Friday, May 08, 2015

Why AfterShoot Pro is my field preference

I’ve been posting a lot about lightroom recently, but it actually doesn’t get as much use as it could. I’ve been seduced into using AfterShot Pro on my laptop and particularly as a way to rank and cull RAW images quickly and easily. I’ve been using AfterShot Pro 2 (in the 64bit version) and it very fast and responsive. My approach is definitely about setting up the workspace I want and not about a workflow. I just want to use a single screen and not have to chop and change between modules.
There are just four components to my AfterShot workspace.
  1. I select to use the file system tab and navigate to the directory containing the files I have just loaded, then I collapse the left hand panel to give me more working room (the < at the top left of this panel toggles the panel between hidden or displayed). I normally have the standard view which has both a large image and a line of film thumbnails (like Lightroom’s film strip). I can use my mouse to select from the thumbnails or the right and left arrows to step though the photos.
  2. On the right hand panel I select the Standard Tab, which gives me all the Basic Adjustment sliders for simple changes. However I often just tick Perfect Clear, to give me an idea of potential to post process and Raw Noise when appropriate.
  3. I can then Rate (and colour label) the photo. These flags can be transferred to other packages like Lightroom and Perfect Photo Suite via Standard xmp files. (How that is done is a subject for a future post)
  4. There are several other tools displayed above and below the main image (such as crop and straighten on the lower left tool bar). The tool I use most is the little Magnifier Icon on the upper right. It adds a magnified circle offset from the mouse cursor. As you move the mouse over the image the circular magnifier enlarges that part of the image (no time wasted switching between the original and a zoomed view.)
I can also add Keywords at this stage, but I tend to do that in batches rather than add them individually to photos.
Unless I need an image fast I probably will not process a photo any further in AfterShot (usually I don’t even need anything further for a fast preview or web post). I can use the Star Rating or Colour Labels to filter only the photos with potential for more post processing in Lightroom and/or Perfect Photo.
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