Martin Evening on Using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in His Digital Photography Workflow
Martin Evening has worked in the field of fashion photography for nearly 20 years. Serving primarily commercial clients, Martin uses digital cameras and imaging software in the studio during live photo shoots. With his camera connected to his computer, he can look at the monitor to make immediate assessments of lighting, pose, composition, and other nuances of the shoot. An expert in Adobe Photoshop (and part of that product's influential alpha tester group) Martin also provided critical feedback on the development of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, insight he incorporated in his best-selling book The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers.
In part one of this two-part interview, Martin talks about his work and the role Adobe Photoshop Lightroom plays in his workflow.
Peachpit: How did you get started as a fashion photographer?
Martin Evening: Way back in the '80s I assisted a number of well-known London fashion photographers and that gave me an introduction to the world of fashion. I started out quite young (at 23) on my own. Back then it seemed easy to get paid work. That's not the case now, though, for youngsters just getting started in the business. I was quite lucky to start at a time when the fashion photography industry was quite buoyant.
PP: Describe your typical photoshoot.
ME: These days I don't shoot any editorial. Most of the jobs I do are full-production PR and advertising shoots. This means that I do all the production in house from casting models to the finished retouching. Shoot days normally take place at the studio I use in Stoke Newington [in north London], where a typical shoot will include four to five models, a team of stylists for hair, makeup, and clothes, myself and an assistant. I usually aim to get about eight to ten finished shots done in a day. The photographs I take will often end up appearing in magazines to advertise hair and beauty products as well as on packaging and posters.
PP: How do you use Lightroom in your own workflow?
ME: I use Lightroom exclusively in the studio with a tethered camera to import captured images, adjust image development, add keywords and make an initial image edit of the photos I've marked as good via one- or two-star ratings. I print out the best shots as we go along, using a contact sheet template in the Lightroom Print module. On most days, the clients walk out of the studio with a complete set of contact sheets.
PP: Have you stopped using Photoshop?
ME: Not at all. I use Photoshop for in-between retouching work. Lightroom is for organizing lots of photos without spending too much time on any one image; Photoshop is for spending lots of time editing selected pictures. Since retouching is a big part of the work I do, I will always spend a lot of time working in Photoshop. But I guess it is fair to say that with the advent of Lightroom, I spend much less time now working in Bridge.
PP: What do you like about Lightroom as compared to Photoshop?
ME: I like the fact that I can manage a whole catalog of images and quickly access the ones that I want. I prefer the way the camera raw tools are laid out in Lightroom and how quickly they can be accessed. I also like the speed of the Web module and the Print module tools.
PP: Lightroom was designed to be simpler than Photoshop, yet many users think it's more difficult. Why do you think that is?
ME: Lightroom started out with the promise of "unreasonable simplicity," but I would agree that the program has in some respects ended up with a lot of advanced features. If you want to learn about Lightroom in depth, then there will be a complex learning curve. The problem is that a lot of photographers have been working in digital imaging for some time, and each has come up with his own "cobbled together" solution to image management. Others have taken the plunge and bought into cataloging solutions—some of which are really very good and others less so. With Lightroom, I feel that these photographers are being asked to rethink their image management setup in a way that is either very new or not exactly the same as what they have been used to in the past and this can be quite a challenge.