An ef­fi­cient work­flow is es­sen­tial for a pro pho­tog­ra­pher. But Lou Coet­zer does not use Light­room…

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How do you stay on top of your work­flow?

I think I am very ef­fec­tive in my work­flow. I’m more ef­fec­tive, truth­fully, than any­body I have ever worked with – and that’s in­clud­ing pros. I don’t use the soft­ware that they’re us­ing. Every­body is work­ing with Light­room. For me Light­room is way, way too slow.

So what do you work with?

I work with Photo Me­chanic (www.cam­er­abits.com). Now, com­ing from a sports pho­tog­ra­phy world, that’s what all the pho­to­jour­nal­ists use. It’s a bril­liant work­flow. When I down­load my images I will in­gest them through Photo Me­chanic, I will re­name them and that name is go­ing to stay with that pho­to­graph for­ever. As they are re­nam­ing I am rat­ing the images, and the rated ones go into a ‘To Edit’ folder. Out of that I will edit images, and they will go to an ‘Edited’ folder, and that will go into ‘Fi­nal Ar­chiv­ing’. So by the time I go on my next trip, my ar­chiv­ing is up to date be­cause all my ar­chiv­ing is based on a RAW file and not on a JPEG ref­er­ence file like with Light­room.

My edit­ing I still do in Nikon Cap­ture NX2. It’s just so much faster than any­thing else out there. I ab­so­lutely haven’t found any­thing more pow­er­ful, more pre­cise or quicker to edit with than Cap­ture NX2. I take my edit­ing se­ri­ously be­cause I’ve been in a dark­room since I was 14 years old. The fi­nal im­age is very im­por­tant to me; it’s got to be im­pec­ca­ble, with no blown whites. I find Cap­ture NX2 and Photo Me­chanic to be ab­so­lutely per­fect tools to work with.

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