one way to do everything…?🤔 )🙂
-Over-managing Photos – Guilty of collecting GBs upon GBs upon GBs of edited versions and backups of backups, and so on,… .
Thank-you for putting this together!!
Thanks Matt. I tried calibrating my monitor once and decided my pictures looked just fine! 🙂 The part on Image size is most useful. Also I’ve always felt guilty about my work flow habits ( I’ll stop feeling Guilty! ) I think perfection is a disease of social media but I do love to love my images, maybe I should learn to accept the imperfect more. Thanks 🙂
For me the two most important take-a ways are interrelated – color space and calibration. I fell into the trap of prophoto rgb in terms of setting my photoshop color space based on the shared ideas that one day the computer screens will catch up to the photo software and produce these rich nuances of color contained in the prophoto color space. I have come to realize I will be dead before this happens and using prophoto for editing introduces several steps into the (dare I say it) workflow so buh-bye prophoto-hello adobe rgb and srgb. I do like to print so adobe rgb will have to remain…Since I like to print, calibration will remain an ancillary concern but I don’t calibrate every time I open the computer so it really doesn’t eat up editing time. Rather than a time-consumer, it is a guilt generator so…buh-bye guilt, hello enjoyment of the process! Thanks for your generosity in providing all the free tutorials throughout the year. I have and continue to learn a great deal from you on my journey to producing photos of which I can be proud.
most of the topics resonate with me; I want to add one: avoid feeling the constant need to keep the computer and software running like a perfect machine, looking for articles and blogs on how to tweak every last detail
it is important to maintain the computer but without exaggerating
As some writers put it, “finding your own voice”
I have been spending a lot of time buying camera’s, and software programs but not really focusing on improving my photo taking skills.
True, there is not perfect workflow although I would hope that most would agree that backing up your files should be one of the first things everyone should do is important. Leaving your files on a card only to find your card is your latest dog or cats play toy is usually not a good sign.
I will admit that I calibrate my monitor, but in honesty you are very correct that there are so many different display devices out there that I wonder if it is really worth my time.
Ive been guilty of extra software until I realised I was master of none, so decided to learn LR & PS only. Find plenty to master there without extra programs.
Probably still worry about workflow so need to put that one to bed!
Like others perfection is the biggest hurdle to overcome. Not only does time get wasted but it fuels self doubt so maybe 2022 will see less of this!
I was the same. I added On1, when a certain MattK convinced me about their dynamic contrast. Then tried their suite but it didn’t add much value to Lr/Ps and I just used their plug-ins.
Explored AuroraHDR but Lr & Ps added native HDR capability. Avoided Luminar and just stuck with Lr because I like it and Ps because Blake Rudis convinced me that’s all I need. Jim Welninski tries to tempt me with 3DLUT Creator but I am resisting (I am on Mac which is not strategic for them.
I was doing really well until a certain MattK (see a trend?) convinced me of Topaz DeNoise and Sharpen… but I can cope with those… 😉
First, thanks for lifting multiple yokes from us.
The two things that resonated with me are monitor calibration and extra software. I’ve been fretting over monitor calibration for several years, and have purchased multiple software packages. My third item would be color space.
Thanks for the video.
Thank you for your opinion on the value of trying to CATALOG all of my images. It always seemed to me to be an unattainable goal. Also I always believed that there is a WORKFLOW that is more efficient and that will produce images of the “best” quality. I am glad exclude CATALOGING and WORKFLOW from my photography goals.
Perfect Timing…..Thank you very much, Matt. One(?) reason that I didn’t share any of my photos for week 1 was because of what was said in your 2nd video. hahah I don’t have an on line photo gallery, and I want to begin one, maybe my own web page, now that I feel better about not worrying about all the details. Wow! you’re a mind reader. I appreciate your wit and knowledge. Thank you again for sharing.
Thanks for doing Fresh Start again! You are such a wonderful, down to earth educator. “Perfection leads to procrastination.” It’s like you know me! (And a lot of others it sounds like.) I can be the worst procrastinator, because I want my photos to be perfect, but I don’t think I realized that’s what was going on. Definitely going to work on this!
OVER-MANAGING sums up my barrier. I wanted to move from Photos to Lightroom for the cataloguing to work on specific projects. Bought the Ultimate Lightroom course and didn’t get past Section 1 organising. Had Lightroom standalone but now there’s a subscription – which way to go? Have purchased other software ON1, Affinity … have not used them. Still take a few photos but feeling overwhelmed and bogged down with what I already have.
What I take from the video is that I don’t have to complete organising them all, I can pick a target project and focus on that. But what software decisions to make?
Thank you for simplifying color spaces and removing my guilt for not calibrating my monitor! Whew! I feel lighter already.
I do most photo editing on my iPad, so I’m more than happy to toss out color calibration into the junk pile along with extended warranties and timeshares as an investment.
Color Calibration is something that concerns me as I am a big scrapbooker and do print a lot using external vendors. I don’t mind a little difference in color but bigger variances in color, saturation, and lightness/darkness bug me as it can mess up an entire layout. That being said, I am a bit overwhelmed with the perceived technology IQ that is required to actually do it – ie I am never sure I am doing it correctly and don’t understand all the asks in the steps. The other point that hits a major nerve is “perfection” but that comes more into play with my actual photography skills (or lack thereof…) and certainly does have a procrastinating effect/internal negative voice that often holds me back from just going out there and just practicing as I am often dismayed that I am not coming close to a competition worthy shot.
Thank you Matt for the discussion on “Perfection”… I think it’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t print my own photos. It’s difficult not to compare myself to others.
Color Space was an eye opener for me. Our camera club has been wrestling with this for projection and with display on our website. I need to verify that no projector nor screen can display the prophoto RGB, but I never considered that it couldn’t! Thanks, Matt!
Thank you Matt! I so appreciate your down to earth insights. Perfection is a tough one for me…I do need to let go more often than not.
Love the comment on calibration. I’m finally going to throw out my Spyder! Thanks Matt
Great video Matt. You are probably the most trustworthy person in photography training. Some many of the others are trying to sell me something I don’t need. All your points were excellent. There are other myths that people follow because someone said it on the internet or at one time it was true. I was attacked on a message board because I told someone it was OK to use ISO of 400 for his flash photography. The person told me that we should only use ISO 100. I often see people saying that you should only shoot with prime lens because zoom lens are not sharp. The other is getting the latest gear weather you need it or not.
I find that I spend too much time on both Workflow and Perfection trying to come up with a photo worthy to enter in my camera club competition. Sometimes I think my photos are just not good enough
I am going to really work on not getting the latest plug-in. I have some that I haven’t been able to use, and when I do…geuss what…there is an update.
What also resonated with me was the discussion about workflows. I do always start by using camera raw for exposure, temperature, and defying, but adjusting manually, then into PS. I also try to color correct before editing further.
And perfection…no need to elaborate.
Good reminders….thanks. My challenge is PERFECTION, and it’s kissing cousin OVERWORKING a photo. I can take a picture in Lightroom or Photoshop, and try a) different levels of cropping, b) replacing some of the background, c) adjust skin tones, d) color shift the whole photo, e) apply different developing presets and so on. I sometimes look at my developing history and find 200 steps and 8 saved iterations of the photo…….what a waste of time. Any one of those 8 saved photo iterations was good enough, and could have been achieved in minutes vs an hour or more. Simplify, simplify, simplify is my motto for 2022.
Dave, it”s fun to try all those iterations, but, your point is so right! We have to stop at some point to try do better. We should reserve it for our next photos shoot!
I understand completely. When I notice that my Lightroom history is starting to resemble the Chrysler Building, I know that I have gotten lost.
I’m a software junkie…but keeping up and learning how to use them as they often change dramatically slows me down.
They do inspire me creatively…but also slow me down…I’ll have to try to put myself thru a 12 step software reduction program!
Perfection rings true. Never get there and slows me down and leads to frustration.
Also learned about color space. Did not understand it before
I don’t really stress about these things but I do not agree with Matt about monitor calibration when it come’s to printing. I spend a lot of time getting my prints to look like the monitor so if for instance the monitor is too bright, and most people have the monitor too bright, you end up with a dark print.
I agree with Martin. If your monitor is too bright and you edit visually to the monitor your print will be TOO dark. This is especially important when printing through a lab or printing a book. At least get the proofing set up to match printing results.
If you edit for presentation on a monitor there is nothing you can do. Our Photo Society meets in a communal hall and sometimes the large TV is not colour balanced properly or is set to Dynamic colour. The results are enough to leave you very dispirited. If there is a judge evaluating/scoring images there comments on colour, contrast, brightness, etc. are not very relevant. I had a judge say the reds in one image were maxed out when the histogram says there was still room at the top.
Just my two cents worth on this topic.
I apologise Tony, I couldn’t remember the name from the top when I did the comment at the bottom.
