Shoot Raw update, March 2011

I can see from our subscriber page that many new readers have subscribed to receive automatic updates — welcome to you all. We’re not usually as quiet as we have been over the last few months. Read on…


The topics we cover during our workflow training can be divided broadly into two areas: file organisation and quality of output. For most of the photographers we train, pro and advanced amateur, the two areas are equally important but online, there’s relatively little information about keeping your stuff organised so we’ll be attempting to help remedy that this year, beginning with the topic of keywording. A few tips can help you organise your photographs and find them when you need them so we’ll be providing short blog posts on that topic and others relating to organisation of your image library. Although they’ll be based on Lightroom 3, some of the tips will be apply to other digital asset management applications as well.

Lightroom training courses for groups

Most of what we do is one-to-one training but we’ve been collecting names from photographers who’ve written or called to ask about attending a class. If you’re waiting for our next Lightroom training course in London, please e-mail or use the contact form and we’ll measure interest and write to all the people on our list well in advance of our next course. We might even end up putting out a quick questionnaire to ask if the photographers who’ve subscribed to our blog would prefer week-end or week day courses. As usual, follow the blog by e-mail or RSS and you’ll know when we get something ready.

Site reboot

A rewrite. We’ve had a copywriter look over the site and rewrite the copy and we’ve also sketched out a plan to make the whole place a little more streamlined and easier to navigate, with more information about us and a little less clutter but the changes aren’t live yet. You’ll see them roll in gradually over the next few weeks. There may be the odd broken link while that happens—if you spot anything, please let us know.

Shoot Raw moves to Dreamhost. We moved our web hosting to Dreamhost recently, since we host several sites and have recently been helping photographers with their own online presence; Dreamhost makes that a bit easier for us, without the need to worry about bandwidth or hosting fees. We made the move during what we thought would be a very quiet time but some of you noticed the disruption while looking for contact details for us online. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Dreamhost offer. If you’re interested in signing up with them, you can visit Dreamhost and enter the promo code shootraw to get a $10 discount on a year’s hosting and a $20 discount on two years’ hosting. (As of March 2011, that reduces your hosting costs to $109.40 and $204.80 respectively but check the latest prices when you sign up.) What makes Dreamhost different, among other things, is that once you’ve paid to host a domain, you can add further domains that you already own without paying any extra for hosting. (Note: you also get full SSH and SFTP access, which we didn’t have with our previous host — that also makes life easier for us.)

Other Shoot Raw news — Ravensbourne

Earlier this year, I taught a unit at Ravensbourne, previously known as Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication. The college was based in Chislehurst but now occupies a fantastic new building overlooking the O2 Arena on the Greenwich Peninsula. The unit was part of the new Digital Photography BA (Hons) course that Ravensbourne began this year. They’ve attracted a really good first-year cohort and the teaching was fun. It was also a good chance to see the way that a bunch of young photographers took to Lightroom 3 and to digital workflow in general. The blog updates that you’ll be reading over the next few weeks and months will have been inspired partly by seeing the result of a group of photographers work on things over a period of ten weeks — it highlighted things that I hadn’t seen when teaching individuals or shorter group courses.

Photography degree courses are now beginning to really value the importance of digital asset management and workflow — that’s really good to know. As recently as 2010, we privately taught recent recent BA and MA graduates of photography who hadn’t touched Lightroom, Aperture or anything equivalent during their entire degree courses and who were processing their shoots very slowly. It’s good to know that the situation is changing — kudos to the folks at Ravensbourne for taking a fresh look at it and coming up with the a strong offering. It’s good to be a part of that change.