Monday, March 24, 2008

The life of a photographer...

... it's not all it's cracked up to be! lol

I tallied up the results of my picture taking endeavors from this past Saturday night where I took pictures of 17 Winter Guard (color guard) teams at a competition here in Salt Lake City.

I took over 4400 pictures, using two cameras, in less than three hours! (one of the cameras I operated by remote control using a PocketWizard transmitter in my left hand while I shot the other camera using my right hand)

That averages out to 258 images per team ... with each team being "on the floor" performing for approximately 3-5 minutes each (two of the teams I actually managed to surpass 500 images for the duration of their performance).

I've been processing and uploading pictures since Saturday night and I'm still less than half way through the uploading process as I write this (Monday morning at 5am).

I scripted the processing of the images (in Photoshop) so that it can handle one full team folder worth of images at a time. My computer, while pegged at near 100% utilization, is averaging about 21 seconds per image. At this rate, it will take nearly 26 hours to process all of them (actually, longer than that due to sleep, church and work, etc, since I have to be awake and at home to restart the process for each new folder as it finishes the last one it started). But since uploading takes longer, it's the uploading that will control how long until the final image is posted.

And here's the point I wanted to make:

Ya know... people who buy the pictures never really see the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making them. It's one thing to press the shutter button. It's an entirely different story when it comes to producing a saleable product. The time I spent setting up the environment, such as the computers we used at the competition. The time spent processing. The time spent reviewing and handling images that need individual attention. And the time spent backing everything up should anything go wrong. It's hard to explain all of that to them when they see me charging $6 for a 4x6 while knowing that Costco charges them only a fraction of that cost for the image. Such is the life of a photographer...

Anyway... for anyone interested in seeing Saturday's images, they are uploading here:
Utah Winter Guard Association

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