Michael Breitung Photography

Photography Workflow – Photo Labeling

People who watched my tutorials or attended one of my workshops know that I usually take many photos of a scene. Of those I will only use a selection in the final post processing.

But in the field my goal is to get enough raw material to later achieve the best possible result. And with the small LCD of my Camera I often don’t see, if, for exapmle, leaves were moved by the wind, if some minor highlights were blown or if there’s too much noise in the shadows.

A little river winds it's way through a dark, green forest

Gertelbach Creek
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Canon 16-35 mm f/4
Exif: f/11 | 24mm | ISO 100 + ISO 320| multiple exposures between 0,3s – 8s for Exposure Blending and Focus Stacking

For a perfect result I therefore do bracketing, focus stacking and different ISO shots. Sometimes I repeat the process a couple of times to make sure I also got the perfect light in the end. It’s quite common for me to end up with somewhere between 5 and 50 photos for one scene.

Before I can start with the post processing I then need to make a selection. Later it is important for me to know which raw photos were used in the processing so I can delete the redundant ones. I apply labeling so I can identify those photos even after a few weeks when I do the next archive cleanup.

The labeling system I show here is just one example. You can tune it to your needs. There are different colors and you can also use a labeling from one to five stars in Lightroom. I use the one star labeling also right after returning from a travel when I first go through the photos. I usually find many photo, where I instantly know that I’ll never process them. Those I directly label with one star.