Blame Matt, and my age.
I bought the print course *spoiler alert*.
I watched that video and the main thing I took from it is that, by experimenting, I can use my calibrator to set my screen brightness to a known level that matches the print brightness close enough. My MacBook has a touch bar to set the brightness and I’m never too sure I’ve got the right setting (ambient lighting sometimes tricks me). But I now never go through the whole process of creating colour profiles etc.
I Tony, I agree 100% with what you point out. I spent so much time trying to have a print having the same “vibe” that I have looking to it on my screen. Yes our screen is way too bright and, personnaly, I have to adjust it from time to time.
Most of my photos end in a photo book because it’s the only way to show them easyly to friends and family. So many times I was disapointed by the result of the printing… too dark, too flat, … I prefer to calibrate my screen a few times per year and stress less about that issue after.
For the first few years of my photographic journey I did not bother with any calibration and did not miss it, at all, … but one day that changed.
Since I started using calibration, my colour results are consistent regardless of print or web outputs.
Just before installing the calibration, I started doing a lot more work. I was disappointed frequently with the results. Then discovered that I am one of those folks with a weirdly, accurate eye for colour(s). Adding to this, if the actual room changes light throughout the day-to-night, even a bit, then so will the perceived colour(s) on the screen. That is, to my mind, another good reason to calibrate.
However, I do agree with Matt, that if you are primarily posting to the web, it will not make any perceptible difference to most people … and it is a huge time/resource drain to calibrate. Unless you have some professional/work reasons that require calibration, and if it does not fit your ‘wheel-house’ go without it!
Some interesting topics in this video. I agree to stop looking for perfection in a photo, a photo should be about enjoying the moment not if everything being prefect. I used to aways calibrate the screen of my old computer but since buying a new computer I have not felt the need to, so it was good hearing you say not to.
Thanks, Matt. You had me smiling throughout the video. I relate to them all, but mostly over managing and perfection. I have lots of photos in LR that have lost the link to my drive, but have decided to find them only if I really need the photo.
One thing that I have recently decided to stop doing is worrying about what camera I am shooting with. I use a Sony A6300 and have been tormenting myself about getting a full frame sensor. Don’t want to buy all new lenses again, so I have decided that it is good enough! Whew, a relief.
Liked your comments on monitor calibration. That will save me so much time!
Thought provoking! I fell foul to the SW problem a few years ago when starting post processing but saw sense and agree that becoming more skilled in an App is the way to go. Workflow still causes a few worries but seeking Perfection definitely blocks creativity both with camera and the computer.
Blissfully ignorant of several things you spoke to. However, living the hell of owning a RAID (family photos going back to the early 1900’s create huge space requirements). Was managing quite well with smaller drives all backed up with two others (one of which is in the Safe Deposit Box. Gonna go back to that.
Oh, … my heart-strings!!! How I miss those joy-filled days of ‘blissful ignorance’, … . 😥
I bought an 8TB RAID (RAID-1) and used half of it as a ‘redundant’ (useless) back-up…?
Oh, … my heart-strings!!! How I miss those joy-filled days of ‘blissful ignorance’, … . 😥
I bought an 8TB RAID (RAID-1) and used half of it as a ‘redundant’ (useless) back-up…?
Thank you Matt for a very informative video. The subjects that resonated with me were:
1. Perfection – It’s okay to say enough is enough and I like that you keep reminding us that people will not be zoomed in to your photos to see any imperfections that you think might be there.
2. Over Managing – I too have many photo shoots that are not in Lightroom and it gave me comfort to know that you don’t also.
3. Hard drives – I have a very simple, but effective backup system for myself and I like that simple is okay, as long as it works.
4. Upsizing – It’s nice to know you can upsize right inside of Photoshop.
Thanks Matt for making me think about the issues that you brought up in your Video. I liked your information about 4000 pixels or less for screen sharing. I belong to an organization that wants photos emailed between 1-5MB in actual size. I sometimes struggle to meet these perimeters. I feel after the many years that I’ve been using LR and PS I have a pretty good knowledge and system of what works for “me” when it comes to other the topics you mentioned in your video.
Thanks Matt for making me think about the issues that you brought up in your Video. I liked your information about 4000 pixels or less for screen sharing. I belong to an organization that wants photos emailed between 1-5MB in actual size. I sometimes struggle to meet these perimeters. I feel after the many years that I’ve been using LR and PS I have a pretty good knowledge and system of what works for “me” when it comes to other the topics you mentioned in your video.
Having read many comments here, it seems many of you are spending a huge amount of time deleting images. I did the same. Here’s a trick I learned which may not work for everyone. Once I started to use this technique, I stopped obsessing about deleting images. You might try this. First pass through downloaded shoot, give all photos with Technical/compostion good exposure one star. Delete only those totally hopeless ones (out of focus, dog pooping, eyes closed, pix of your shoes,etc.) Second pass, give better ones which require refinement 2 stars; third pass, give 3 stars to the best of this group. From now on, whenever you edit, sort your photos by 3 star and higher. You never have to see those 1’s and 2’s again. BTW, I rename all photos as I download them and don’t keyword until I’m down to the 3 stars. Before I started doing this, I spent hours looking closely at photos before deleting because I worried I’d delete some shots which would have use in a different context, or if cropped – whatever. Also, I don’t worry about having so many images in the catalogue or on the XHD. XHD’s are cheap – your time is valuable.
PS: When you start editing, then give your best ones 4 or 5 stars.
Thank you Matt for this series. What particularly resounded with me was calibrating your monitor. I mostly print and I appreciate you giving equal time to printing and online displaying your work.
I shoot families and events as paid jobs so it is very important that I give the client good color rendition files-most people just want the files today. And I realize that each lab/print kiosk is going to be very different. But I can come back to the client and say to them, I match my files to the professional lab that I use….. I have spent oodles of money and time printing at a professional lab–and even at Costco to check what a print would look like. What looks good on my screen isn’t so good in print. EX: orange skin tines, grayish or washed out skin, picture too light or too dark in print.
Last spring my husband had “enough of my wasting $$” so he bought me a BenQ monitor. After spending oodles and oodles of time and money calibrating this monitor and making sample prints, I now seem to get a reasonable “what I see on the monitor, I see in print”. Trusting what I see has been the biggest waste of time and money I have had with this digital world of photography. Your comments/feedback is very welcomed!
The monitor calibration thing had me flummoxed forever which kept me from buying a monitor. Just bought a high end BenQ, like you, and since I don’t print, I’ve discovered I really don’t need to have it calibrated. it’s great!
Wonderful suggestion. Thanks
Good advice Karen.
I need to work on over managing my images. I seem to have a fear of deleting or destroying an image no matter how bad the photo is. I procrastinate about trashing bad photos by telling myself that some good elements of a bad photo can be used in my digital art and I do use elements from bad images from time to time. But really, a lot of those bad boys just need to be filed in the trash bin as I can spend way too much time sifting through them to find usable elements and then creating storage and managing the mountain of bits and pieces.
Thank you for getting me to think about these issues. This course has already been a big help in streamlining my photography and digital art.
Amen!!!! I have thousands of crap photos that I’m saving for God only knows what.
Well Matt, thanks for that. I’m going to take your comments on Colour space and monitor calibration on board (especially the latter one) and absolutely forget about them. I’ve just bought a new printer and have found myself frozen in trying to get the colour exactly the same on the monitor and the printer. I’m not sure I agree with you however on “over managing”. I think you need sufficient managing to match what you require from your system. Too little makes the system useless; too much leads to freezing in achieving anything. If that’s over managing then I agree with you, but I think you underplay the need for managing your photo collection.
I am well an truly stuck in Procrastination. Well past the perfectionism. I think partly because my work is 40+ hours in front of a computer, but secondly and probably more importantly, picking up my camera and finding something to take a photo of. I have stressed on all the topics at one time or another and it is so good to hear that it’s a waste of time and it does prevent you getting out and taking photos. 2022 is going to be the year I not only continue learning art but also getting behind my camera again.
All of them resonated in one way or another but the ones that stood out the most were PERFECTION, I am always struggling with my tweaking of images. The second was hard drives, I think because I made the mistake of only backing up to one external hard drive and it failed; I lost 88 thousand images! I was heartbroken. Not as far up the list was screen calibration, I’ve been told so many times it’s important but obviously I worried over nothing… it’s gone!
Thank you for the thought-provoking video about things that can distract us from making great photographs. In my case, perfectionism is the culprit and closely related to my inclination to constantly compare my photos with those of others. You have reminded me that paying too much attention to the work of others can take time away time from my own shooting and editing. As the saying goes, it’s better to “run your own race” and focus on my own progress and growth as a photographer.
