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A Mobile, RAW Workflow

A Tern ridden during the Mobile Social SXSW 14

We're back with Tern in Vegas for another social ride during SXSW V2V next month and I asked Dan Rubin, who shot with us in Austin, about his workflow. This is what he told me.

Now that the Nokia Lumia devices can produce RAW files, I capture in RAW on my 1020 to get the most image data possible. Because it isn’t possible (yet) to edit the RAW files on the device itself, I import all images into Lightroom on my Mac — just as I do with my Canon 5D MkII and other RAW-producing cameras — and fit them into my standard RAW workflow:

  • Review all images, marking obvious bad shots as “Rejected” and shots worth reviewing further as 1-star.
  • Make a second review pass of all one-star images and select the best from the set, rating those as 2-stars*.
  • Using a single representative image for a given group of shots, I adjust exposure, white balance, contrast, crop and straighten.
  • Retouch specific images as needed.
  • Apply those same adjustments to the rest of the group shot under similar conditions, then fine-tune each image as needed.
  • Apply presets from packs of VSCO Film (my favourite way to cut down the amount of time spent in post-production) — often this will be a single preset (aka film emulation) for all images within a group or an entire shoot, to produce a consistent look and mood across the set of images.
  • Export final selection.

I will often mark images I feel are worth consideration for posting online — Flickr, 500px, etc. — as 3-stars at any point following the 2-star review pass. 4-stars are reserved ...