I have on that maybe falls under perfectionism. Stop pixel peeping! I spent a ton of time editing my daughter’s wedding pictures one year. When I was finished she wanted to know why it took so long, so I showed her some before/after versions. I was happy with my work and showed her all the little blemishes that I removed, etc. After looking at about 4 images, she said “but Mom, nobody is going to blow up these pictures to see this”. Of course she was right. Uggh, it’s such a habit. I love zooming in to check the detail in my images, which then results in hours of tiny little changes on a single image.
Matt, I most appreciated the explanation of color space. I have heard so much debate about it, and I’m relieved to get the simple explanation! Second helpful point was monitor calibration. HOWEVER…when I view my images, they look very different in Photoshop than they do in other apps, such as ‘one photo viewer’. As a result, I’m never quite sure what a printed image will look like until it’s in m hand. This is something that I’d like to learn more about.
Matt, as everyone else says, great video. Your video has only been out for two days, but I see so many comments already, thought I would not get to the bottom to enter my comments. Color space, never understood it and now I don’t have to worry about missing something. Monitor calibration, used to do it, never really saw much difference. Keep getting reminders from the software to do it again. Glad I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Finally perfection. Many times I just can’t to a point that I think I am done. Always, looks great but could it be better if I (fill in the blank). Got to get out of that mindset and just finish the editing to a point I like it and move on. Thanks again.
Thank you for your wonderful video. The two things that I worry about are (1) calibration – I’ve been wanting to print photos and have been putting it off until I get my screen calibrated. Now I am just going to print. (2) managing photos- I find that that has held me back so much and I’m going to stop trying to be perfect with managing them and get on with taking photos and editing them.
Thank you for your wonderful video. The two things that I worry about are (1) calibration – I’ve been wanting to print photos and have been putting it off until I get my screen calibrated. Now I am just going to print. (2) managing photos- I find that that has held me back so much and I’m going to stop trying to be perfect with managing them and get on with taking photos and editing them.
I love your realistic approach to photography, Matt. I try to not overthink things, but your reassurance that so many of these worries don’t really matter was really helpful. I do need to manage my photos better (discard garbage) so I don’t need to worry about needing more hard drives. 😉
I found the info about image re-sizing most useful for me. I am already onboard about avoiding “the-next-best-thing” software peddled everywhere. However, I appreciate guidance on simple tools that fix simple things better than PS or LR; I will be looking into Topaz and Fast Raw Viewer. Any similar recommendations would be appreciated.
Point #8 (stop trying to be perfect) is the one that resonates with me the most. Also, organizing the entire library (Lightroom catalog) seems to get in the way as well for enjoying the photographic experience.
Thank you for confirming all of these points.
I will work on my passion with always wanting that perfect photo.
I need to spend more time working on my post processing.
Thank you for helping all of us on our walk to give up things that are not that important.
And encouraging us to do what we love best, that is taking photos.
Thanks so much for the part on color space! I had Lightroom set to the Pro Photo RGB setting (it probably got past me on an upgrade), and that may have accounted for some weirdness in color intensity that I couldn’t get rid of. It’s also really helpful to know that sRGB is best for online, and good old Adobe RGB is still best for prints. Perfection leads to procrastination – I want to put that on a bumper sticker!
All of these issues have resonated with me at one time or another. Thank you, Matt, for permission to not stress! I used to stress over monitor calibration but since I seldom print anything, I haven’t worried about it. At one time I stressed over software, but Lightroom and Photoshop have so much to offer that I just put my focus on excelling with those two apps. I have also stressed over hard drives, but I think I finally found a setup that works for me, so I’ll stick with that. The issues that seem to bother me the most have been finding a good tripod that is lightweight and not too costly. I’m relatively pleased with the one I finally decided on and I don’t want to shell out more $$ to find “the” perfect one. Another thing: For some time I wanted to get a new lens. I’ve used my kit lens and macro lens exclusively but I wanted something with a lower F-stop. I guess I have to figure out what I want to shoot first. I’m still exploring that. If I invest in a lens or two, will it be obsolete if I move to a mirrorless camera at some point? Also, is mirrorless really the way to go in the future?
As I said above, the one I most resonated with was color space BUT I edit in Adobe color space and save as PSD for any possible printing but then save smaller file jpeg for sharing on line but when I do I don’t see the option for SRGB. It says ICC profile: Adobe RGB. How can I change it to SRGB when saving?
Color space concerns resonated with me because I have often used pro-photo rgb and now I know I don’t need to do so. It won’t add value.
The second resonance for me is “better software”. I believe I can forget about it until some good photo buddy tells me that such and such is fabulous, and now I can ignore that. I do like Topaz for noise reduction and will continue to use it. I also like results I obtain with Nik and will continue to ignore (Photoshop) for the most part.
Thanks for this Matt,
#5 Overmanaging photos and #7 Workflow resonated with me.
Time wasting effort will be saved by your comments!
Thanks Matt. I always wondered why we really needed to do monitor calibration.
Perfectionism. I think it has positive aspects, so you get motivated to get better at something. But on the other hand it’s also holding me back, thinking that whatever picture I take or however I edit this picture, that it just isn’t enough. Thank you for your videos, Matt. They really make me think more about what really is important!
Actually, I was rather amused by this list because none of these things have ever really bothered me. But I have been in workshops where I have heard these questions and worries come up all the time. When I have heard them I have immediately thought about the fact that those worries are preventing those individuals from actually having fun and really creating. Yes, I have learned new software techniques, and often become very frustrated in the process. So I now limit doing so to the “have to” times when I know I can create something better if I learned how to use things like blend modes and layering because I already have a vision of what I want to create and I know that learning more is the only way that is going to happen. Dealing with it that way has actually encouraged my desire to grow and expand my knowledge base, which has been exciting. But it has never slowed me down in just getting out there and taking shots when I see something that I think deserves to be caught by the camera.
Perfectionism, calibration. All your points resonated with me.
Over managing my images certainly rings true for me! They all have to be filed, culled or processed, rated, keyworded, location info…and yet, I don’t know that I can give it up…. I have noticed how quickly and easily I can find what I am looking for compared to my boyfriend, who doesn’t agonize over all that stuff, but has trouble finding things…. Hope he doesn’t see this! 😉 I fully admit that I may not have learned the right lesson from this, though, and I definitely make life hard for myself! At least maybe I will put some thought into it now that I might not have otherwise. 😊
One thing Matt didn’t mention that drives me crazy and takes up precious time is software glitches. Something that was working fine will suddenly stop working. Then I have to either commit to a mini-project to find the solution or I have to deal with working around it some way (if that’s even possible)…
The comment about stop looking for additional software is for me a 2 edged sword. I enjoy your videos but I have been an On1 user for a few years (actually I found them after finding your videos referencing them) and your preferences for Photoshop or Lightroom seems to be geared to them exclusively now. I can’t be the only non-P or non-L user that follows you so it’s become frustrating being left out of the loop when you make suggestions geared to only those programs.
I too am a LR user slowly shifting to ON1 after Matt’s reviews of it’s features. I still find Matt’s advice on how to best use LR carries over nicely to ON1. I felt much more left out in project 1 where only talked about how to share photos thru Adobe subscriptions. There are so many alternatives to on-line storage and distribution. I wish he had mentioned some.
#1 thru #5 have never bothered me, likely because I’m not far enough along to think or worry about those things. #6 Software – I use Apple Photos, and I haven’t outgrown it yet, so I’m happy with it. #7 Workflow – I crop first, then edit. #8 Perfection – As you pointed out, this is often the enemy of doing something, anything. Thanks.
The one comment that resonated strongly with me was the one about monitor calibration. In my camera club its a frequent topic of conversation and it seemed expensive. Now I understand that this is not something I should worry about. When I print images its almost never that I feel that the colours are “off”. So great commentary.
Loved this video! I’ve stopped worrying about the newest trick software and textures. 20 years of Photoshop and now Lightroom is more that enough. Also color space. Eliminating LAB color, now always Adobe RGB to process based on your comments.
Thank you for this video. I think I can get distracted by trying to get the “right workflow” as I have thought that certain elements need to be done before others. I can also get distracted by the fact that I have lots of photos in my collections that are unedited and/or I don’t know whether to keep or delete eg: HDR photos once I have the merged image.
The part of your video that was the most personal, for me, was your message to spend more time behind the camera than behind the computer. however, i’m still trying to do the task from #1 video, creating my gallery, and that is not too successful so far.
Workflow perfectionism, particularly the temptation to feel that I need to tweak a setting in every editing panel. It’s like shopping in a supermarket when you feel you must go down every aisle! I intend to plan my intention for editing and then just use the settings required to achieve that intention.
Overmanaging photos, who really cares if every photo in your catalogue has a rating and at least one keyword…
Thanks for giving me permission to stop worrying about monitor calibration, following someone else’s workflow and perfectionism! Loved the video!
Great recommendations, I especially liked to stop worrying about new software. In short, the rule is KEEP IT SIMPLE!
I love computer software updates, and have gotten stuck trying out the newest software, but not actually doing my work. That has moved into my photography. Playing with software sometimes gets in the way of doing actual photography. This also leads into my need to make things “perfect”. It all leads to not getting the important stuff done.
I resonate with calibrating a monitor. I am glad for your input today regarding there is not a need to calibrate a monitor. I can now hopefully spend more time with my photography outdoors.
Thanks for the thought provoking video. Most of the topics resonated with me but the two that really stood out were Perfection and Monitor Calibration. It really is time to get out with the camera instead.
The two topics which resonated most with me are a. calibration and b. perfection. Calibration is an unresolved topic for me, because I love to print my favourite photos in a4 size (letter). Unfortunately, the prints all have a redish hue compared to what I worked on and see with my monitor. So, still need to get this fixed. Perfection leads me to spend way to much time for choosing the “best” shot out of a series, plus it makes me keep almost all the raw files in case my preference for the best shot may change (hugghh…).
So, on this last one I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how to pick i.e. decide for the “best” shots from a photo session AND to make sure you get rid of the “average” ones ……
Thanks for this “fresh start” initiative!
PERFECTION #8 – I am a poster child for this one. Your comment regarding striving for perfection and that leading to procrastination is dead on. My shooting has suffered because of this “limiting belief” and I am generally hesitant to hang a photo in my own home, because I feel “it’s not good enough”…although everyone in the family loves it and wants their own copy. Thanks Matt.
Thanks for the insights Matt. I have been stressing about installing an SSD drive when I already have enough space on a conventional hard drive. You are saving me a lot of time and money.
The only reason I calibrate my monitors is because I work with two – a stand alone monitor and my laptop. If I don’t calibrate the brightness and colours tend to be very different which is confusing when I’m editing. I find myself wondering which one is the ‘correct’ one, the one that will be seen by others. But now realising from your video that everyone has different monitors…I guess it really doesn’t matter. Very helpful.
Upsizing – I enlarge images of wildlife for our home on metal prints and just want to make sure the pixel size is correct for the size I’m looking for. All 8 of your topics are great and as you’re explaining the importance of each one I’m getting a very good understanding of how to have more time for the important things.
Workflow perfectionism. I’m never sure if I’m doing it correctly and I want it to be correct. This is the year to Let It Go (do you hear the music from Frozen in your head?? 🙂
I’ve given up on extra software that I might use only once or twice — LR & Topaz are my mainstays. I also gave up worrying about color. As long as my prints are bright enough after a couple of toys, the color usually looks fine. “Fine”, not “perfect”!
Thanks for your very practical suggestions. The color space issue has bugged me in the past, and I’m really glad to eliminate the ProPhoto color space, because that has given me fits when I’ve printed!! I tried the monitor calibrating once and quickly ditched it – will no longer worry about it. I really resonate with the perfection issue! Your videos are wonderful – thanks for doing them!! I look forward to your coming lessons.
I am so glad to hear you promoting the concept of keeping things simple with regards add-ons, computer equipment, etc. You have re-enforced my idea to learning a few things really well, and not chase after the latest and newest products and learning no more than the bare basics before moving onto the next latest and greatest thing.
The two things that resonated with me the most were your comments about perfectionism and procrastination.
I’m gonna work on improving in those areas, but not until tomorrow or maybe next week or so. 😉
For me, the workflow and overmanagement issues have been concerns (worry might be overstating it). Am I wasting time if I do something out of sequence? Will I lose track of an image that someday I might improve and come to love? Do I really have this backup strategy working properly (will an unrecoverable disaster strike me because I didn’t think things through)?
Taken as a whole, these tips tell me to get out and shoot more. And if this rain ever stops, I will.
Funny. Nothing was new to me on this list of “things to stop worrying about”. I think I’m too old now: I had indeed times when I was thinking about the best RAID configuration, the best printing workflow, the best monitor and how to calibrate it, the best additional software (additional to Ps and Lr).
Perfection … Perfection can indeed lead to procrastination, but then you haven’t understood what the goal of perfection is actually for: to get better. This is a higher goal and should not prevent you from being happy about the fact that you are already quite good
The essential benefit of your video (concerning all the 8 topics) was for me: I may be free to do my editing in just that manner as I am doing since years. And I have not to look for newer software, larger drives et al. but may be still concentrated onto a sufficient (!!) perfection. I am using LR6 only (not a cloud based version) supplemented by a dust reduction tool and by the NIK Collection. These means only gave me photos satisfying my own (!) feeling of being good. Very seldom I print one of my photos, but very often I present them by means of a high-level projector (Sony, SXRD technics) to public viewers. And finally, also they express their excitement
Well I may also be in the minority of comments here that didn’t find too many things that I am over obsessed with. I do own a monitor calibration tool and some software but I use 3 large 4k monitors side by side so I wanted to get them all calibrated but I am not really strict about recalibrating, when I do it hardly changes anything.
I do feel strongly about DAM or digital asset management. I could never just drop images into a folder and leave them for later. I import, rename and add keywords no matter what. I have 3 LR catalogs, one for photography in general, one for scanned images as I have a large collection of images in the form of prints, negatives and slides going back over 100 years from my family and my pre-digital days. And one for genealogy as I have an extensive family tree I keep working on. So it’s important to me to keep it all in order. But I don’t lose sleep over it.
I’m 65 and realized a long time ago I am not perfect and nothing I ever do will be.
I am a relatively inexperienced photographer and am technically challenged so I didn’t even have hardrives, monitor calibration or software on my radar. When I first put LR on my computer I imported all of my photos and then realized that was a big mistake so maybe I’m learning not to worry about managing all of my photos. I do, however, struggle with perfectionism which keeps me from shooting. I just need to get out there and take photos.
Yes! “Just get out there and take photos”. Keep repeating that, like a mantra, to yourself. There is no one-stop-shop or one-button fix to any of this – although MattK is the closest you will find!! He’s a sage! All the other things do take years to learn so you need to be patient with yourself, too. So grab your camera and get out there!
I am leaving my comment here, Pam, but there are a lot of other people echoing the same sentiments.
Worried about what other people think
Keeping up with managing and organizing my LR catalogs
Thinking I need certain software to produce good photos
Within 5 minutes of my recent computer hardware upgrade (memory and HD to SSD conversion) my dog snagged a cable and crashed the All in One screen onto oak chair. Compound disasters. Now I am trying to reconstruct photo library. After your statement about I don’t care about the old stuff I have decided I will only update my favorites, 1500 rather than 15,000. Great practical advice,
The section about screen calibration resonated the most, I have been worrying about it for a while whether I needed to buy a calibrator but have always had good results from print labs. I had an issue last year with the calendars I send off to get printed after I tried converting to Adobe RGB as they suggested and the colours were terrible. I ended up resending then in SRGB as I usually would and they were fine.
The main thing that takes up too much of my time as a landscape photographer is that I spend a lot of stressing about where to go shoot and if were will be the best location to get the conditions I want. Sometimes its a bit paralysing and has even stopped me from going out and shooting cause I can’t decided.
The two that resonated with me were Perfection and Monitor Calibration. I worry WAY to much about whether my photos are good enough to put on social media, so I procrastinate the hell out of processing and showing my work. Secondly, I will stop thinking I have to calibrate my monitor every so often. Thanks.
Possibly, because I am in my mid-70’s none of those issues really resonated with me. I never was concerned about color space or monitor calibrating. Regarding hard drives: it isn’t so much what brand to use, but just be sure you are backing up your photos to multiple locations (both physical drives and a cloud service such as Backblaze). The last thing you want is a hard drive failure with no redundancy. Maybe Perfectionism is the one issue. However, I don’t think it is so much trying to be “perfect,” but the fact we are too worried about what others might think of our photos. For me, the journey in my photography is just as important as the final product.
Several things that resonated with me were
1) I worry too much about how to manage my photos
2) buying all of the software and have no time to learn it all.
3) buying learning programs from various photographers to want to lear it all.
The last issue – perfectionism- struck a chord with me because it keeps me from sitting down and processing photos. I second guess myself on how I will process a photo or should I have done something else. In the end, I only have to please myself; it’s not a competition.
Also, sRGB and Adobe RGB; If very few companies can process Adobe RGB, then why would I use it to print? I send photos out to print and they ask for sRGB only.
Perfectionism and color space! Actually, all the themes had some relevancy, but those two are front-and-center:>)
perfection i think is what really stood out in your video.
Every single one resonates with me, but at the very top is perfectionism, next is image size upscaling after a heavy crop.
Perfectionism…. Having belonged to camera clubs and listening to critiques at print competitions left me gun-shy about getting my work out there! I have years of photography that had never seen the light of day!
Hi Matt, great thoughts… The biggest thing I worry about is perfectionism!!! I am a procrastinator and feel my images are never as good as I think they could be!!! Always trying to improve what I’ve taken and I think the biggest message to me was to STOP trying to be perfect and go out and take more photos 🙂 🙂 🙂
I recently realized that my image are taking up less room on my hard drives than I thought and in consolidating my drives, I realized that there are a LOT of images that I just don’t need to keep in my catalog. That helpful tip resonated with me the most.
Well after watching the video I am happy to report that I am “perfect” How did I reach that state you ask? The answer is I have been listening to Matt for many years and he has discussed the 7 issues in this video from time to time. None of them are any longer a problem for me. Not that they weren’t at one time (I used to worry about all 8), but not now. One of the things Matt said is that once he finds what works, he stops looking. I know two pros in particular that will sing praises of software saying it’s best ever and is only way to “properly” process your images. The next week they are using something different saying the same thing. AND they own hundreds of dollars of software.
I find what works for me, and here is the key, I learn how to use it, and then I quit looking. Matt made a comment in a video awhile back where he said “If it looks good enough to me then it is good enough.” And no I am not perfect as mentioned earlier but I am definitely not so anal. That has allowed me to enjoy my photography and expand my creativity! My image processing has never been better.
Colour space! I can’t tell you have many hours I spent over this until a couple of years ago a prof photographer said sRGB all the way, even print. I’ve not looked back. Secondly perfection in editing, I can keep going back endlessly re-editing -yes it leads to procrastination in doing something with my images. No procrastination this year.
Perfection and color balance. As working a lot with skin tones and print I want the prints to be ‘perfect’. And indeed the client doesn’t see it. They see only their posture and expression.
No 1 is ‘perfectionism’ – so so true! The latest versions of both Lightroom and Photoshop had me revisiting a lot (too many?) of my images (the best ones at least, in my view, not al of them) to “improve” them with the latest ‘sky’ and ‘subject’ options – time when I could have been taking new pictures and processing them. Then, inevitably, I wanted to make sure the freshly ‘fixed’ images would look their best on my website … – more time lost!
Good thoughts, Matt – made me think a lot about what I’m doing
Now I know for sure that I don’t need Pro Photo RGB and that waiting for the perfect weather won’t make me a better photographer.
Perfectionism is the real problem for me, and not only in my Photography. It saps the energy and impetus because whatever I do will not be very good.
I am satisfied with all my gear (hardware and software) and my high level workflow which I use for consistency and to avoid past elephant traps.
I enjoy some research that broadens my knowledge. So, for example, I did research for a new screen and a calibration device to help me get prints that are a better reflection of what I see on the screen (the old one was 14 years old!). I wanted to have a panoramic print made that was 8 feet wide so researched the super resolution tool in Photoshop. Neither of these were a distraction. They were planned projects.
Not mentioned: hoping to find a new angle in the mundane or the local environment. We don’t all live in or travel to exciting landscapes.
I did complete the first assignment but do not like to show my photos. two points that interested me were:
1. workflow–just lately have learned that there is no special workflow and not all lightroom screens have to be used.
2. extra software – I always look on the other side of the fence…fortunately I can’t buy everything that looks good so I am learning that the basics I have now are fine for me.
I pretty much agree with all points. I admit to being what some might call obsessive about backing up I have a 4 TB external data drive (all the external drives are spinning disk drives) containing my Lightroom Catalog and those photos, audio work I have done, instructional videos from Matt on photography and other things I am working on or want easily accessible, but do not want cluttering my internal drive (because it is not big enough, anyway). I also have an Archive drive, things like paid projects I am done with but can see needing to go back to them for the client.
The Archive drive has a single backup. The external Data drive has four backups that I cycle through. Given how much work how many hundreds of hours are represented by the files on the Data Drive, I really do not want to risk losing it all. But, why so many back up drives? Obsession, maybe. But, it turned out that the last couple months the Data Drive and two of the backups started showing S.M.A.R.T. errors. I replaced them, since they could no longer be trusted.
Also, again for file safety, I have off-site backups of the internal drive, the external Data drive, my Sound Effects archive, in a safe deposit box that I update about once a month. Though I have had hard drives fail (happily never the internal drive), I have never lost a file because of that.
One comment about photos that one has not tossed, but maybe will never be use. Ansel Adams wrote that one of the most valuable pieces of gear in a darkroom is a large trash can. Not everything I have kept is National Geographic worthy, but I definitely get rid of images that are not worth the time. Though, sometimes that takes several passes of culling to realize/accept that this or that image is not worth hanging on to – which is not the same as wanting everything to be perfect. We all take junk photos. Those get in the way of the better, the good and the very good photos. As Ansel Adams noted, the sheer volume of a lot of photos makes them feel more important to keep, when a lot of them are not.
All of my photos are in one Lightroom catalog. Works for me. After keywording and adding other metadata, I never really have to have to look elsewhere for a photo I remember taking.
I too have listed ‘perfection’ as the one that I responded most to. This is not just with photography, but with almost everything I do. It is almost as if I was born with that state of mind to everything. I must learn to stop with ‘only’ 9/10 of perfection a bit more often. The other issue that has taken up an undesirable amount of time I could have used for photography is software. Early last year I started having a lot of problems with Photoshop, in that it would unpredictably lock me out because of apparent password ‘errors’. I spent much time trying to get things working at my end and eventually contacted Adobe support, but after a few months of them not being able to sort out the reasons either I finally dumped Adobe’s Creative Cloud. With the monthly fees continuing and me not having a reliable photo processing package, I deleted the lot. I switched over to Affinity and Topaz Studio2 and have been very happy with those two software packages – except that it is taking a long time to change my mindset on how to perform certain operations, especially after using the Adobe products for over 10 years. I keep on saying to myself that I need to devote a couple of weeks to learning the new software, rather than struggling with some of the features as if I am still in Photoshop.
Great video, Matt. I really love all the advice about “not doing” stuff that there is so much pressure to do these days. So, my favourite bit of advice is definitely to stop striving for Perfection (which actually covers a number of the others too).
My ongoing struggle, not specifically covered here, is how to try to unlearn my inherent mathematical/scientific brain. Having been maths orientated since childhood and trained in scientific thought processes for more years than I can bother to count, I recognise that I struggle with things (putting aside the perfection-drive) not being balanced/mathematically “right” . In other words, focal point needs to be central, bokeh needs to have two highlights on the left if there are two on the right, etc.
I try to fight this (because I know that it is limiting), but find that my brain keeps pulling me back with things that are not artistic issues, but could be mathematical/perfection issues. Very frustrating (& I’m certain that I’m not on the spectrum)!
Any suggestions (other than an LSD session)?
Did not answer to the first lesson, I really am not a “show my work to the world” person
I belong to a club and their competitions is enough for me.
About worrying about “stuff”
I go with what I can afford on a limited budget and it either works or does not.
Enter Plan B, beg, borrow or buy second hand.
Plan C, get super creative and the deficiencies get lost. Being a purist is boring!
The Perfect Workflow and Watching Videos which give an Impression of Perfection!
Thanks so much, a pleasure to watch a video which advocates doing less, rather than more. I felt it was a ‘declutter of the mind’ and I had a feeling of relaxation after watching it!
Personally I tend to only keep the photos which I want to edit and have in my catalog and I just delete the rest so as not to have photos all over the place…but I am not a professional by any stretch of the imagination. If I don’t edit them, they will never been looked at again.
I’m going out to buy a backup drive and stop procrastinating about it. 😄
Thanks Matt I really enjoyed the video. I liked the tip about which colour space to use when printing v digital.
Surprisingly only one of those topics resonated with me, perfection.
Something that worries me that you didn’t mention is how to file all your images afterwards. For example if I edit a photo in 2021 but need to re-edit it in 2022 how to I find the original again? Thanks.
Wow! It took longer to get here than it did to watch the video!
I can’t say that I worry about any of this stuff, I have been wondering if I should get a better backup system like a NAS but I’m very happy that you’ve told me not to bother. Lol. I print a lot so I do calibrate my screen as I find it improves my prints tremendously, I have been doing it for so many years that it’s second nature. Like you I use the Topaz AI software which is amazing that and Lr and Ps with some NIK thrown in is all I need and have no desire to add all the other software out there.
I’m afraid I am one of the 70% that did not complete the first project. I gathered all my 2021 images, or rather Lr did but with a house full of out of town family was not able to find the time to finish, and they haven’t left yet! Hopefully I’ll do better next week. Thanks for a great video.
Perfection and over managing.
Though a few years ago got caught up in colour space, was told to never use sRGB, did a couple of photo books and the colour quality was poor, turned out that sRGB was what the photo book printer used.
The one not mentioned is oversubscribing to learning courses – never have the time to get through them all, and can get confusing. (and some will just keep bombarding you with the latest and greatest learning technique!) I tend to now only stick to a few – Matt’s being one of them.
Not having to worry about Colorspace is a relief. And thank you for the on-line vs. print settings.
Image size, Over Managing, Workflow, Perfection.
NOW, How many duplicates do I have???
I loved your last point Matt. I will try to stop overdoing it!!!
Thanks for the video Matt. For the two key issues are perfectionism leading to procrastination, and the risk of chasing the software holy grail. I like the advice to get better at what you have rather then trying to find a better alternative.
The two things I worry about in the Video are Screen Calibration and Colour space.
I can see now how that might slow mw down
Matt, I have been following your videos for years and always like your style and honesty in them. This video has to be one of the most useful ever and has really got me thinking about my workflow etc. The fact that you provide this course for free is very much appreciated.
I can safely say I have been guilty of wanting to calibrate my screen. After investigating and looking into costs I still had no idea what I was going to be doing or actually receive. Just something I had read.
Hard drives would be my other downfall too. Won’t say how long I investigated what hard drive would be right. I now have an external hard drive that I am very happy with and was just one of the lead ins.
These “things to not worry about” were very helpful! While I have read about many of these specific photography considerations, I have not gone down any of these paths. Likely reason, I am just an amateur and do not need any highly specific technology.
It is very helpful to know that most of us don’t need these advanced tools.
Everything is true words.
I don’t calibrate my screen because it is a good screen but I see a lot of mages in photography club competitions that were created on screens that require calibration or screens that must be replaced.
I use to suffer from G.A.S (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) but overcome it and is happy with my gear. My recommendation to people will be to use your gear and stop researching all the newest stuff.
I procrastinated about Project #1, but I do like to go back and review photos from time to time. For Project #2, I am glad you said to forget about calibrating my monitor. some of my photographer friends had encouraged me to do it in the past, mostly for printing purposes, but I don’t print that much, and I didn’t really have the money for the calibration tools. However, I did have to buy a new printer a couple of years ago. and it does such a beautiful job printing from Lightroom! No calibration needed. the second thing you mentioned that I did have some issues with was color profile. I finally figured out that ProPhotoRGB (Lightroom default), stayed in the export of the photo and I was having difficulty with the colors on photos I sent out for printing. It took some research and help from friends to finally realize that I needed to change that for exporting photos, and it made all the difference! Once I changed my preferences, it comes out right every time. So my advice would be to follow what you said, change your preferences and then forget about it! For myself, sometimes I take a LOT of photos on a shoot, especially when shooting birds. I used to go through every single picture and edit most of them, but now I find I just need to pick a few really nice ones and edit those. Later on, if I have time, I can go back and edit more of them, but I find I rarely do that. So my advice would be to edit just a few and make them really nice! Thanks for your tutorials! I learn so much from them!
Thank You Matt for your comments. Now I don’t have to worry about monitor calibration and work flow. That helps take the stress out of my photography.
Color space and calibration were the biggies for me. I knew Pro Photo couldn’t be faithfully printed but I didn’t realize it could actually be problematical in transmission. I’m still a little hung up on calibration but realize I still get good prints even though my calibration system is very old and deployed infrequently. I guess my monitor is pretty stable. I’ll go change my color space preferences in LR and forget about buying a new calibration system. Thanks, Matt.
Couple things, bottom of the comments, had to have a nourishment break….
Resonate to me; the need to have the latest tech. stuff
I have Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 6 and have done OK with these two but I was well aware that most of the programs re Sebastian and others with “fascinating “programs to buy they operate only if you use the Adobe cloud for $14.90 something per month.
That’s a lot of loot for 30 years.
Good Info from you Thank you.
Definitely overmanaging photos, as well as backup solutions. Most of my photos are grandkids and vacations. Difficult to “throw” any out, but hard to manage.
Great reminders! The one thing that rang true for me is perfection. It can prevent me from doing anything at all.
The specific thing that I fret about that you didn’t mention on its own is sharpening. I always feel like I’m either doing too much or not enough.
I promise I wasn’t procrastinating to watch your video Mark. I was sailing 21 hours across the Atlantic from Miami to Great Harbor Cay, The Berries, Bahamas!
#10 is definitely the one that resonates. As an underwater photographer, I want perfect even when the conditions aren’t perfect. And I spend too much time with the heal tool cleaning up Backscatter.
I also need to learn some of the newer tools for automatically cleaning up spots in Photoshop.
I got hit with the one about software, perfectionism, and overmanaging images. They all resonate with me and are major time killers and hold me back in what I want to do. Thanks for the video and for your excellent points!
Thank you. I will no longer fret about monitor calibration. What a relief. I will note, however, that what I see on my camera from the Lightroom Camera is vastly different from what what I see on the computer monitor. So, I wait and edit on the computer. I’ve added almost nothing to my Adobe setup. I am thinking about adding the sharpener and the color cleaning from Topaz. If I can ever figure out how to get them with the discounts.
Calibration: Last time I calibrated my laptop the results were so bad that I went back to the default factory settings which I thought were OK to start with. Software: I’m settled with Lr, some Ps, & Topaz suite that includes Denoise & Sharpening. Not much else except Photomatix HDR (a leftover). Hard drives. 2, One as a backup that get the initial file then gets put away, a second that is the “working” HD, it’s where Lr gets linked, and is a working year or two, then gets replaced with another “working” HD for the next year. Working HD’s are saved & I can go back when I’m looking for something.
I like your pragmatic & commonsense approach Matt – it resonates with me.
Albert Einstein is acknowledged as saying – “make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
Your comment that “the pursuit of perfection leads to procrastination” is a close companion.
1: I grew up building and taking apart computers and hardware a lot. Not so much nowadays, but I do get into it with hard drives…my dear God. I’m very guilty of spending time and money on hard drives. But I came to my senses not too long ago when all the computers where being upgraded and all those almost new good hard drives were going to go to a company for recycling. The IT guy gave me like 10 of them, so I wiped them and I got hard drives for years.
2: Workflow, thank you for that Matt. I do like a structure for things, but art is about feeling and not following steps.
Perfectionism and software resonate with me. Learning software is very time consuming
Managing photos is the one that hit home most – and it ties in with Perfectionism as well. I so need to let go of holding on to all those photos I will never do anything with. And stop saving them because I think I can improve them.
And thanks for emphasizing that your videos are for a hobby photographer as well as those who are taking their photography more seriously.
I always seem to be obsessed with getting my images into Lightroom. Now that you suggested a fast viewer, you solved one of my issues. But it’s feeding another one. Another area it’s gear. I seem to get sidetracked and always want to look for gear, or read reviews on gear, or who’s using what gear. I have some work to do. Thanks Matt.
Chasing the “perfect software” and trying to be perfect are the two that stood out for me. I attend a lot of webinars and listen to a lot of professional photographers and how they approach their workflow. I am amazed at how many, but not all, discuss how the latest and greatest is a must have when there is an affiliate link if you purchase from their website.
Trying not to be a perfectionist probably resignated with me the most. I liked your comments about hard drive storage as well.
Thanks for this great video. A couple of things resonated with me. ONE: Calibration. I guess that your explanation helped me to acknowledge that I don’t need to worry about it. I used to think that not having a calibrated screen would result in off-color or over/under exposed prints. I guess I was wrong about that. Thanks. TWO: What worries me now is that I was never worried about , or thought too much about most of your other point. Now I’m worried that I hadn’t been worried. Does that mean that I wasn’t knowledgeable enough? Just kidding! Thanks for trying to make our hobby be more fun rather than strictly regimented. Looking forward to your next video.
The “don’t try to be perfect” message made look at how I approach the tech and workflow. I do find myself looking for the “right” way of doing something and maybe there is no such thing as “perfect”. I enjoyed the video. Looking forward to learning more!
Thanks Matt for the great info. I will not worry about the monitor calibration and color space from now on. As far as hard drives… well hubby bought me a wonderful NAS system for Christmas so I don’t have to worry for a long, long time.. yes we are both computer/IT geeks:). I’ve been using multiple portable drives and those actually worked fine.
I need to let software I don’t use go rather then updating all my software because I fear missing out on a neat “new” feature.
Great video Matt. I have already tackled some of these from your earlier videos. The standouts are:
1. Color Space – I just can’t bring myself to throw out colours and keep coming back to ProPhoto. And then Apple comes along and adds a Display P3 color space, just to add to my issues! You say it doesn’t matter, but if Lr works in ProPhoto under the covers, I see a color shift when I move to sRGB or AdobeRGB for Ps processing – so how do I really know what colors I’m going to get when I publish? See, I still have some mindset work to do…
2. Calibration – I’m mostly convinced ‘it doesn’t matter’ because most people consume content on the web and the color is whatever their phone or screen displays, and that monitors are pretty good these days. But where I come unstuck is that Apple has TrueTone automatic WB adjustment of the screen and I see a shift then. I also see a shift in color when I boot up, which I’ve never been able to track down whether it’s an automatic adjustment or a left over from my previous calibration attempts. I’d like to just settle it and be done!
I am a perfectionist and procrastinate on which is the perfect version of an image. There – I confessed it here!
Workflow and perfectionism resonated with me.
Workflow and Perfectionism made me rethink and question some things I do… thank you Matt.
I have come to many of the same conclusions. A couple of years ago I purchased, On1 and Luminar software. But then I asked myself why? I have spent many hours and cash learning Lightroom and a bit of photoshop, and I can do everything I need with those tools.
I also have Sypder to calibrate my monitor. It has helped my printed photos match what I see on the screen. But, I don’t fret if the screen and the print are slightly off.
So, I am in complete agreement!
For me, the two things that resonated most are color space and monitor calibration. I used to worry about those things a lot, but more recently I’ve put them aside, but they still seem to sit on my shoulder and whisper in my ear. I think you just put them to bed….thanks.
Two items for me. I can now use your video to justify to my friends that I don’t need the latest and greatest software, and it supports my practice whereby my images may not be perfect, but someone seeing an image for the first time would not know what “perfect” would have been.
What a relief. I can stop over managing my photos and trying to be a perfectionist. Going to take a picture!
Thanks Matt, interesting info. What resonated the most for me was about Hard Drives, I have been trying to figure out what to get to do my backups, after watching this video, I will wait till your 3rd week and go from there! Second was the extra software, I see and hear about so many different ones , buy some of them and then never use them, I always end up using Topaz or NIK , both of which I love.. I do need to learn more about some of the Topaz ones, but really enjoy working with them. What I am still battling over is…. do I really need to go to LR Classic? I am still working on the downloaded version 6 and don’t feel that I am missing something , but then again, I don’t know what I don’t know and maybe I am missing something by not buying into paying the monthly fee and getting LR Classic! Would be interested to hear what you or anyone here might say.
Color space and calibration is good to know, and not to worry about.
An area you did not mention is training videos. I have done several online ‘seminars’ during Covid, and I am getting worn out with trying to go back and watch the sessions I missed, etc. Going to PSW or a local seminar once in a while is fun, interacting with live people with limited frequency. But all these online opportunities is just overwhelming. I have learned, but it is getting counterproductive.
I am a former teacher (Programming at the Community College level) and the son of an Elementary School Teacher. I have always been annoyingly anal and perfectionist when it comes to language and spelling. Facebook used to literally send me into flaming rants (don’t get me started about “to”, “there”, possessives, or anything of the sort. I have recently backed off (a bit) of my perfectionist tendencies. And then I noticed (after 1 day) that my Portfolio website was titled “Fresh Start 2020”. Hmmm. So I fully agree with your assessment of perfectionist thinking. It isn’t necessary in photography, either shooting or editing.
Ha. Don’t get me started on ampersands.
Worrying about software has definitely been a thing for me. I’ve wasted so much time and money trialling software even though I keep coming back to the standard of Lightroom and Photoshop. I’m going to commit to banishing that from my life this year.
I also used to get stuck on workflow. I’m kind of methodical and love a recipe to follow, and I used to waste a lot of time checking out other ‘recipes’ as I was sure something else would be better than mine. Thankfully now I’ve relaxed into doing what I do. I still love learning new approaches but I’ve given up feeling I need to follow them slavishly.
I’ve never worried about the other issues in the video and I’m really hoping none of them get lodged into my ever-worrying subconscious!
I spend too much time trying to organize and manage all my photos both pre and post processing. When should I be using hard drives and cloud options. When should I keep and when should I just throw away pictures.
Thanks for your videos they are very helpful.
I constantly worry about management of my hard drives…live part year in 2 different places and have 2 separate PC’s both new. But making sure I have all the files I need for my Lightroom Catalog is overwhelming since there are those photos on the desktop. :).
Matt, Loved this video. Feel better about what I’m doing after watching and its nice to not worry about these topics anymore. For me Workflow and trying for perfection. I often find myself spending lots of time with an edit only to not be satisfied with it in the end. I think most of the time its a photo that I really like but maybe didn’t do a great job of capturing in camera. Or maybe the lighting wasn’t ideal. I’m trying to basically save the image and make something great from something marginal. I need to learn to just move on to a better image and not waste time on a marginal one. The biggest thing slowing me down right now is the number of images to look through. The new mirrorless cameras and autofocusing tracking are amazing. Lock onto a bird in flight and fire away at 30fps and most all of them are tack sharp. If you aren’t careful, which I’m not, you end up with 200-300 sharp flight pics in one burst. While this can be great in capturing that one defining moment it’s hard to let go of all the sharp images. Hard to go through trying to pick the one with best wing placement, catch light, background etc…. I spend way too much time culling and ranking images. When you have a bunch of similar shots all sharp “keepers”, How do you decide which is best. I spend too much time trying to decide, keep to many images, spend all my time trying to make my choice. Then by the time I do I’m tired of sitting at the computer. Cure needed for heavy trigger finger and slow image culling.
Thanks Matt, this was really good. I like to calibrate when I switch computers and monitors. Feels like I make a fresh start of the good Place. And thank you for saving a lot of time because I had planned to organize all of my photos, and what a mess that is. I can normally find what I want within a reasonable amount of time based on time and date stamps.
Hello Matt. Your videos are very enjoyable. I am in several photo clubs where members have spent lots of time discussing all the issues you mention in your current video. As a result I have come to terms with many of them.
I have ongoing issues issues with perfectionism.
There is lots of software out there that I do not yet own and think I should and I think I should be better at editing than I am. My photo heros (eg Freeman Patterson) are often people who believed in getting it right in camera. I share this prejudice.
I will have more time now to take photos and edit them. Photo management is/was a big thing for me. I spend hours trying to go through old photos and deciding which I should import into LR. Now I import all into LR and work from there, but there are many years that aren’t in LR and this is what I’ve been doing instead of concentrating on the photos I’m currently taking.
enjoyed talk re upsizing – garbage in garbage out -colour spaces in formation and of course reminder that perfection leads to procrastination
I can relate to being a perfectionist in my photo editing and to some degree my camera time as well.. I also agree with the comments about the hard drive and software craziness…it seems “everyone” has the perfect program or software for only $$$$…it gets crazy and very overwhelming and intimidating! Thanks for keeping it simple…:))
The two that resonated with me are management and perfectionism.
I have photos in the form of film color slides, CD’s and Dvd’s and many hard drives ( when a pair are full, I buy two more. I have no clue how to manage this mess.
I work very hard both shooting and processing but I feel that the results could always be better.
Ok, monitor calibration has been one that I’ve worried about but wasn’t sure what the best solution is. So I’m going to quit worrying about it. Also storage, so I’ll stick with my simple external drives. The worst one is perfection which yes definitely leads to procrastination. Sigh, working on that.
The tip that really resonated with me was don’t overmanage. I don’t have to feel guilty that I have thousands of photos unsorted and unmanaged and that perhaps will remain that way!
The item that resonates most with me is perfectionism. When editing a photo I struggle with when to stop. So I just keep going and end up with overprocessed pictures.
1) Monitor calibration, not needed
2) Stop trying to make everything perfect!
I wasn’t worried about finding the perfect disk, calibrating my monitor, upsizing, trying to keep all my photos in Lightroom, or any of the other things you say not to worry about. Now I’m worried that there is something wrong with me for not worrying about those things!
I guess I’m getting too old to worry. I am happy with my photos and love taking pictures. I think I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. Learning Lightroom and Photoshop was a big deal and a lot of work. Am I perfect with those tools? NO WAY. But I love the results I get with them, and so do the people I show my photos to. They all think I’m a professional. That’s good enough for me.
over and under managing – Over managing – in post processing looking for perfection. Under managing when uploading many images rom card. Can’t decide how best to cull (and keyword) and “rank” for later processing.
Tend to keep most then can’t decide which to work on- if work on several similar-which is the best.
The old paralysis by analysis
The ideas that I appreciated was not calibrating the monitor. Perfectionism was a problem that was holding me back. The other ideas were great but these were the main ones for me. Thank you appreciate the great information. Johnny
Workflow and perfectionism resonated with me. Also, comparing my photographs to the work of others is personally difficult.
Matt. I feel that i have come to manage many of the 8 points you mentioned, but what is always killing me is the pending viewing and editing work.
Now capture occurs nor only with my regular camera but with the marvelous camera in my iphone.
Knowing that there are treasures waiting for my attention.
DEciding between Fast editing and sharing in my cellphone or carefull, not perfect but carefull LR editing and file mgmt. That is my biggest concern now. Sometime I think that the best way is to stop taking pictures and work on my backlog.. jajaja but i never do. But i believe a need to set some practical approach to my photographic work.
Your comments describe my experience. I would like to avoid over-managing, but even a minimum of organizing seems not enough. Family, travel and nature photos are taken on 6 different devices (cameras, phones, tablets) and then need to be shown and shared in files prepared for different devices, and for different forms of distribution. It gets out of control.
LR 5.7 (I refuse to use subscription software) does the job, but only if ALL photos are cataloged by it. I’ll follow Matt’s advice and reduce the editing to just the photos that deserve it and make use of the newer more powerful editing tools in ON1. I’ll continue to use the powerful cataloging and filtering tools of LR to keep track of where the photos are and what their subject matter is.
The items that most resonate with me are managing photos and perfectionism.
Thanks for the video. I have software acquisition disease (SAD), but have recently shown some signs of remission – I now routinely only use LR & DxO PureRaw and occasionally PS for object removal. Good to know I’m not alone in my recovery. I do have a photo management issue – I have a copy of every photo I’ve taken on a hard drive which is also backed up :). You never know when you might need that overexposed, out of focus frame. I’ve made some progress here as only about 20-30% of the photos end up staying in my LR library, but I can not help myself and keep all the photos on a drive somewhere :).
Now I have to try Fast Raw Viewer – so much for remission! If it helps me cull photos before importing them into LR it may help with my other problem.
Photographic Art is fun. Techniques and apps help make the image I have in mind. Guilty of trying a few new apps and hanging on to old ones I don’t use much more out of loyalty.
Calibration! Now I don’t have to feel guilty about not calibrating. A few friends keep harping on that need. After listening to you, I realize that it’s ok if I spend my time shooting and editing. The before mentioned friends almost never have a photo to show and don’t ever enter an image in a club competition. Calibration is scratched off my list of things to do.
Thanks for the sRGB and RGB and Pro info. Now that’s no longer a distraction.
‘Over-managing photos’ and ‘workflow’ are under control on daily work, but they are a challenge with new unique projects.
Thank you Matt for this video it was extremely informative. I can relate to most of the points that you raised but the one that really hit home was perfectionism, not only in the photo but in the equipment and software as well. I am one for making everything perfect in my eyes when others think it was fine before I even started. I am also glad you said not to calibrate my screen as it is something I have wondered about for a long time. I will not longer give it any consideration. You have eased my mind and I will no longer procrastinate (well I will do my best not to!!).
Photography is my hobby. I do it to challenge and entertain me. In the 20 years since my retirement I’ve been to over 90 countries in pursuit of nature and wildlife. When I die, the family will more than likely unplug the computers and hard drives and toss them. Everybody is too busy with their own issues to spend any time trying to sort out the hundreds of thousands of pictures.
I started on version 2 of LR and through time have managed to go down and escape from all the rat holes you mention. As to perfection, my Grandmother use to say, if you can’t see it from the back of a galloping horse, it isn’t worth worrying about.
I grew up hearing the mantra, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Only “right” meant “perfect” in my mind
and resulted in a bad case of perfectionism often leading to procrastination and frustration. Your comments on that
stifling personality trait will be both my inspiration and motivation to ease up both with shooting and enhancing my images
and do more ENJOYING! I may even post some online… something I have never done.
Amen to all, especially simplification and pointing out I don’t need the newest, best, biggest whatever is out there. I may still get it, but nice to know what deep down I knew, I don’t really need it. I almost did not watch this video, let’s face it everyone has numerous videos out there with the newest and best, but I’m glad I watched it as you seem to have a unique take on things that really resonated with me, thanks, this was unexpected and much appreciated.
Matt — Wow, it was a long way to the bottom!
I think overmanaging the catalog is my biggie — I gave up on perfection long ago.
If you don’t key word how do you find that shot of the girl in the green glasses from one of three trips to the same place four years ago?
Monitor calibration, I’m letting that go like I did the color space. Just saved $150. Now, how about those shields that go around the monitor? Last year I went to print and 3 wanted the basics and one offered ICP(? I might have flipped the letters) I set it all back to SRGB done. I will take the monitor calibration off the list as well.
lot of sense there Matt and I’m with you on most everything except your colour space point.
I had it explained to me why Lightroom works better for RAW editing in the pro-photo colour space, something to do with `colour compression? so I got in the habit of working in that space and I convert to sRGB when I export. I’m happy with this system and I don’t worry about at all 😉
I’m definitely with you on the screen calibration issue. I’ve never had the need to calibrate beyond the system that is built in to my Mac yet I see “Screen Calibration” being touted as the cure all for many problems brought up by beginners. I just don’t see that 🤷🏻♂️
My main issue is in trying to drill down to a consistent workflow. I tend to find myself not realising an image is done and unnecessarily over editing it. I learned so many editing processes and have to tell myself that I don’t need to use them all on every image 😂
I found your 2nd video very helpful. The section on monitor calibration was very helpful, and the whole idea of letting go of perfectionism really resonated with me. Thank you!!
A number of these I stopped worrying about a good length of time ago. my four to focus on are Other software, Backup storage, Perfection and Overmanaging photos, and the greatest of these is Perfection. One must always be conscious of this hurdle and seek to resist it and keep one from enjoyment and time out taking photographs. Backup storage needs less attention, but is more of an issue for me as I spend about 4 months in one home in the US, 4 months in another home in France and 4 months traveling from one or the other. Therefore my laptop and portable storage needs to take care of all my needs, but should take up little of my focus.
Thanks for this video, Matt. All of the points were good to cover. I especially liked the one about photo upsizing and color space. Not that I ever obsessed, but I was curious.
I am enjoying your videos Matt. You were right on with Perfectionism and Procrastination. My new sign for my bulletin board above my computer will be this quote. I was surprised about your comment about not bothering to calibrate my monitor. You didn’t say though how you handle it when your screen looks different than your prints. Do you create actions to correct the differences or do you just keep adjusting photos till the prints looks like the screen? Thank you for your upbeat attitude and fun sense of humor. It’s what we all need to experience these days.
1. Workflow. I recently decided that there are different ways to approach and edit an image. Every image edit does not need to begin in my Lightroom CC catalog. I appreciate your video reassuring me of my recent discovery
2. Monitor calibration. I will continue to do this task monthly because that’s the way I was schooled. 😉
Thanks Matt for pointing out what’s probably obvious to others but not to me! Perfectionism is definitely something that holds me back. File management is also an issue of mine, timely advice on the hard drive issue!
Number 8 is the big one for me. Been working on that for years, I’m not really looking to BE perfect, it’s more about choosing the RIGHT hard drive or picture or lens from the group of possibilities.
Perfectionist here. I am the worst. I process and privately critique my photos to death and then don’t post them. I also procrastinate learning the skills I need to process some of my best shots. I use LR, PS and some Topaz and I’m one of those photographers who significantly underuses these tools due to lack of knowledge and skill. I have saved up quite a few of these. I hope this is the year I get to them.
Pleased to note that I have never spent time worrying about most of these things. I have been thinking I needed to research “proper” workflow as I have just switched from my ageing 32-bit Lightroom 6 to Exposure X7 (reason? averse to subscription options). I will be sure not to get too structured with workflow as I learn the controls.
The other item that resonated was perfectionism. “Perfect” one day is not necessarily as aesthetically pleasing in later passes of my catalogue.
Oops, I ended up commenting twice. This one can be deleted
Thankfully I have never spent time worrying about most of these things. I have been thinking I needed to research “proper” workflow as I have just switched from my ageing 32-bit Lightroom 6 to Exposure X7 (reason? averse to subscription options). I will be sure not to get too structured with workflow as I learn the controls.
The other item that resonated was perfectionism. “Perfect” one day is not necessarily as aesthetically pleasing in later passes of my catalogue.
I think you’re onto something here, Matt. Thanks for the explanation on ProPhoto — I’ve gone in changed many of my apps, as well. However, it’s Perfectionism that gets me in a major way. I’m like a dog with a bone and worry it to death. I have so many virtual copies of images made on my way to that elusive “perfect” print that it’s embarrassing. And that’s followed closely by Workflow. Do I use a denoise program before I sharpen, or after? Do I adjust exposure first or do I play with the whites and highlights sliders first? When do I add a profile or preset? Or do I even add one? Driving myself crazy with all these super important considerations.
Great reminders. Can’t say that I worry about any of these things, probably because I’ve already worked through them at some point. As for color calibration, I have it as part of my workflow and it works for me (multiple monitors, and I send photos out out to print), but the points made in the video are spot on. Thanks for the information on Fast Raw Viewer.
Hi Matt, my 2 are
Extra software – I had just about come to this conclusion myself that I was wasting money with little result but good to have it enforced
Perfectionism – I have wasted many editing hours striving for this